Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Skydiver Brett Hawton, 54, of Alamo dies from injuries suffered at the Lodi Parachute Center after he landed on top of a horse trailer at a company called The Trailer Specialist across the street from the Lodi Airport.

Skydiver dies from injuries suffered in recent Lodi Parachute Center accident

By Ellen Garrison

September 19, 2017

The skydiver who crashed Thursday after a parachute malfunction has died, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Tuesday.

Brett Hawton, 54, of Alamo was jumping solo from a plane out of the Lodi Parachute Center in Acampo. Witnesses told Woodbridge Fire District officials that his chute tangled, Chief Steve Butler said last week.

He died Friday, according to the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office. Authorities said last week that he was hospitalized in critical condition after the Thursday accident.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the agency is investigating whether the parachute was properly packed by the appropriate person. The FAA handles skydiving regulations and investigations.

It’s the second death this year of a skydiver who used the Lodi Parachute Center as a starting point. In May, 42-year-old Matthew Ciancio died when his chute failed to properly deploy at the end of a jump in a wingsuit, a specialized jumpsuit with two arm wings and a leg wing.

Three people died in two incidents related to the center in 2016.

The August 2016 deaths of two men during a tandem jump prompted Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, to introduce legislation giving state and local authorities the option to take parachute center operators to court if they are found out of compliance with federal regulations.


Lodi Parachute Center has another mishap. Skydiver in critical condition.

By Ellen Garrison and Ed Fletcher

September 14, 2017 3:20 PM

A skydiver is in critical condition after his chute tangled Thursday afternoon near the Lodi Parachute Center, according to Woodbridge Fire District Chief Steve Butler.

The skydiver landed on top of a horse trailer at a company called The Trailer Specialist across the street from the Lodi Airport.

The skydiving center in Acampo has been the starting point for numerous parachute-related deaths in the last few years.

A person died in May after jumping in a specialized jumpsuit called a wingsuit, and three people died in jumping accidents related to the Lodi Parachute Center in 2016.

In May 2016, a Lodi Parachute Center plane carrying 18 people landed upside-down in a vineyard. No one was seriously injured and the incident was recorded on a helmet-mounted camera.

The Federal Aviation Administration will conduct the investigation of Thursday’s incident, said San Joaquin County sheriff’s spokesman Dave Konecny. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said via email the agency will investigate whether the parachute was properly packed by the appropriate person.

Staff at the Parachute Center and The Trailer Specialists declined to comment.

After Tuesday’s accident, dozens of young skydivers continued about their day at the Lodi Parachute Center inside a large, colorful hangar. People worked mostly in pairs, in various stages of preparing for their next skydive. They were pleasant but did not want to talk to reporters.

There has been no official count of fatalities, but a review of news stories shows that at least 18 people have died flying out of the Lodi Parachute Center since 1981.

Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, introduced legislation this year after the deaths of Tyler Nicholas Turner, 18, and Yong Kwon, 25, in a tandem jump with the Lodi Parachute Center in August 2016. They died after their parachutes did not open.

Eggman said in February she is disappointed with the enforcement of federal regulations at the center. The FAA has twice levied fines against the facility for maintenance and operations issues, but the fines apparently went unpaid and the owner was not prosecuted.

Assembly Bill 295 would require operators to follow federal law for tandem jumps and would allow state and local officials and the general public to take non-compliant operators to state court. The bill has passed both houses and is on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

“This is why we introduced legislation and it’s another tragic incident,” said Eggman’s chief of staff David Stammerjohan. 


LODI, Calif. (KCRA) —

A skydiver died several days after a being critically injured in an accident near Lodi Parachute Center, the San Joaquin Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.

Brett Derek Hawton, 54, of Alamo, died Friday after getting hurt during a solo jump.

Hawton was injured Thursday afternoon near the 2400 block of North 99 Frontage Road. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition that day.

No other details about the accident were released.

The incident is under investigation by the FAA. In accidents involving solo skydivers, the agency investigates whether the parachutes were properly packed by the appropriate person.

Over the past two years, four other people have died during jumps from planes that took off from the Lodi Parachute Center.

