- Firefighters from Upper Michigan put themselves at risk to battle fires in Utah.
On the way home, two were killed when the bus they were riding in crashed over the weekend in Minnesota.
Now the firefighter who was driving the bus is facing charges.
According to a criminal complaint, 28-year-old Michael Johnson told authorities he'd slept just 45 minutes the previous 28 hours as he drove a bus with 8 other wildland firefighters returning from a fire in Utah to their home base near Baraga in Michigan's Upper Penninsula.
Officers say Johnson was combative and showed signs of impairment at the crash scene, and later admitted to using marijuana the morning of the crash - and cocaine two days earlier.
He told police he had fallen asleep - and was awakened by yelling from the other firefighters as he left the roadway.
Crash investigators say it appears Johnson over corrected - then crashed - splitting the bus in two - and killing two firefighters.
Fundraisers are already underway at the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, where the Beartown Firefighting Crew was based.
23-year-old Jimmy Shelifoe Jr.and 25-year-old A.J. Swartz were killed in the crash.
|Story By: Newswatch 12 News Team