Misdemeanor charges against a Maryland man stemming from the October death of a Hanover County firefighter struck by a tractor-trailer on I-295 were dropped as authorities will seek a grand jury indictment next week.
Charges of reckless driving and having inoperable brakes were dropped against Lester Labarge of California, Md., on Thursday. Hanover Commonwealth’s Attorney R.E. “Trip” Chalkley III said Friday that his office will seek indictments against Labarge for involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving and possibly other charges when the grand jury meets Tuesday.
Lt. Brad Clark, 43, of Mechanicsville, was killed after he responded to a two-vehicle crash around 9 p.m. Oct. 11 on the side of the highway just north of the exit at Meadowbridge Road-Pole Green Road during Tropical Storm Michael. Three other firefighters were struck.
The firefighters were outside their truck, which had its emergency lights on, when a southbound tractor-trailer driven by Labarge rear-ended the firetruck, authorities said. The crew had stopped in the far left lane and shoulder, according to state police.
Two of the firefighters struck in the wreck suffered serious injuries and were eventually released after being hospitalized; one of them lost part of his leg. A third firefighter suffered minor injuries.