Matthew Ciancio, 42, was wearing a wing suit in May during a jump and died when he landed in a vineyard just north of the parachute center, the FAA said.

In February, a skydiver who was on a solo jump from the Lodi Parachute Center was killed due to a parachute malfunction. Two men were killed during a tandem parachute jump in August 2016.Between 1999 and 2016, there were 13 deaths connected to the parachute center


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in over 80 years tore off roofs and doors, unleashed heavy flooding and brought down cell towers and power lines Wednesday in an onslaught that could deepen the island's financial crisis.

Leaving at least nine people dead in its wake across the Caribbean, Hurricane Maria blew ashore in the morning in the southeast coastal town of Yabucoa as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 mph (250 kph), and was expected to punish the U.S. territory with life-threatening winds for 12 to 24 hours.

It was the second time in two weeks that Puerto Rico felt the wrath of a hurricane.

As people waited it out in shelters or took cover inside stairwells, bathrooms and closets, Maria slowly crossed the island, knocking down communication towers, snapping trees and unloading at least 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain.

Widespread flooding was reported across the island, with dozens of cars half-submerged in some neighborhoods and many streets turned into rivers. People calling local radio stations reported that doors were being torn off their hinges and a water tank flew away.

About 90 percent of customers were without power.

The storm threatened to ravage the island's already crumbling electrical grid and worsen its economic woes.

PHOTOS: Devastation caused by Maria

Puerto Rico is struggling to restructure a portion of its $73 billion debt, and the government has warned it is running out of money as it fights back against furloughs and other austerity measures imposed by a federal board overseeing the island's finances.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello urged people to have faith: "We are stronger than any hurricane. Together, we will rebuild."

He later asked President Donald Trump to declare the island a disaster zone, a step that would open the way to federal aid.

More than 11,000 people - and more than 580 pets - were in shelters, authorities said.

Felix Delgado, mayor of the city of Catano on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, told WAPA Television that 80 percent of the homes in a neighborhood known as Juana Matos were destroyed.

El Nuevo Dia newspaper reported that 80 percent of homes in a small fishing community near San Juan were damaged, and that an emergency medical station in the coastal town of Arecibo lost its roof, while communication was severed with several emergency management posts. A hospital and a police station reported broken windows, and a tree fell on an ambulance.

Those who sought shelter at a coliseum in San Juan were moved to the building's second and third floors, radio station WKAQ-AM reported.

Many feared extended power outages would further sink businesses struggling amid a recession that has lasted more than a decade.

"This is going to be a disaster," said Jean Robert Auguste, who owns two French restaurants and sought shelter at a San Juan hotel. "We haven't made any money this month."


The heavy winds and rain and the noise of things crashing outside woke many across Puerto Rico before daybreak. At one recently built hotel in San Juan, water dripped through the ceiling of a sixth-floor room and seeped through the window.

"I didn't sleep at all," said Merike Mai, a vacationing 35-year-old flight attendant from Estonia.

As of late morning, the storm was centered about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of San Juan with Category 4 winds of 140 mph (220 kph). It was moving to the northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).

Early video from Tuesday shows Hurricane Maria's force on the island of Guadeloupe.

Previously a Category 5 with 175 mph (281 kph) winds, Maria hit Puerto Rico as the third-strongest storm to make landfall in the U.S., based on a key measurement that meteorologists use: air pressure. The lower the central pressure, the stronger a storm.

Maria's pressure was 917 millibars, lower than Hurricane Irma's 929 millibars when it roared into the Florida Keys earlier this month.

Irma sideswiped Puerto Rico on Sept. 6, causing no deaths or widespread damage on the island but leaving more than 1 million people without electricity. More than 70,000 still had no power as Maria approached.

Hurricanes tend to veer north or south of the island. The last Category 4 hurricane to blow ashore in Puerto Rico was in 1932, and the strongest ever to hit the island was San Felipe in 1928 with winds of 160 mph (250 kph).

As Maria closed in, Trump offered his support via Twitter: "Puerto Rico being hit hard by new monster Hurricane. Be careful, our hearts are with you - will be there to help!"

