New Jersey Fire Official Pleads Guilty in Accident That Hurt 3 Kids - NBC New York

New Jersey Fire Official Pleads Guilty in Accident That Hurt 3 Kids

New Brunswick Fire Director Robert Rawls was ordered to pay a $200 fine



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    The New Jersey fire official accused of hitting and seriously hurting three children in a crosswalk in May has pleaded guilty to careless driving.

    Robert Rawls, the New Brunswick fire director, will have to pay a $200 fine as a penalty.

    No criminal charges were filed against Rawls, who was on duty at the time. Instead, he faced traffic summonses for hitting the two 14-year-old girls and 6-year-old boy. 

    His lawyers argued the intersection, Livingston Avenue and Delevan Street, is dangerous and that the kids ran out in front of the cars. 

    911 Calls in New Brunswick Accident

    [NY] 911 Calls in New Brunswick Accident
    Audio recordings of 911 calls to New Brunswick police obtained exclusively by NBC 4 New York show that city's fire director, Robert Rawls, did not try to call the 911 operators after he ran through a crosswalk and struck three children May 7. Listen to the recordings here.
    (Published Friday, May 23, 2014)

    One of the victims, Joselyn Palaez, said outside court she was still dealing with pain and that "everything changed" since the accident. 

    It was the 19th accident Rawls has been involved in since he first got his license roughly 40 years ago. He was in a city vehicle when he hit the children, officials said.

    New Brunswick city spokeswoman Jennifer Bradshaw previously told NBC 4 New York that Rawls is currently banned from driving a city vehicle, and while he is at work, he is prohibited from any driving personal vehicle whatsoever, meaning he must be driven by a fire department employee to meetings and events.

    A judge said Tuesday that the careless driving guilty plea could not be used against Rawls in a civil suit. 

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