California,MD truck driver charged in death of Hanover County Firefighter

Hanover County, VA- On Thursday, October 11, 2018 around 9 p.m., Hanover County Fire and EMS responded to a two-vehicle crash on I-295. Shortly after arriving on the scene, a tractor trailer driven by Lester  Labarge, 49 of California, MD; rear-ended the fire truck.

Lieutenant Brad Clark and three other firefighters were injured. Lt. Clark was pronounce deceased at the scene, another firefighter has life-threatening injuries and two others had serious injuries. 

Lebarge had to be pulled from the cab of his tractor trailer and taken to an area hospital with serious injuries. Officials expect him to be ok. Lebarge has been charged with reckless driving and was cited for defective brakes. Additional charges are pending. 

Image courtesy of the Virginia State Police

Clark was a 13 year veteran of the agency and his family released the following statement:

The Clark family cannot begin to express our gratitude to the community for the outpouring of love and support we have received since we lost Brad on Thursday night. The Clark family has always been very proud of our public safety family as well as our wonderful Hanover community. While our mourning is far from over, we are encouraged to know that we will be able to continue to lean on the support of so many.

Now we ask the community to support the families of the two wounded firefighters that sill have a long road ahead of them. Thoughts, prayers, encouraging words, and simple acts of kindness are welcome at any time and mean so much. Many people have asked about making financial donations and those intentions are greatly appreciated. To offer the most reliable way to make such donations, we encourage people that would like to donate to visit the Hanover CREW Foundation athttps://www.hanovercrewfoundation.org and click on the “Donate” tab. The foundation is working with the families to ensure all donations are being used to meet the needs of each of the families.

Lastly, we remind everyone that the driver of the other vehicle involved in Brad’s accident had no evil intentions in his heart Thursday night. He is also seriously injured and his family is hurting as well. We harbor no ill will toward him. We wish only comfort for his family and healing for his wounds and encourage the community to do the same.

The Clark family is both proud and moved beyond measure to know that Brad had such a profound impact on so many people. Brad was a dedicated public servant and family man. We delight in the joyous years we spent with Brad and the time we had to know the hero that he was, long before he laid down his life so that others may live.

A GoFundMe Page has been set up in is honor and donations can be made by clicking this link: Fire Lieutenant Brad Clark Memorial