The storm's center passed near or over St. Croix overnight Tuesday, prompting U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp to warn people to remain alert. St. Croix was largely spared the widespread damage caused by Irma on the chain's St. Thomas and St. John islands.

"For folks in their homes, I really recommend that you not be in any kind of sleepwear," Mapp said. "Make sure you have your shoes on. Make sure you have a jacket around." He added: "I don't really recommend you be sleeping from 11 o'clock to 4."

Maria killed two people in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, and two people aboard a boat were reported missing off La Desirade island, officials said.

The storm also slammed the island of Dominica late Monday. Hartley Henry, an adviser to the prime minister, reported at least seven deaths and a "tremendous loss of housing and public buildings." He said the country was "in a daze," with no electricity and little to no communications.

"The situation is really grave," Consul General Barbara Dailey said in New York. 


San Juan, Puerto Rico (CNN)Hurricane Maria's eye has left Puerto Rico, but the mammoth storm is still lashing the island with devastating winds.
Maria weakened to a Category 3 hurricane Wednesday afternoon, hurling winds of 115 mph. But hurricane-force gusts topping 74 mph still extend over much of Puerto Rico, the National Hurricane Center said.
Maria's brute force wiped out electricity to the entire island. "We are 100% without power," a spokesman for the Puerto Rico governor's office said Wednesday.

The storm also ripped trees out of the ground and caused widespread flooding.
"This is total devastation," said Carlos Mercader, a spokesman for Puerto Rico's governor. "Puerto Rico, in terms of the infrastructure, will not be the same. ... This is something of historic proportions."
Maria has already killed seven people on the Caribbean island nation of Dominica, said Gaston Browne, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. Browne said he had been communicating with the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, who reported "widespread devastation" and whose own house was shredded by the storm.
Hurricane Maria obliterated homes on the island of Dominica.
Maria is expected to dump a total of 12 to 18 inches of rain on Puerto Rico before barreling toward the Dominican Republic starting Wednesday night.
hurricane maria update wednesday_00015404

Hurricane Maria slams Puerto Rico 00:49
Puerto Rican Olympic gymnast Tommy Ramos, who's riding out the storm in the northern city of Vega Baja, posted video of gusts blowing debris in front of him.
"The house is steady," Ramos told CNN. "What scares us is the flooding."
Holed up in the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan, Geffrard Dejoie said his hotel already was deluged by midmorning Wednesday.
"We are all sheltered in the hallways, as a few windows in some rooms have broken," said Dejoie, a traveling tennis coach. "We also are located very close to the lagoon, and the water is coming up on the lobby, so we had to move to higher floors."

Virgin Islands and Dominican Republic under the gun

Beyond Puerto Rico, a hurricane warning was in effect for the British and US Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, the southeastern Bahamas and the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata, the hurricane center said.
Dangerous storm surges "accompanied by large and destructive waves" will raise water levels 10 to 15 feet above normal tide levels in the hurricane warning areas of the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos, the hurricane center said.
And the British and US Virgin Islands could get pummeled with at least 5 to 10 inches of rain.

'First responders cannot go out there'

The hurricane slammed Puerto Rico with such intensity, it broke two National Weather Service radars on the island.
Calls for rescue immediately started pouring in -- but to no avail.
"First responders cannot go out there," Mercader said, echoing the governor's earlier warning that emergency crews wouldn't go outside in winds stronger than 50 mph.
Maria was expected to cause widespread power outages across Puerto Rico. Shortly after landfall, the storm had wiped out power in the east coast city of Fajardo.
Maria became the first hurricane of Category 4 strength or higher in 85 years to hit the US territory, home to 3.3 million people.

Escaping the storm

Thousands of Puerto Ricans heeded calls to go to emergency shelters. "As of 2:30 a.m. we count 10,059 refugees and 189 pets (in shelters)," the island's governor, Ricardo Rosselló, tweeted.
After the storm made landfall, Rosselló asked US President Donald Trump to declare Puerto Rico a disaster zone, the governor tweeted.  Which Trump did right away.

