Sunday, November 19, 2017

Speeding driver with suspended license Gabriel Castro, 24, and two female passengers, Diana Flores, 23, and Rosa Isela Flores, 16, were killed on impact in a crash on Highway 601 at Sikes Mill Road, just north of Monroe, NC

UNION COUNTY, N.C. - A major highway in Union County was closed for hours after three people were killed in a single-car crash late Thursday night.

Deputies and state troopers said the crash happened just before 10:30 p.m. on Highway 601 at Sikes Mill Road, just north of Monroe.

Witnesses told troopers that a Volkswagen Jetta drifted across the center line, hit a drainage ditch and overturned before striking a utility pole and a tree.

“It was catastrophic,” said Trooper Ray Pierce, with the North Carolina Highway Patrol. “Unfortunately, the way the vehicle left the roadway, it overturned and made impact with a power pole.”

Troopers said the driver, Gabriel Castro, 24, and two female passengers, Diana Flores, 23, and Rosa Isela Flores, 16, were killed on impact in the crash.

Officials said that neither Castro nor Flores was wearing a seat belt and that speed was involved in the crash.

“Speed appears to be an early determining factor in this,” Pierce said.

Authorities said Castro was driving with a suspended license, and records show he was charged in October with speeding to elude arrest and reckless driving. He was supposed to appear in court Friday.

Officials said the 16-year-old was enrolled in Forest Hills High School last year.

The road was reopened overnight and neighbors are now warning other drivers to slow down and put safety first.

“I know the speed limit here is 65, but I think, (on) average, people are doing 70, 80 mph coming through here," resident Tony Little said. “It’s definitely dangerous.”

Front seat passenger 23-year-old Diana Laura Romero Flores of Monroe died in the high-speed crash



Two out of the three people who were killed when the vehicle they were in overturned in Union County Thursday night have been identified.

The deadly crash happened at the intersection of US-601 and Sikes Mill Road. The driver, identified as 24-year-old Gabriel Martinez Castro, was driving south on US-601 and heading towards Monroe when the wreck happened, troopers say.

Troopers said Castro and 23-year-old Diana Laura Romero were killed in the wreck. Highway Patrol said the victims were speeding when they ran off the road, overturned, struck a tree then crashed into a utility pole.

The highway was shut down for some time while crews were on scene investigating.

Troopers have not identified the second woman who was killed in the wreck.


UNION COUNTY, N.C. – A major highway in Union County was shut down after three people were killed in a crash Thursday night.

According to the Union County Sheriff’s Office, emergency crews responded to a crash around 9:30 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 601 and Sikes Mill Road. NC Highway Patrol was also called to the scene to assist Union County deputies.

Witnessed told troopers a 2003 Volkswagen Jetta was speeding, crossed the center line, went off the road, hit a ditch and a pole.

All three of the victims have been identified: the driver, 24-year-old Gabriel Martinez Castro of Monroe and front seat passenger 23-year-old Diana Laura Romero Flores of Monroe. The third victim was identified as 16-year-old Rosa Isela Flores of Monroe. She was not wearing a seatbelt, police said.

Troopers said Castro was not wearing a seatbelt and was driving with a suspended license. Flores was wearing a seatbelt, according to the highway patrol.

Here is the gofuckme link for the dead woman, Diana Laura Romero Flores.

Today our family Flores-Gonzalez, is asking for help to collect money to be able to send Diana Laura Romero Flores body to Mexico. Anything will be a great help to us.  Diana passed away Thursday, November 16, 2017 in a car accident.  Thank you and may God bless you and everyone helping out. Our family will be very grateful.

Cesspool installation worker Kurt Peiscopgrau, 60, of Northport died when he was burried alive while installing a cesspool at a Shoreham house in Suffolk County, Long Island, NY

SHOREHAM, N.Y. (PIX11)— A man was killed after becoming trapped underground while installing a cesspool in Shoreham Saturday morning, Suffolk County Police said.

Kurt Peiscopgrau, 60, of Northport, was working with a crew to install a cesspool at a home located on Josephine Boulevard in Shoreham, N.Y. While working underground to install the cesspool, the ground gave way, trapping Peiscopgrau under the rubble, at approximately 11:25 a.m., police said.

