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Firefighter pleads guilty to vehicular homicide

Firefighter pleads guilty to vehicular homicide

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NEWCASTLE (AP) - A firefighter accused of driving drunk before a rollover that killed 16-year-old volunteer firefighter Anndee Huber has pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide.

Ronald J. Caillier, 47, had entered a plea of innocent in July. He changed his plea to guilty Wednesday.

Huber's brother, Kevin Huber, said he has heard that, as part of Caillier's plea agreement, Weston County Attorney Don Hansen will recommend a term of 10-14 years in prison.

"I'm glad he pleaded guilty. I didn't want to see my family to have to go through a trial," Huber said Tuesday.

Technically, the judge will have the discretion to hand down a term as long as 20 years when Caillier is sentenced Dec. 18. A receptionist in the county attorney's office said Hansen had no comment.

According to court documents, Caillier had a blood-alcohol level of 0.16 percent after the tanker truck crashed May 22 while headed to a grass fire south of Newcastle. Wyoming's legal limit is 0.08.

Caillier lost control of the tanker and overcorrected twice, causing the truck to go into a sideways skid and roll one-and-three-quarters times, according to Highway Patrol Trooper Earl Gill.

Anndee Huber was ejected and crushed under the 25-ton truck.

Caillier, who was cut on the face and hands, told Gill he had swerved to avoid an antelope.

Prosecutors have said Caillier drank five 20-ounce beers in an hour and a half that evening, leaving a Newcastle bar about 15 minutes before his pager went off.

Huber's death prompted Gov. Dave Freudenthal and State Fire Marshal Jim Narva to call for fire departments statewide to ban alcohol from their fire halls if they had not already done so.

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