Tourists stranded

Some tourists found themselves stranded on the island as flights, already overbooked and increasingly expensive, became unavailable.
Heather Farrell was on her honeymoon with her husband, Luke, after their September 9 wedding. The couple had tried to cut the trip short but couldn't.
Trees, fences fall as Maria hits Puerto Rico

Trees, fences fall as Maria hits Puerto Rico 00:52
"We did try to get off, as early as Saturday, but all flights were either booked or canceled," she said. "We actually are on the ocean -- our room faces the ocean. It's pretty windy, but there is no rain. We'll stay inside for now."
Hotel staff had asked all guests to head downstairs early Wednesday morning to take shelter in a safe room, Farrell said.
Nick Bailey, Brandon Edwards and John Michael Berndt -- three friends from northern California -- chose this week to vacation on the island. They were aware of Maria, which was only a tropical depression when they left California.
NASA watches Maria intensify from space

NASA watches Maria intensify from space 00:50
"Our hostel is taking good care of us," Berndt said, adding that staff there had boarded all the windows and created a concrete hurricane barrier.
"This is a good area, apparently," Bailey said. "It's close to hospitals and emergency centers."
The men also were moved to rooms deeper inside the hostel -- without any windows.

Prime Minister's house destroyed

As Maria pushed through the Caribbean toward Puerto Rico, two people were missing after a boat sank off the coast of La Désirade, a small island near the mainland of Guadeloupe. About 80,000 people, or 40% of households on the island, were left without power, the government said.
Hurricane Maria has pummeled numerous Caribbean islands, including the US Virgin Islands.
The storm also caused "widespread devastation" in Dominica, the country's Prime Minister said Tuesday. Maria ripped off the roof of his own house and left much of the island -- population 73,000 -- in ruins.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dean Seivert, 66, of Sheldon, IA died after being pinned under a John Deere 2500E riding lawn mower that rolled onto its side into the Floyd River at the Sheldon, Iowa Golf & Country Club


Do not mow near drop-offs, ditches or embankments. Don’t mow near a pond. The first 6 to 10 feet of turf by the water’s edge is water-logged and your mower will sink in and tip over.

SHELDON, IA—A 66-year-old Sheldon man was killed in an accident at the Sheldon Golf & Country Club on Monday morning, Sept. 18.

Dean Seivert, who worked as a maintenance man at the privately owned course, died after the John Deere 2500E riding greens mower he was operating went into the Floyd River, which winds through the course, at the eighth green.

Seivert was working on the course on a gray morning, with a slight rain. Since it is late in the season, few golfers were out.

Sheldon police, the Sheldon Fire Co. and the Sheldon Community Ambulance Team responded to the course, located north of Sheldon, around 9:30 a.m.

According to the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Department, Seivert was “pinned under the machine.” A fellow employee attempted to keep his head above the water.

Emergency responders were able to free Seivert and he was rushed to Sanford Sheldon Medical Center, but efforts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead.

A sheriff’s department staffer said she was not sure if an autopsy would be performed or if there would be an investigation to determine the cause of death.

At least two golfers were at the course Monday morning, but the clubhouse at 3040 Next Ave. was locked up after the fatal accident. The course did remain open, however, and was open on Tuesday morning.

The golf course board of directors were “deeply saddened” by Seivert’s death, according to board member Joel Bousema. Seivert was an “avid golfer” who also worked at the course at times for several years, Bousema said.

He said Seivert was “just all-around great guy, friendly, outgoing. Always cheerful. This is a tragic accident and we express our deepest sympathies to the Seivert family.”

Funeral arrangements will be handled by Vander Ploeg Funeral Home in Sheldon.

Worker dies in lawn mower rollover at Sheldon Golf & Country Club

By Al Joens, Anchor 

September 19, 2017

A tragic accident has claimed the life of a worker at the Sheldon, Iowa Country Club 


A tragic accident has claimed the life of a worker at the Sheldon, Iowa Country Club.

The O'Brien County Sheriff's Office says 66-year-old Dean Seivert of Sheldon died after being pinned under a riding lawn mower that rolled onto its side into the Floyd River.

A country club worker came upon the accident scene shortly before 9:30 Monday morning.

That worker tried to hold Seivert's head out of the water.

When first responders arrived, they freed Seivert from the river, but resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.

He was pronounced dead at the Sheldon Hospital.

