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Former San Diego fireman gets jail, probation, in DUI crash that killed fellow firefighter

Ryan Ferrara
Posted at 4:14 PM, Apr 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-15 19:14:53-04

EL CAJON (CNS) - A former San Diego firefighter who drove a motorcycle while under the influence and caused an East County crash that killed his passenger -- a fellow firefighter -- was sentenced Friday to one year in jail and placed on two years of probation.

Patrick Sullivan, 38, pleaded guilty last month to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI charges 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.

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.

According to Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright, Sullivan's blood-alcohol content was around three times the legal limit at the time, and cocaine, ecstasy, and Adderall were also in his system.

In addition to probation, San Diego Superior Court Judge Robert Amador imposed a four-year suspended prison sentence, which Sullivan could serve should he violate the terms of his probation.

At his sentencing hearing, the former firefighter told the judge that he "failed" his family, friends, and the fire department.

Sullivan said, "I have a brother and I have a son. And I took those things away from the Ferraras."

Several family members and friends spoke on behalf of Sullivan, including the victim's brother, Tim Ferrara, who told the judge, "Ryan wouldn't want to see him locked up in a cell."