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Updated May 14, 2012

May 13, 2012 (Spring Valley) --Just four days before his retirement from San Miguel Fire Department, Chief August “Augie” Ghio has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. The crash occurred this morning in Ocotillo Wells on State Route 78 east.

The UT San Diego reports that Ghio was riding with a friend when the crash occurred.  Christopher Winter, a fire district board member, visited Ghio at Palomar Medical Center, where he was airlifted. 

“He was conscious and in reasonably good spirits, considering the circumstances,” Winter told the UT San Diego.

The Board had been considering naming Ghio an Interim Chief while assessing whether to accept a Cal-Fire proposal to take over the district’s fire services. 

On Sunday morning, district public information officer Leonard Villareal told ECM that Ghio's injuries are not expected to change those plans long-term, though he will need some recovery time. His condition remains "serious but stable" according to Villareal.

Ghio has served at San Miguel for six years and previously served with the San Diego Fire Department for 29 years. 

In Ghio’s absence, Division Chief Gary Crouch will serve as acting chief. 



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