District Court

A Littlefork firefighter, responding at speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour to a June 30 car fire, has been charged with gross misdemeanor reckless driving in connection with the death of an 18-year-old International Falls woman.

Steven W. Cassibo, 39, is charged with reckless driving: Drives consciously disregarding a substantial or unjustifiable risk.

Koochiching County Attorney Jeff Naglosky declined comment on the case.

The charge stems from the death of Kimburly L. Loycano, 18, who was killed late June 30 when she was walking south on Highway 71 to get help for a vehicle fire on the shoulder of the road and was struck by Cassibo’s southbound Ford Focus.

His first court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 23. Maximum sentence is one year jail and/or $3,000.

Court documents say Cassibo drove his vehicle at a speed greater than 70 mph through an accident scene while a vehicle was on fire and pedestrians were at the shoulder of the road, striking and killing Loycano. In addition, court documents say Cassibo had his hazard lights on because he was a firefighter responding to a call, and drove past the burning vehicle through a bottleneck on the bridge created by a vehicle assisting with the fire, braking but then picking up speed.

Cassibo was not under the influence of alcohol, was wearing his seatbelt and was not injured, said the State Patrol report.

The State Patrol reported it was assisted by the Koochiching County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, and Littlefork Fire and Ambulance Service.

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