Peiscopgrau’s body was recovered nearly four hours later by Emergency Service Section police officers. The officers were assisted by the Rocky Point, Hagerman, and Brookhaven National Lab Fire Departments, as well as the fire departments and employees of the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, police said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was notified about the incident. Police did not provide PIX11 with the name of the name of the cesspool company. 

It appears that the installer was using a Vac-Con hydro-excavator and a Link-Belt crawler crane.


SHOREHAM, N.Y. (AP) — Police say a worker has died after he became trapped under rubble during the installation of a cesspool on Long Island.

Suffolk County police say a crew was installing a cesspool at a home in Shoreham when the ground gave way at about 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Police say 60-year-old Kurt Peiscopgrau became trapped underground. His body was recovered several hours later.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been notified.


A worker was killed while installing a cesspool at a Shoreham house Saturday, Suffolk County police said.

Officers and fire officials said Kurt Peiscopgrau, 60, of Northport died after becoming trapped underground in a pile of rubble.

Rocky Point Fire Chief Mike Yacubich said Peiscopgrau, along with a team of other workers, was installing the cesspool in the front of the house.
Heavy rescue and police vehicles at the scene of an accident in Shoreham, Nov. 18, 2017. Photo Credit: Ed Betz

Suffolk officers and Brookhaven emergency crews responded to the scene on Josephine Boulevard at 11:30 a.m., fire officials said.

Yacubich declined to disclose the name of the cesspool company, directing those inquiries to Suffolk County police.

Multiple agencies including Suffolk County Crime Scene, Miller Place and Rocky Point fire departments and trench rescue teams from Brookhaven National Lab were at the scene.

The use of heat lamps to warm animals, usually birds, has caused several fires


A family of three is homeless after a two-story home with an attached garage was destroyed by a fire Thursday afternoon at 145 Maranacook Road in Winthrop.

A mother, Cathy Halsey, and her son who lived in the home noticed the fire after it started in the garage, said Dan Brooks, chief of the Winthrop Fire Department. They got out safely, as did a pig that was living in their garage.

The first report of the fire was made shortly before 3 p.m., and by 3:30 p.m. the building was fully engulfed in flames. By 4 p.m. the fire was largely contained, but firefighters still were attacking it with water and planning to look for hot spots inside.

Halsey’s husband, Ray Halsey, was not at home at the time. At least one dog and some chickens also lived there and weren’t harmed in the fire, but cats might have died, Brooks said. A mobile home located on the property, where another person was living, wasn’t harmed, Brooks added.

The American Red Cross of Maine announced Thursday night that it was providing the family with food and shelter and would provide financial assistance to them in the coming days.

The family, which was unavailable for comment Thursday, had owned the home for a couple years, Brooks said. The building was insured.Advertisement

According to Brooks, Cathy Halsey said that a heat lamp was running on the garage’s first floor, where the pig was living, and might have started the blaze. She apparently had moved some things around shortly before it started.

That explanation was consistent with the way the fire seemed to have spread through the building, Brooks said.

A representative of the state fire marshal’s office was going to the home Thursday night to determine the fire’s precise cause.

The use of heat lamps to warm animals, usually birds, has caused several fires in central Maine in the last few years. From 2016 to 2017, the devices sparked fires in Vassalboro, Wilton and Strong, Maine. In 2012, a heat lamp also caused a blaze in Farmingdale, Maine.

Maranacook Road is off Route 41 in Winthrop, on the west side of Maranacook Lake. When the fire was reported, towns in the Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid Association were called to help.

The road was busy as tanker trucks drove back and forth to downtown Winthrop, a couple minutes away, to retrieve water from Maranacook Lake. Rain was falling throughout the response, and the sun had largely set by 5 p.m., leaving firefighters to work in the dark for the next couple hours.


Lamp used to warm baby chickens caused Bar Harbor fatal fire, police say

The lamp either tipped over or was placed too close to a box filled with sawdust.

The Associated Press

BAR HARBOR – Police say a fire that killed a woman in her Bar Harbor home likely started because of a heat lamp being used to keep baby chickens warm.

Firefighters came to the home on Wednesday afternoon and found 46-year-old Melissa Watership in her kitchen. She was taken to a hospital and died there.

Authorities say on Friday that Watership had obtained the chicks on Wednesday morning and placed them in a sawdust-filled box in her bedroom. They say the fire started when the lamp either tipped over or was placed too close to the box.

