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Driver charged in crash that killed firefighters

30 August 2016

On Interstate 35W near 95th Avenue Northeast in Blaine, Minnesota, the truck left the roadway and hit the barrier between the north and southbound sides of the highway.

Johnson, a member of a wildland firefighting crew from MI, was driving one of three trucks traveling from MI to Utah for a fire.

Johnson told police he had been awake for almost 28 hours when the crash occurred.

Twenty-three-year-old James Shelifoe and 25-year-old Alan Swartz were killed in the crash.

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According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement noted Johnson had signs of "impairment and combative behavior".

Keweenaw Bay confirmed the deaths on its Facebook page Saturday evening, and added that the seven injured firefighters also in the truck are expected to make a full recovery. "We are continuing to gather information on the condition of each and every fire fighter who was sent to the Box Canyon fire". Authorities say he was operating the vehicle in a grossly negligent manner and could face criminal vehicular homicide charges.

The passengers were members of the Beartown Firefighters, a crew that specializes in fighting wildfires and is jointly managed by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Johnson is scheduled to be arraigned in Anoka County District Court Monday.

Driver charged in crash that killed firefighters