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Man Pays Restitution For Car Fire That Burned Park Land

Padre Island National Seashore

National Park News

On the night of October 15th, a four-door Cadillac with two male occupants drove into the park. The driver lost control of his vehicle and the car went off of the roadway. The vehicle’s catalytic converter caught the surrounding grassland on fire, which subsequently burned 7.7 acres of the park’s grassland and the vehicle down to the frame. Rangers soon arrived on scene along with the local fire department, which put out the fire. Rangers interviewed the men and deemed them safe to be driven home by family members. During the course of the investigation, rangers used the park’s entrance station video cameras to pinpoint the Cadillac’s entry into the park. Rangers were also able to obtain surveillance footage from the drinking establishment where the two men had spent their time prior to entering the park. After compiling all of the evidence, the rangers took the information to the AUSA, who filed criminal information, which carried five federal charges, against the driver of the vehicle.  The rangers also filed a 19jj restitution charge against the driver. On January 23rd, the driver accepted a plea agreement and paid $5,141.82 restitution costs to the park.


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