Police say the fire has been ruled accidental. They say Watership was probably either distracted or sleeping when the fire broke out.


Vassalboro chicken coop destroyed by fire

A heat lamp might have caused a fire that destroyed the small barn housing baby chickens on South Stanley Hill Road, the fire chief said.

By Amy Calder Staff Writer and Madeline St. Amour Staff Writer

Vassalboro firefighters are investigating whether a heat lamp was the cause of a fire Wednesday morning that destroyed a small barn housing baby chickens on South Stanley Hill Road.

The fire is the second chicken coop fire in two days in the area. A chicken coop in Pittsfield burned Monday.

Vassalboro Fire Chief Eric Rowe said the blaze at Full Circle Farm, on South Stanley Hill Road, was reported around 8 a.m. Wednesday and firefighters were at the scene for about an hour.

About 27 chicks were lost in the fire, said Bernie Welch, who owns the farm. The cost to replace the building, which also was used to prepare products for community-supported agriculture operations, and buy more chickens could go up to $30,000, he estimated.

Rowe said that it was a small coop, “roughly 20 feet long and 10 feet wide,”

“It was a like a pole barn and the chickens were free-range,” Rowe said. “There were some small chicks in there.”Advertisement

He said the fire could have been caused by a heat lamp in the coop. “That’s what they’re looking at right now,” Rowe said just after 11 a.m. “It’s not something I’m going to call the fire marshal’s office on. It’s a total loss.”

Rowe said nobody was hurt during the fire.

Winslow firefighters were called to the scene Wednesday morning under a mutual aid agreement, but they were sent back because firefighters at the scene reported the fire was out.

Nothing like this has happened in the 13 years Welch has run the farm, Welch said.

“Life goes on,” he said. He said he was grateful that the fire at least didn’t touch his house.

Full Circle Farm still is planning to hold its weekly farmers market at the farm this Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.Advertisement

The farm is a community-supported agriculture farm that produces berries, fruit and vegetables, according to the farm’s Facebook page.

The Monday fire in Pittsfield was reported at 1:55 p.m. behind a residence on Madawska Avenue. The cause wasn’t available.


10 ducks saved from Wilton, ME shed fire

A heat lamp started the fire, according to officials.

By Madeline St. Amour

Staff Writer

WILTON, ME — A fire caused by a heat lamp totaled a shed on Thomas Street Saturday, but the owners were able to rescue the ducks inside before the structure was engulfed in flames, fire officials said.

Firefighters received a report of a fire on 6 Thomas St. around 5 p.m. When Fire Chief Sonny Dunham arrived at the scene, he said the 10-by-10-foot shed was already “fully engulfed.”

By the time the Wilton fire truck arrived, the building was collapsing, he said.

The shed was used to house about 10 ducks, according to Dunham. A heat lamp kept in the shed for the ducks started the fire.

Dunham said the owners were able to get the ducks out before firefighters arrived at the scene.

“They saved them all,” he said.

Firefighters put out the flames within a half-hour, Dunham said, adding that it was a “pretty simple” job.

The shed was flattened. Dunham didn’t know if the owners have insurance on it.


Structure fire in Pittsfield, Maine started in chicken coop

Three fire departments responded to the fire on Monday, which destroyed a garage and chicken coop but left the house intact.

By Madeline St. Amour 

Staff Writer

PITTSFIELD, ME — A structure fire in Pittsfield on Monday afternoon started in a chicken coop behind the residence and was extinguished before it reached the house, a fire official said.

The fire started behind a residence on Madawaska Avenue at 1:55 p.m. The Pittsfield Fire Department responded shortly after and was later aided by the Newport and Detroit fire departments.

Lt. Adam Noyes of the Newport department said Tuesday morning he did not know the cause of the fire. The Pittsfield fire chief could not immediately be reached.

The fire started in a chicken coop and then caught the garage before touching some of the home’s siding, although it did not burn the house, Noyes said.

About 25 firefighters responded and extinguished the fire in less than one hour, Noyes said.

The chicken coop and garage are gone, he said. Some of the siding on the house was melted off, but was not damaged otherwise. Advertisement

Noyes said he didn’t believe anyone was home at the time, and no one was injured at the scene as far as he knew. One firefighter was assessed by the EMS team on the scene because of the heat, but wasn’t transferred to the hospital.

