KBR trucker killed by friendly fire in Iraq

| 2/13/2007

The family of an American trucker working as a contractor in Iraq wants to know why he was shot and killed in February by friendly fire.

Officials from Kellogg, Brown & Root confirmed to Land Line that a contract trucker was fatally shot at a checkpoint outside of Camp Anaconda in Balad, Iraq, on Feb. 5. Another KBR driver who was injured was treated and released from the Air Force Theater Hospital.

"As this matter is presently under investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time," said Melissa Norcross, a spokeswoman for Halliburton, KBR's parent company.

Patrick Greenfelder, an attorney representing the Tolfree family, identified the dead trucker as Donald Tolfree, 52, of St. Charles, MI. Greenfelder told Land Line Magazine the family had several questions about the incident.

Greenfelder said a KBR representative called Kristen Martin, Tolfree's 22-year-old daughter, at 2 a.m. one day and said her father and another convoy driver had been killed by a roadside bomb. The KBR representative later called Tolfree's daughter and told her U.S. forces had killed her father. Martin also later learned the other driver had survived, Greenfelder said.

Greenfelder said KBR officials told Martin that Tolfree entered a checkpoint at the camp before stopping. Tolfree turned his truck around and was approaching the checkpoint again when he was shot.

The Tolfree family hasn't heard from the U.S. government and details from KBR have been sketchy, Greenfelder said.

"We don't know the facts of what happened," Greenfelder said. "What we want are answers. what do they have to hide? Give her the facts about what happened to her father."

At least 30 truck drivers working for KBR or Halliburton have been killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom since 2003, according to the icasualties.org Web site.

Norcross said 98 KBR employees and subcontractors have been killed and more than 430 had been wounded in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.

 – By Charlie Morasch, staff writer