Five Grayback firefighters died in 2002 van accident

On June 21, 2002, a van carrying 11 members of a Grayback Forestry crew based out of La Grande, Ore., overturned on the highway near Rifle, Colo. | ONLINE MEMORIAL

Five firefighters died in the accident:

Daniel Rama, 28, of Baker City, Ore.

Bart Bailey, 20, of Baker City and Corvallis, Ore.

Retha Shirley, 19, of La Grande, Ore.

Jake Martindale, 20, of Boise, Idaho

Zachary Zigich, 18, of Twin Falls, Idaho

The driver, Megan Helm, later pleaded guilty to careless driving, a negotiated plea agreement. She was originally charged with careless driving causing death or injury.

The families of the victims came to blame the accident on the Ford Econoline E-350 Super Duty van, citing government safety reports that suggested the 15-passenger vans were three times as likely to tip over as 10-passenger vans.