FRONT ROYAL — The volunteer firefighter driving the fire engine that collided with a pickup truck last month has been charged with reckless driving.

Conor Wright, 25, of Front Royal, was driving eastbound on Strasburg Road in a fire engine along with two paid firefighters as they returned to headquarters after responding to a Nov. 11 accident. 

The fire truck swerved to avoid hitting an eastbound vehicle that had stopped to make a left turn. As a result, the fire truck collided with a westbound 2013 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, a State Police trooper said in November. The collision was not head-on, and the Front Royal man driving the pickup was taken to a nearby hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

A Nov. 19 criminal complaint states that Wright said, “he was driving between 50 and 60 mph in a posted 45 mph zone. At the time of the crash, the fire engine was not in service responding to a call and did not have emergency equipment active.”

Wright was charged with reckless driving for endangering the lives of the firefighters and the pickup driver, State Police Sgt. Brent Coffey said.

There are exemptions to the reckless driving statute for when firefighters are responding to incidents, but those were not applicable here, Coffey said.

The Warren County Fire and Rescue Department opened an administrative review into the incident and cooperated with State Police during their investigation, Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico said following the crash.

Maiatico said Wednesday the department is aware of the charge, but he declined to comment further, citing the administrative review.

Wright is summoned to appear in court at 11 a.m. Tuesday. He faces a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500, along with court costs.

Contact Charles Paullin at cpaullin@nvdaily.com

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