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Beartown Firefighter Facing Eight More Felonies

For the original story by ABC-10’s Jerry Taylor, click here.

A Beartown Fire Department firefighter who is being held responsible for the deaths of two of his fellow firefighters is now facing additional charges.

28-year-old Michael Allen Johnson of Baraga was behind the wheel on August 27th, 2016, when the bus he was driving suddenly struck the median, killing 25-year-old Alan Swartz and 23-year-old James Shelifoe Jr.

Six other passengers on the bus were injured in the accident that occurred on I-35 West in Blaine, Minnesota.

Johnson originally faced two charges of criminal vehicular homicide.

Eight additional charges were recently added after his toxicology report was returned and reviewed by the Anoka County Prosecutor’s Office.

The toxicology report revealed that Johnson had cocaine and benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, in his system.

Johnson previously told authorities that he used cocaine three days before the crash.

In addition to the two original counts, Johnson is now charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide – negligence, with a schedule one or two controlled substance present.  Those charges are ten-year felonies.

He also faces six counts of operating a vehicle causing great bodily harm with a schedule controlled substance present, punishable by up to three years in prison.

Johnson is next due in court on April 4th, 2017.

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