Jurors have started deliberating in the trial of Jered Barbour. He is the man accused of hitting and killing a Cottonwood fire captain with his Dodge pickup truck during a hail storm in February 2012.
Capt. Mark Ratledge, 35, was helping rescue two drivers who spun off Interstate-5 near the Gas Point Road exit during the rough early morning weather of Feb. 29.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Barbour lost control of his vehicle, skidded off the road in the same area and hit Ratledge and other officers helping at the scene. Ratledge was crushed by the pickup truck and was killed.
Both the prosecution and defense made their final closing arguments before the jury Wednesday.
The Shasta County deputy district attorney reiterated that Barbour was driving too fast for the conditions that day and did not use reasonable caution.
Then Barbour’s public defender addressed the jury.
"There are such things as accidents, as tragic as they may be,” he said.
The deputy district attorney offered his rebuttal.
"That doesn't mean it's not also a crime,” he said.
The jury convened around noon.
No verdict was reached Wednesday. The jury will resume deliberations Thursday morning.