MONTEREY COUNTY (CBS SF) — Prosecutors in Monterey County have filed felony charges against the owner of a firm that employed a bulldozer operator who was killed when his vehicle rolled over while constructing fire lines in last year’s Soberanes Fire near Big Sur.
Robert Reagan, a 35-year-old Fresno County resident, was working in smoky conditions with poor visibility when he attempted to access the fire line using a dirt road on July 26, 2016.
Reagan was backing up his Caterpillar D6 to allow another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction to go around when he went over an embankment, according to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
The bulldozer rolled over onto its side and roof, and investigators determined that Reagan was either ejected from the vehicle or he may have tried to exit the cab before getting pinned under the vehicle as it rolled down the hill.
On Jan. 26, Cal/OSHA cited Ian Czirban and Czirban Concrete Construction in Madera County for failing to ensure that Reagan wore a seatbelt at all times, resulting in the worker’s death.
Czirban was also cited for failing to report the fatal injury to Cal/OSHA in a timely fashion and several other violations of state employment regulations.
After conducting their own investigation, Monterey County prosecutors charged Czirban on Friday with six felony counts including insurance fraud, procuring and offering false or forged financial instruments, acting with intent to evade taxes and failure to collect, account for or pay taxes.
Czirban was also charged with failure to secure payment of worker’s compensation, a misdemeanor.
His arraignment has been scheduled for May 11.
Czirban Concrete Construction officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the case.
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