Sheldon Golf And Country Club in Sheldon provides 9 holes of challenging golf for the beginning golfer, as well as the low handicapper

Sheldon, IA (KICD) — An equipment rollover at the Sheldon Golf & Country Club has claimed a life of a Sheldon man.

On Monday morning, Sheldon Police, Fire Company and Ambulance Crew responded to the incident. 66-year old Dean Seivert was operating a low slung tractor at the eighth hole of the course. The unit then rolled into the Floyd River, pinning him underneath.

A country club employee had found the unit and Seivert, and went into the water to try to hold Seivert’s head above the water. First responders then freed Seivert from the water, and transported him to the Sheldon Hospital. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful, and Seivert passed away.

It was determined that he apparently was in the water for some time before being noticed.

SHELDON, Iowa | Authorities have identified the victim of Monday's fatal accident at the Sheldon Golf & Country Club.

Dean Seivert, 66, of Sheldon, was killed after a lawn tractor overturned and trapped him in the Floyd River, according to the O'Brien County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office was notified at 9:27 a.m. that Seivert, an employee at the golf course, had been found trapped beneath the John Deere riding mower. A co-worker found Seivert and was attempting to hold his head above the water.

Emergency personnel were able to free Seivert from the water and transported him to Sheldon Hospital. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.


Be Safe:

  • On steep slopes, GO SLOW.
  • Side hill mowing, watch the front uphill tire to verify it’s making a solid depression in the grass. If it isn’t, SLOWLY turn downhill.
  • Alway have an escape route when in rough ground so if the machine kicks out of gear or the brakes fail or both you can steer to safety.
  • Keep the brakes properly adjusted and maintained.
  • Be very, very aware that going up a steep slope how quick and easily a tractor will flip back on you. If the front end does come up, the rear wheels provide the motive force to flip it back.
  • Generally speaking brakes are for stopping, NOT slowing down in tractor usage, that’s what the trans is for. If you step on the left pedal you set the parking brake and the rear wheels will lock. In most cases this will not hold you on the hill, instead you will slide down the hill.
  • The “GO SLOW” mentioned above means regulate your speed with the transmission.  Choose a lower or lowest gear, with a hydro do the same, keep the RPM’s (engine speed) up.
Can a tractor mow this hill? NO!
Can a tractor mow this hill? NO!
Zero-Turns are not weighted to mow up hill. Especially older zero-turn mowers. They will tip over backwards.
  • If you cannot back up the slope or if you feel uneasy on it, do not mow it with a ride-on machine.
  • Mow up and down slopes with a lawn tractor, not across.
  • Watch for holes, ruts, bumps, rocks or other hidden objects. Uneven terrain could overturn the machine.
  • Choose a low ground speed so you will not have to stop or shift while on a slope.
  • Do not mow on wet or damp grass. Tires may lose traction.
  • Do not mow on drought-dry grass. Tires will lose traction.
  • Always keep the machine in gear when going down slopes. Do not shift to neutral and coast downhill.
  • Avoid starting, stopping or turning on a slope.
  • Keep all movement on slopes slow and gradual.
  • Use extra care while operating the machine with grass catchers or other attachments; they affect the stability of the machine. Do not use them on steep slopes.
  • Do not try to stabilize the machine by putting your foot on the ground.
  • Do not mow near drop-offs, ditches or embankments.
46 inch 2 bladed decks on lawn tractors do not have the clearance between the rear of the deck and the rear tires to install tire chains.
If you have a Walk Out Basement the angle is too steep to mow side to side or up hill. Mow down the hill, drive around to the top of the slope and mow down. Yes, you may have to drive around the house a dozen times to do this, but it is the only way. Never attempt to mow or drive up the hill
Don’t even consider using a rear mounted bagger on hills. On both tractors and zero-turns that makes them too heavy in the rear.
Don’t even consider a leaf/lawn vac on slopes. The transmissions in lawn tractors are not heavy enough and you will destroy the trans. On garden tractor there may be too much weight on the rear hitch. Blow the leaves to the bottom of the hill with a hand held blower or back pack blower, then pick them up with your vac.
Tip-over from water logged turf
Do not mow near drop-offs, ditches or embankments. Don’t mow near a pond. The first 6 to 10 feet of turf by the water’s edge is water-logged and your mower will sink in and tip over.
Follow the rules in your operator’s manual. But remember, an unseen hole on the down-slope or a bump or stick of wood on the uphill side can increase your slope quickly and cause an accident.
P1000024 Seatbelts and ROPs won’t save you if there is water

