- Associated Press - Thursday, April 6, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois appeals court has tossed the reckless homicide conviction of a truck driver accused of causing a wreck that killed a firefighter responding to an accident on an icy highway.

The court ruled Wednesday that evidence against Mansur Shakirov fell short of proving he caused firefighter Chris Brown’s death, the Pantagraph (https://bit.ly/2oIltll ) reported. Shakirov was driving the semitrailer that struck and killed Brown in 2013, as emergency workers responded to an accident along Interstate 39.

The court ruling said the state showed, at best, that Shakirov “may have been inattentive for a few seconds,” perhaps by adjusting his radio, “and then failed to realize the left lane was blocked as he unsuccessfully attempted to brake his huge semi at night on an icy highway in blowing snow.”

Brown, a career firefighter with the Bloomington Fire Department, was working as a volunteer with the Hudson Fire Department at the time of the crash.

Shakirov was convicted in 2014, and has since completed his four-year prison term. But the reversal of his conviction and sentence would remove the felony from his record and clear his name, said Shakirov’s attorney, Chris Gramm.

“We argued from the beginning that this was nothing more than a tragic accident,” Gramm said. “We’re glad the appellate court affirmed that.”

McLean County State’s Attorney Jason Chambers said his office will review the ruling and consult with the state appellate prosecutor’s office to determine if the Illinois Supreme Court would be asked to review the decision.

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Information from: The Pantagraph, https://www.pantagraph.com


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