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White Plains Firefighter Charged With Evidence Tampering In Wrong-Way Crash

White Plains firefighter Brian Noonan faces disciplinary charges of evidence tampering in connection with a fatal accident investigation.
White Plains firefighter Brian Noonan faces disciplinary charges of evidence tampering in connection with a fatal accident investigation. Photo Credit: File

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- A White Plains firefighter, who was suspended last year after being accused of tampering with evidence in a car crash investigation, could face a multitude of penalties, including the loss of his job, according to a report by lohud.com.

Brian Noonan, one of the first responders at the scene of the fatal 2014 collision, was charged with throwing away a prescription pill bottle he found in the car of one of the drivers, fellow firefighter Erik Refvik, lohud.com reported.

The allegations were never made public because they involve a personnel matter; they were revealed only after Noonan unsuccessfully sought to halt his disciplinary hearing and have the hearing officer replaced, the lohud.com story said.

If found guilty of charges that include trying to cover up the incident, Noonan could be fined, suspended, reprimanded or fired, reported lohud.com, which said it found the information in papers filed with the state Supreme Court.

Refvik pleaded guilty to aggravated homicide, aggravated manslaughter, vehicular assault, drug possession and drunk driving. He was sentenced to 5-15 years in state prison.

Refvik was drunk, high on drugs, going more than twice the legal speed limit … and going the wrong way, when he drove head-on into a Honda Civic that had been stopped at a light , according to then-Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore.

The 49-year-old driver of the Civic, Edgar Lopez of Harrison, was injured and his 47-year-old former wife, Reyda La Madrid, was killed. The accident occurred on South Lexington Avenue at around 4:30 a.m. Lopez and La Madrid had been up early delivering newspapers.

Refvik, a native of Mahopac, had been drinking at a number of White Plains bars for nearly half a day before the crash, DiFiore said.

At the time of the collision, his blood alcohol content was 0.21, nearly three times the legal limit. He also had cocaine, clonazepam and bath salts, a synthetic drug, in his system, DiFiore said.

To read the lohud.com story, click here.

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