Case Delayed in Deadly Firefighter Crash

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A judge in Rifle has approved another delay in the trial of the woman charged in the deaths of five fellow firefighters after she lost control of the van she was driving to the Hayman wildfire last summer.

Twenty-one-year-old Megan Helm of La Grande, Oregon has pleaded innocent to 10 counts of careless driving causing death or serious injury in the June 21 accident on Interstate 70 near Parachute. The charges are misdemeanors but carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail.

Garfield County District Judge Stephen Carter yesterday approved a request to reschedule a hearing for Jan. 22 while defense attorneys await reports to provide more details about the safety of the 15-passenger Ford Econoline E-350 Super Duty van Helm was driving.

Four firefighters died when the van crashed and another died several days later.