The hot weather is why multiple departments responded to the fire, he said. 

“Wearing all that turnout gear is exhausting on us,” Noyes said. He said firefighters will switch out at the scene to rehydrate and cool down.


Heat Lamps and Pets

This week we’re going to discuss heat lamps. Heat lamps use a light bulb to provide heat for some critter that needs higher than ambient temperatures to survive. Most reptiles and some amphibians require warmer temperatures than we typically see here in the northwest. Many birds require higher temperatures, especially young birds. Incubation operations for hatching eggs require heat lamps. In many chicken operations light from heat lamps also help speed up growth processes. Often, farmers will use heat lamps to warm livestock during winter time cold snaps. The concept is solid and widely used in agriculture throughout colder climates.

There are some hazards with heat lamps. We’ve seen lizards, chickens, pheasants and a pig all killed in fires caused by heat lamps. Additionally homes have been damaged and lost in these fires. In most cases the critter got involved in pulling down the heat lamp system so the fire occurred.

Young birds reach a point in their development where they want to fly up and perch as high as possible. Many chicken farmers hang their feeders using a chain so the swinging feeder makes it difficult for young chickens to perch there. These birds often try perching on the suspended heat lamp and knock it down into the combustible bedding material (sawdust or straw). We’ve seen lots of chicken sheds lost this way and one fire that took about 50 golden pheasants.

We’ve seen several lizards die in tanks where the bodies were all wrapped up in the cord. It appears they got tangled up and in an attempt to escape, pulled the lamp down into combustibles.

We’ve also seen a pig owner install heat lamps during a winter cold snap, as well as a water bed heater for the pig to sleep on. We’re not sure if the pig walking on the water bed heater caused it to short, or if the pig chewed on a cord, or if it pulled a heat lamp down into the straw. The final outcome burned the pen, killed the pig, and threatened the shop and home.

We’ve also seen laundry draped over the lizard tank catch fire.

Heat lamps work as advertised, pumping out heat as long as they’re on with no regard for combustibles. The following will help to reduce the hazards posed by heat lamps for pets and livestock:
  • Use UL-listed heat lamps and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Heat lamps with guards may provide some protection if the lamp falls into combustible bedding.
  • Ensure heat lamps are installed in locations where they are far enough from any combustibles to preclude ignition. Remember that wooden construction elements will eventually dry out and ignite from a heat lamp too.
  • Ensure the installation is secure and the light cannot be knocked down.
  • Run cords in locations where animals cannot reach them.
  • Make sure electrical circuits are not overloaded. Heat lamps use more amperage than regular lights.
  • Keep all combustibles away from heat lamps and ensure kids doing chores are aware of the hazards.
  • Check the lamp and mounting periodically to ensure it is secure.

If you’ve got concerns about your heat lamp, stop and check it out. That few minutes may save your pets, your livestock, your barn, or even your home.


No farmer wants to have a fire, but we all practice fire prevention in different ways.

