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Sources: Firefighter involved in deadly Westport crash to return to KCFD

westport
Posted at 9:58 AM, Apr 04, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Three sources with knowledge of the situation, including a city employee, tell KSHB 41 the firefighter who was involved in the deadly Westport crash from December of 2021 will return to the Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department later this month.

The crash killed three people including Michael Elwood, Tami Knight, and Jennifer San Nicolas.

The firefighter behind the wheel of the pumper truck, Dominic Biscari, entered what’s known as an Alford plea in February of 2023 to three counts of second degree involuntary manslaughter. Under the Alford plea, Biscari maintains his innocence, but acknowledges the likelihood of being found guilty by the court.

He received three years of supervised probation.

In November, the KSHB 41 I-Team reported the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services placed Biscari’s EMT license on probation.

On Thursday, a state health department spokesperson issued a statement to the I-Team:

"Mr. Biscari was only placed on probation, which means that he could continue to work as an EMT-Basic during his probation. We did restrict him from driving the ambulance until he completed a specific driving course. He did take the driving course that we required him to take. We are not restricting him from driving an ambulance at this point or working as an EMT-Basic. He just needs to continue to meet the requirements that we have set out for him in the settlement agreement in order to be in compliance with his probation. His employer, however, may be restricting him from driving. We do not have control over that."

Previously, the department requested court documents related to the KCFD firefighter's criminal conviction stemming from the crash that killed three people.

According to a settlement agreement between Biscari and the state health department, Biscari had not been driving an ambulance or received any driver's training by his employer since the Dec. 15, 2021, crash — the first time he'd ever driven a pumper while responding to an emergency. The document said Biscari's previous training was on-the-job training.

The settlement agreement said Biscari, his attorney, and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services held an informal conference.

Biscari told the department he was not aware of an email complaint made against him in September 2021 regarding his driving of an ambulance.

He also said KCFD did not investigate the incident before the crash.

In that same settlement agreement, Biscari said the night of the Wesport crash was the first time he had driven a fire truck during an emergency.

The settlement agreement notes that Biscari's EMT-basic license is on probation with the state health department for three years.

During that time, he has to follow several guidelines — including getting an annual criminal background from the FBI, contacting the state if he is arrested or charged with any crimes, and completing a National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians Vehicle Operator Safety Course.

Other terms of his probation include keeping the state aware in writing of his employment in the emergency medical services or health care fields.

The settlement agreement said if Biscari fails to follow the guidelines, the state could vacate the agreement.

KCFD referred the I-Team to the city about Biscari’s employment status.

Multiple calls, emails, and text messages to the city and fire union have not been returned.

Biscari's attorney declined to comment. Attorneys for the families of the victims did not have a comment to share.

The I-Team submitted a public records request to the city to learn about Biscari’s employment status, his possible start date, his role with KCFD, and if he could receive any backpay.

Some of that information may not be a public record because personnel files in Missouri are closed records, under the state's Sunshine Law.

KCFD changed its driving policy, requiring drivers to stop at traffic-control devices and limit speeding, about 14 months after the deadly crash.