What is available today For the Homeowner:

Notice the dual wheels on the ATV?
The ATV is out of the water logged turf
There are very few residential mowers specifically designed to mow slopes. Here are a few that work:
Acrease Wing and Rough-Cut Mowers: Acrease Mowers are able to mow slopes. They use full pressure engines on the commercial models that won’t blow up on slopes greater than 15 degrees. Be aware these mowers are heavy and you will need a heavy tractor to pull them. I actually used 2 in tandem to mow a 10 foot road ditch FCA14(Swisher T-60 Trailmower 14.5hp. is only designed for 15 degree slopes. The engines are splash lubricated and will blow up on slopes greater than 15 degrees.)
Craftsman 4WD walk-behind. Craftsman will have a 4WD walk-behind for 2014.
Walk-Behind Husqvarna HU800AWD All Wheel Drive
Husqvarna Rider: Husqvarna R322T AWD
There are a few tractors with rear differential lock that give you better traction going up and down slopes, but they are still only rated for 15 degrees.
There are other mowers that will handle slopes but all of them are commercial rated.  Standon Mowers, 60 inches and larger like the Wright Stander are capable of mowing greater than 15 degrees. Toro Walk-Behind commercial mowers with the T-Bar steering also work well. Of course there are the dedicated slope mowers like the KutKwick and the new robotic mowers.

Final Thoughts

Many people don’t read the operator’s manual or feel these warning statements are “just guidelines.” Even staying under 15 degrees there are still ways to tip your lawn tractor or zero-turn over. Mowing commercially for many years I have had too many close calls and I still use my “Pucker-meter” all the time.  The seat of your pants is the best gauge – really. It is a long, slow, careful learning experience. You have to get to know your machine and how to best approach various terrian. Going slow and low is always good.
If is feels wrong, if the hill feels too steep, if the tractor doesn’t feel right, I don’t mow it.

(This Last From Consumer Reports)

What we tested, what we found. We compared several zero-turn-radius riding mowers marketed to consumers with a lawn tractor on slopes ranging from roughly 5 to 20 degrees. We used a typical 4.5 mph mowing speed over both dry and wet grass, going up and down as you should with most ride-on machines. So far, so good.
The trouble began when we made a hard turn down 10- to 15-degree slopes. The zero-turn riders lost most of their steering control, skidding straight into our simulated hazards. All could stop in time when the brake was applied, though stopping entails manipulating two levers that also do the steering. That’s less intuitive than a tractor’s foot brake. And while the zero-turn models steered controllably at slower speeds, time savings is a major selling point for zero-turn machines.

The rollover risk

51de9b758a64a.preview-620  Rollovers are another concern with all ride-on mowers, contributing to the more than 15,000 injuries and 61 deaths associated with those machines for 2007, according to estimates based on CPSC data. Commercial tractors and riding mowers often include a roll bar, called a rollover protective structure (ROPS), and a safety belt. Both are supposed to work together to protect and confine the operator if there’s a rollover. But even that approach leaves lots of room for error.
  • Choose a front-steering tractor over a zero-turn-radius rider if you’re mowing slopes 10 to 15 degrees or greater. (A 10-degree slope rises roughly 20 inches over every 10 feet.) If you already own a zero-turn-radius riding mower, be sure to mow slowly on hills. And mow only on dry grass to maximize traction.
  • Give yourself time to learn the controls on any ride-on mower, especially a zero-turn mower’s levers for steering and speed.
  • Mow straight up and down slopes with a tractor or rider unless the manual says otherwise. And mow side-to-side with walk-behind mowers, start at the bottom and work up-hill. Always turn uphill.