By Michael Glos
It is an accepted premise that farming is a daily lesson in managing risk.  Some farmers are more risk averse than others but we all find our comfort level and work from there.  For example: I am not comfortable borrowing $100,000, while I know other farmers of my same scale who are. The risk of a fire on the farm is another area which is managed differently by each farmer.    No farmer wants to have a fire, but we all practice fire prevention in different ways.
Chicks staying warm under an Ohio Brooder. Photos by Michael Glos.
Chicks staying warm under an Ohio Brooder. Photos by Michael Glos.
This spring I opened up my email inbox to find some very unsettling news.  The night before there had been a fire at the Maine farm where I had first interned 20 years ago.  The barn where I had learned to milk, harness horses, and generally catch the farming bug was a smoldering pile. And worse of all, it took the lives of all the animals in it, including one of the horses I had worked with. My heart went out to the Thayer’s who could only watch in tears as a centerpiece of their farm went up in flames.  Luckily no humans were injured or killed.
Through conversations with other farmers and firefighters, I know the truth about rural fires and the role of the fire department.  If you live rurally and have a fire you should not depend on the fire department to come save your house or barn. We have seen too many fires destroy houses of friends and neighbors.  Even the house of our local volunteer fire department chief burned while, ironically, he was at the fire station.
We have a fantastic network of volunteer firefighters who will come, but only in time to contain a fire, potentially try to rescue the occupants, and keep it from spreading to other structures.  The fact is, it will likely be at least 30 minutes after I make that call that a fire engine will show up at my farm.  Even with three volunteer stations within 5 miles of my house, the firefighters have to first get to the station after receiving the call and then come to my place. All the water has to be trucked in or pumps have to be set up to transport the water from our pond or the creek across the street. During this time the fire will be burning and spreading.
With those assumptions we know the most important thing to do is to prevent the potential of a fire on the farm and, secondly, to have a plan of what to do if we have one. Prevention primarily involves removing as many risks as possible and reasonable. I can only scratch the surface on preventative measures, but we know that buildings with power in them have an increased risk of fire.  Our equipment shed is unlikely to burn because it has no source to cause a fire, but our main barns and house, all with power, are at a higher risk.  Add a propane heater, all wood construction, 1000 bales of hay, feed, many electrical outlets, and freezers with motors and you have many potential sources of fire.
For the sake of this article I will primarily look at one potential source of fire on our farm: heat lamps. They were the cause of the fire in Maine, a number of other fires I have heard about, and two fires on our own farm. Heat lamps, generally defined, are portable hanging fixtures with  bulbs in them (usually 150-250vw). They can be purchased at almost any farm or general hardware store and are usually cheap, under $10.00.
Three Styles of heat lamps least expensive and riskiest (left) to most expensive and safest (right).
Three Styles of heat lamps least expensive and riskiest (left) to most expensive and safest (right).
A number of characteristics that are not always fully appreciated make heat lamps a high risk.  Most are poorly made, with short thin cords, poor connections to the fixture, unreliable attachment points for hanging, and just general cheap construction.  In addition, farmers generally don’t have a good place to install them because many of us plan to use them “temporarily” and don’t have a permanent set up.  Perhaps it has gotten cold so a lamp is quickly hung up in the corner of a stall to warm a newborn lamb or 100 chicks that have just arrived.  This heat lamp hangs in the corner, attached with baling twine- an accident waiting to happen.
As I mentioned earlier, we have had two fires on our farm since we began in 1996. One was in a greenhouse brooder not attached to, but very close to, the barn. We discovered the fire after it was basically out. Apparently, a brooder lamp had fallen into the bedding. Luckily, aside from the shavings (on wet ground), there was very little to burn. PVC hoops and plastic are not very flammable.  But most of the chicks were sadly killed.   We felt very lucky that the fire had not spread to our main barn–just feet away.
We moved our brooder facility away from the barn and soon after started using “Ohio Brooders” that use heat bulbs but not the hanging fixtures.  Not only are they safer, but they can use less power because smaller wattage bulbs are required and are a much better way to warm the chickens.
The second fire happened a year ago last spring.  We thought we had learned from our previous mistakes.  We were using thicker bulbs, and better fixtures.  But one of these must have had a frayed wire internally that shorted out without tripping the breaker. The wires melted and the bulb dropped into the very dry straw in one of our piglet brooder boxes.  I believe it is pure luck that I looked out at the sow barn on the way in for lunch.  It appeared that the loose snow was blowing off the roof, but as I stepped into the house I had second thoughts. Something didn’t look right.  I quickly realized I was seeing smoke, not snow, coming out of the eaves. I called back to the house, grabbed the fire extinguisher, and put out the fire.  A few buckets of water finished it off.  I fully believe that if I had eaten lunch, our sow barn would have burned.
To help prevent on-farm fires from heat lamps, I share the following recommendations from our experiences:
The best thing is not to use them.  An exposed hanging hot bulb that is drying the bedding (tinder) below is always going to be a fire risk. Put in systems for your livestock that do not  need the supplemental heat.  This may include major paradigm shifts like having lambs later in the spring, or using mother hens to raise chicks instead of buying them.  We, like most farmers, are not able (or willing) to completely eliminate a need for heat lamps so we must do everything we can to minimize the risk. At a minimum, turn them off as soon as you don’t need them.
Don’t use cheap poorly made heat lamps. Throw out all of those hardware store heat lamps.  We have tried a half dozen types of heat lamps and have currently settled on one from Premier that costs about $40.00.  It is completely enclosed and is said to be able to fall and not cause a fire. It has a thick long cord and the electrical connections are sealed.
Use hard glass bulbs–not the thin glass ones. We have switched over to using hard 175w bulbs form Farmerboy Ag. Supply. They are much less likely to shatter and we have developed different types of brooder boxes (for pigs and chickens) that stay warm without the need for a 250w bulb.
Secure them like they are permanent.  Use chains and not twine. Keep them out of the way of livestock that can disturb them.
Upgrade your breaker panel.  At the recommendation of an electrician we installed an “Arc Fault Interrupter” breaker for the circuits in our barns where we have heat lamps connected. Unlike our previous GFI breaker which failed to trip when the fixture sparked, this type of breaker is made to trip. The down side is these breakers cost about $40 instead of $4.00.
Use heat lamps in buildings that are isolated from other buildings.  For us this means having small detached brooder buildings for our chickens and a specific building for our sows/piglets.  This is much preferred to brooding in our main barn where we store all of our grain, hay, freezers, tools, and other livestock.
Put a smoke detector in all buildings with the potential of fire. A really loud one with an external speaker is recommended but a standard battery operated one with an annually changed battery is a minimum.
Have at least one fire extinguisher at main entrances of all buildings.  In our main barn we have one at each end. We use commercial rechargeable extinguishers and check them annually for a full charge. Learn how to use one and have them clearly marked.
Review your insurance policy and make sure you know what coverage you do and don’t have.  You may think you have more coverage than you actually do and don’t want any surprises when you really need it. We don’t insure everything but we do insure what we don’t want to self-insure.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

