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Driver who killed Hanover firefighter could face involuntary manslaughter charge

Posted at 3:18 PM, Apr 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-12 11:08:09-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Charges against the truck driver who crashed into a Hanover fire truck, killing Hanover Fire-EMS Lieutenant Brad Clark, have been set aside by county prosecutors. The Hanover Commonwealth’s Attorney's office said it was choosing not to proceed with the misdemeanor and infraction charges against Lester Lewis Labarge, 49, during a court hearing Thursday.

Instead, prosecutors said, they would seek a grand jury indictment against the driver.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney in Hanover confirms they are seeking charges for involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving against Labarge.

The grand jury is scheduled to meet next Tuesday to consider the new charges and they expect to have an answer by the end of that day.

The charged set aside Thursday included reckless driving and having inoperable brakes.

Labarge was driving a big rig on October 11, 2018, in the middle of Tropical Storm Michael, as Clark and other firefighters were responding to a crash on I-295 near Pole Green Road.

While the firefighters worked along the side of the interstate, Labarge crashed into them.