Former Brampton fire captain faces murder charges after wife found dead in Blue Mountains crash
Published February 6, 2023 at 12:08 pm
A former Brampton fire captain faces second-degree murder charges after his wife was found dead following a crash in The Blue Mountains.
The charges come after a Mitsubishi Outlander SUV left the roadway on Arrowhead Road, just south of Highway 26, travelled down an embankment, came to a stop and caught fire on Jan. 26 just before 6 a.m., OPP said in a press release.
There were no other vehicles involved in the crash.
Ashley Schwalm, 40, of Collingwood was found dead inside the vehicle, police said.
On Feb. 2, James Schwalm, 38, of Collingwood was charged with second-degree murder and indignity to a dead body.
OPP confirmed the two were married.
A Brampton firefighter for several years, James Schwalm was promoted to fire captain in February 2019, according to a tweet from Brampton Fire and Emergency Services.
And the City of Brampton released a statement following the arrest.
“The City of Brampton was made aware that an employee within Brampton Fire and Emergency Services was arrested and charged with second degree murder and one additional charge by the Ontario Provincial Police,” the statement reads.
“This is an ongoing investigation, and the matter has not yet been proven in court.”
The city announced they fired Schwalm in accordance with the Collective Agreement and the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.
They also are providing support to the Brampton Fire and Emergency Services team and employees across the organization. The priority is the safety, health and well-being of employees and the community, the city statement says.
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the impacted family and friends, and those grieving the loss during this very difficult time,” the statement reads.
The city couldn’t provide further comment while the matter is before the courts.
The Collingwood OPP Crime Unit continues to investigate with assistance of the Office of the Fire Marshal, Ontario Forensic Pathology Services, Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario, OPP Forensic Identification Services, OPP Regional Support Team, OPP Technical Collision Investigators and Reconstructionists, and the OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT).
The Collingwood OPP is asking anyone with information to contact them at 705-445-4321, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).