California cites employer of 38-year-old Garrett Paiz, a volunteer firefighter from Missouri, killed on Tubbs Fire; Tehama Transport, the owner of the truck that rolled over, failed to provide workers compensation insurance for their employees

The water tender rollover accident in Napa County October 16, 2017.

State cites employer of firefighter killed on Tubbs Fire

Tehama Transport, the owner of the truck that rolled over, failed to provide workers compensation insurance for their employees.

The state of California has cited the company that employed the firefighter killed in Northern California October 16 while operating a water tender on the Tubbs Fire.

Garrett Paiz, 39, died when the water tender he was driving rolled over while descending Oakville Grade west of Highway 29. Mr. Paiz was the only firefighter killed on the numerous large fires that broke out during a wind event in Northern California October 8-9. About 40 civilians died in the fire storms which also destroyed thousands of homes.

Investigations by the California Department of Industrial Relations and the state Labor Commissioner’s Office found that the owner of the truck, Tehama Transport, failed to procure workers compensation insurance for their employees.

The company, like scores of other contractors, has provided water tenders and bulldozers to firefighting efforts. Firms that contract with Cal Fire for heavy equipment are required to provide copies of their current workers’ compensation insurance policies for their employees.

But Tehama Transport did not have to abide by that requirement because it registered as an “owner/operator.” Under that classification, the company was saying that Paiz either had ownership in the company or was a relative of someone who did.

Without that coverage, Paiz’s family, his wife and teenage daughter, might lose out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits.

Cal Fire has hired the company 56 times and the U.S. Forest Service has hired the firm 47 times since 2006, according to documents obtained by KQED.

Tehama Transport appealed the penalty, leading to a hearing that took place Monday. A hearing officer’s decision on the dispute is pending.

In April both a private contractor and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) were issued citations by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) related to a fatality when a dozer rolled over. Robert Reagan, 35, of Friant, California, was killed while fighting the Soberanes Fire south of Monterey, California July 26, 2016.

Minutes after Mr. Reagan began operating the piece of equipment for Czirban Concrete Construction on contract to CAL FIRE, it rolled over.

According to KQED news, Cal/OSHA issued five citations to Czirban totaling $20,000. The largest was $13,500 for not wearing a seat belt.

Czirban had not secured workers’ compensation insurance for Mr. Reagan as required, and had been cited eight times in four years by the Contractors State License Board, several times because of worker’s compensation issues.

CAL FIRE was cited for failing to report a serious injury within eight hours and another for failing to maintain an effective injury and illness prevention program.


Water tender rollover kills firefighter in Napa County

The accident occurred near the 51,512-acre Nuns Fire. Screen capture from KCRA video of water tender accident in Napa County.