Two tree cutters were seriously injured when their Genie S-60 telescopic boom lift made contact with a power line in Wethersfield, CT causing them to fall 20 feet

Wethersfield, CT 
Two tree cutters were seriously injured when their Genie S-60 telescopic boom lift made contact with a power line Saturday afternoon, knocking out electricity to hundreds of customers for several hours.

Firefighters were called to 320 Prospect St. around 5:15 p.m. and found arcing wires on the ground and both workers badly hurt, according to Lt. James Ritter of the Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Department.

Firefighters couldn't tell whether the workers had been injured by electrical contact, a fall from the platform about 20 feet above ground level, or both. Ambulances took both victims to a hospital; firefighters said their injuries did not appear to be life threatening.

The two victims are employees of a private contractor that was removing a large tree on the property.

The accident left hundreds of Eversource customers with no power. Crews worked Saturday evening to restore service. As of 10:30 p.m., power had been restored.

At 1716 hours, the Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Department was called to 320 Prospect St. for the report of a tree removal contractor that struck the power lines and a fall from the elevated platform. Upon arrival Firefighters found arcing power lines on the ground and two of the work crew with serious injuries. The injured work crew members were moved to a safe location and EMTs began medical care. Both victims were transported to area hospitals for treatment.

Power is currently out in the general area however, Eversource is on the scene and working on restoring power as quickly as possible. Prospect St. in the area of Only Rd., remains closed at this time for the investigation.

Captain James Ritter - WVFD

Illinois tollway worker, 47, picking up debris along the right shoulder was killed by a semi-truck pulling a trailer on I-294 southbound in Alsip

Tollway worker struck, killed by semi-truck in Alsip

Mike Nolan

An Illinois Tollway maintenance worker was struck and killed Monday by a semi-truck pulling a trailer on the Tri-State Tollway in Alsip, according to Illinois State Police.

The 48-year-old man was struck just before 12:30 p.m. as he walked back to his vehicle after picking up debris along the shoulder, police said in a news release.

The truck driver side-swiped the worker and his vehicle and did not stop, police said.

He was pronounced dead at 12:43 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

State police said the incident remains under investigation.

The Tollway said it was not releasing any personal information about the worker pending notification of his family.

Interstate 294 is the main by-pass around the Chicago-Metro Area. Starting on the southside near South Holland, IL and heading west and north to near Deerfield, IL on the northwest side of Chicago. This is also a major north-south artiery in the Chicago Highway System. The entire length of I-294 is maintained by the Illinois Toll Highway Authority. It carries the name "Tri-State Tollway".==================

Toll Worker Killed Near Alsip in Hit-and-Run Accident: ISP

By Trina Orlando

A day at work on the Tri-State Tollway in Alsip ended in tragedy Monday.

About 12:30 p.m. two tollway workers were collecting debris on the shoulder of the road when one of them was struck by a semi-trailer.

"While he was outside his vehicle and walking back to his vehicle he was struck by a semi-truck pulling a semi-trailer," said Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Don Orseno.

It's not clear how fast the semi was traveling, but it didn't stop. The tollway worker was pronounced dead at the scene.

"There were witnesses as well as partner he was out there working with that called in that tollway worker was struck," Orseno said.

A tollway spokesperson declined to provide any information about the worker, saying in a statement:

"The Illinois Tollway extends its deepest sympathy to his family and friends."

Signs along the tollway remind drivers to yield to workers.

"They're encouraged and obligated to slow dawn," Orseno said of drivers on the tollway. "Change lanes when applicable to avoid tragedies like this."


Tollway worker struck and killed on 294 near Alsip

WGN Web Desk and Tom Negovan
September 18, 2017

ALSIP, Ill. -- A tollway worker was struck and killed by a vehicle on I-294 on Monday, officials said.

The 48-year-old man was killed on I-294 southbound at 127th Street at about 12:23 p.m. Monday. Two right lanes were blocked in the area due to the incident.

Illinois State Police said the man was outside of his vehicle picking up debris along the right shoulder. As he walked back to his car, a semi-truck pulling a trailer side swiped the worker and his car.

The truck driver did not stop.

Authorities did not release a description of the suspect vehicle, just that it was a tractor-trailer.

Traffic in the area was delayed for hours as police investigated.