Chiefs crush for fun and charity in O.C. Fair demolition derby

It was high noon — or make that high moon — for a group of local public safety chiefs Saturday night at the Orange County Fair.

But rather than ride in on trusty steeds, the police and fire chiefs rode rusty RVs as they tried to drive one another out of town — or at least out of commission in the Motor Home Madness Demolition Derby.

Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis and Fire Chief Chip Duncan, Costa Mesa Police Chief Rob Sharpnack and Fire Chief Dan Stefano, and Huntington Beach Police Chief Robert Handy and Fire Chief David Segura signed up for the contest. The goal: to smash personalized recreational vehicles into one another for the entertainment of the audience at the Costa Mesa fairgrounds’ Action Sports Arena.

The chaos had another purpose as well: It was a benefit for Project 999 — a nonprofit that supports families of officers killed or injured in the line of duty — and the Orange County Police Canine Assn., which raises funds for the families of fallen officers, medical expenses for retired police dogs, replacement dogs and training for K-9 teams.

The chief mayhem maker Saturday? That was Stefano, who outlasted his counterparts to win the crushing competition.