A 23-year-old man was charged Tuesday with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and two DUI counts for a crash near Marina del Rey last month that killed a Georgia firefighter who was on vacation with some of his colleagues.
Benjamin Albert Seider pleaded not guilty to the three felony counts stemming from the April 10 death of Ron Herens and the injuries to two of his fellow firefighters. He could face more than 12 years in state prison if convicted as charged.
Herens, 23, of Powder Springs, Georgia, died at the scene of the April 10 crash at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Washington Boulevard. A couple in a third car involved in the collision escaped injury.
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Herens was on vacation with four fellow Marietta firefighters and was in a car with two of them when their vehicle was T-boned in an intersection by the suspected DUI driver who ran a red light, according to Marietta Fire Chief Jackie Gibbs.
"He will be much missed by this department," Gibbs said of Herens, whom he described as "always smiling."
"Everybody here thought the world of Ron Herens," he said. "All the wind is knocked out of us right now."