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Off-duty San Diego firefighter pleads guilty to DUI crash that killed fellow fireman

Ryan Ferrara
Posted at 5:29 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 20:31:55-05

EL CAJON, Calif. (CNS) — An off-duty San Diego firefighter who drove a motorcycle while under the influence and caused an East County crash that killed his passenger -- a fellow firefighter -- pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Patrick Sullivan, 38, faces 10 years in prison when he is sentenced next month in connection with the July 18, 2020, death of 39-year-old Ryan Ferrara.

Sullivan, then a firefighter paramedic with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, and Ferrara, an engineer with the fire department, were riding on the motorcycle without helmets through a residential neighborhood at the time of the crash, according to prosecutors.

Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright said Sullivan was traveling at around 55 mph when he lost control of the bike and crashed into a parked boat, with Ferrara riding on the back.

Representatives with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Sullivan was still employed by the department.

A GoFundMe page created around the time of the crash to raise funds for Sullivan and his family described the men as best friends.