(UPDATE October 17, 2017: the driver that was killed in the water tender accident has been identified as 38-year-old Garrett Paiz, a volunteer firefighter from Missouri. The truck was owned by Red Bluff-based Tehama Transport.)

The wildfires in Northern California have taken another life, adding to the tally of 40 announced fatalities.

KCRA is reporting that a contract firefighter was killed October 16 when a water tender rolled over in Napa County at 6:50 a.m. near the Nuns Fire north of San Francisco.

CAL FIRE confirmed that the operator was assigned to the 51,512-acre Nuns Fire.

The accident occurred on a steep downhill section of Oakville Grade about two miles west of Highway 29.

Fatal rollovers of fire trucks, especially water tenders, is far too common. We have documented more than three dozen similar accidents (tag: rollover).

Our sincere condolences go out to the family, friends, and coworkers of the firefighter whose name has not yet been announced.

Versailles construction worker James Bland, Jr., 55, was killed Thursday night when he was hit by an SUV on Interstate 64 in Louisville, KY as he put out traffic cones on I-64

Highway worker killed by car on I-64 East identified

Friday, November 17th 2017
By Laurel Mallory, Digital Content Producer

A highway worker was killed after being trapped under a car that hit him as he put out traffic cones on I-64 Thursday night. (Source: Greg Schapker, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A highway worker was killed after being trapped under a car during a crash on I-64 Thursday night, according to St. Matthews Police.

It happened at 8:22 p.m. on I-64 East just after the Watterson Expressway exit (I-264) at mile marker 12.2.

MetroSafe told us a FlagPro worker was hit by a car and trapped. FlagPro is responsible for traffic control on the highway.

We learned the worker was putting out traffic cones when a driver hit him and his truck, killing him, according to St. Matthews Police.

The coroner's office identified the victim as James Howard Bland Jr., 55, of Versailles, KY.

He died of multiple blunt force trauma.

Police closed the eastbound lanes of I-64 and one westbound lane as they worked the scene. The highway was closed until midnight.


By Mike Stunson

November 17, 2017

A Versailles construction worker was killed Thursday night when he was trapped under a car during a crash on Interstate 64 in Louisville, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

James Bland, Jr., 55, was hit about 8:30 p.m. on I-64 eastbound at Interstate 264, according to WDRB.

He was responsible for controlling traffic and was struck when he was setting up traffic cones, according to the cabinet.

“Our deepest condolences to the family and fellow friends of James Bland, who was killed Thursday evening while working on I-64 in Louisville,” the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said in a tweet. “James was a former cabinet employee of KYTC District 5, and was working for a local traffic control contractor. Our hearts hurt.”

District 5 is based in Louisville.

The eastbound lanes of I-64 were closed until midnight, WAVE 3 said.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Versailles man working on road construction was killed after being trapped under a car during a crash on I-64 Thursday night.

WAVE 3 News reports that James Howard Bland Jr., 55, of Versailles was working on I-64 when the crash happened. Bland Jr. was responsible for controlling traffic. He was setting up traffic cones when he was hit by a car and trapped.

He died of multiple blunt force trauma.

Police closed the eastbound lanes of I-64 and one westbound lane as they worked the scene. The highway was closed until midnight.



A highway worker died Thursday night after being hit on I-64 East near I-264 by a driver in an SUV.

The accident was the eastbound lanes around 8:15 p.m.

The worker, identified as James Bland Jr., 55, was part of a crew putting out cones on the road before their work was to begin, when he was hit.

“To his family, I’m so sorry that it had to happen this way,” said Anthony Brown Sr., a friend of Bland, who was working with him when the accident happened.

Brown said he was running late for work the night of the crash and texted Bland to let him know.

“He said, ‘Well, get on out here, get your signs,’” Brown said. “He said, ‘We’ll be out here waiting for you.’”

Police said Bland died at the scene.

The coroner’s office said he lived in Versailles.

“He was safe with a capital 'S',” Brown said. “Now, I know he’s safe in God’s arms. I thank his family and let them know we’re praying for them.”

Investigators said the driver of the SUV stopped and is being interviewed by officers.

He is not facing any charges at this time.

Brown said he hopes drivers slow down on the road.

“We (are) people, too,” Brown said. “We want to go home. We’re doing a job. Drive slow, we’re there for a reason.”

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said Bland had previously worked for them and was working at a local traffic control company.