The firefighter who was driving the firetruck from which a young fireman was thrown and killed in an accident June 15 has been charged with negligent driving and failure to stop for a stop sign by Prince George's County police.
Steven Stough, 21, of New Carrollton, the only professional fireman on the truck from which 19-year-old James Michael O'Conner, was thrown and killed, was formally charged by police Thursday.
The truck had been dispatched from the Upper Marlboro station at 1:51 a.m. after a faulty alarm at a library in Deale, Md. had gone off and the Anne Arundel County fire department had requested assistance.
At 1:55 a.m., according to fire officials, Stough was told that there was no fire in Deale. According to police sources he missed a turn that would have returned him to the Upper Marlboro station.
As a result the truck was traveling east on Croom Station Rd. in Upper Marlboro at 1:58 a.m. As the truck crossed Rte. 310 it struck a southbound tractor-trailer.
All four firemen were thrown from the truck and O'Conner landed in the path of the tractor trailer. A second firefighter, Cecil W. Thorne, was injured critically and is in serious but improved condition at the University of Maryland Hospital shock trauma unit in Baltimore.
Stough and fireman Howard Back suffered face, neck and leg injuries. They have been released from the hospital. The driver of the tractor-trailer, David C. Heuser, 37, of Haverhill, Mass. was taken to Southern Maryland Hospital and remained there this week with two broken legs.
The fire department is conducting an administrative review of the accident. Capt. Duncan Munro, spokesman for the department, said yesterday the police findings technically would not affect the investigation. "Certainly our people have been communicating with the police, though," he said.
Stough, who is listed in department records as "injured on the job," can return to work before the investigation is completed if physically fit, Munrro said.