Sunday, October 16, 2016

The widow of a factory worker who died while cleaning machinery has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Grand Rapids Plastics Inc., claiming unsafe equipment and inadequate training led to his death in June, 2014.

Widow files wrongful death lawsuit after husband crushed to death
WZZM 9:26 a.m. EDT October 15, 2016

Angel Scharenbroch discusses lack of penalties for companies after losing her husband on the job after a co-worker activated a press he was working that crushed him at Grand Rapids Plastics in June 2014. Ryan Garza Detroit Free Press

(Photo: Family photo)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The widow of a factory worker who died while cleaning machinery has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Grand Rapids Plastics Inc., claiming unsafe equipment and inadequate training led to his death in June, 2014.

Russel J. Scharenbroch, a father of six, was fatally crushed while cleaning an injection molding machine at the Wyoming plant.

The lawsuit was filed in Kent County Circuit Court by Angel L. Scharenbroch and seeks more than $25,000 in damages.

Grand Rapids Plastics encouraged employees to “act in accordance with putting more importance on the desire for profit over the safety of employees,’’ the lawsuit claims.

Scharenbroch on June 27, 2014 climbed inside the machine to begin cleaning between two large steel molds. The machine was in auto mode at the time, meaning it was ready to operate, according to the lawsuit.

A team leader, unaware Scharenbroch was inside, instructed a technician to start the machine. The molds were brought together, crushing Scharenbroch. The 34-year-old Morley man was pronounced dead at 5:17 p.m.

Grand Rapids Plastics “had actual knowledge that an injury was certain to occur’’ and willfully or intentionally disregarded that knowledge on several fronts, the lawsuit claims.

It did not equip the machine with a safety gate to prevent an employee from entering the point of operation and failed to develop lockout procedures for injection molding machines.

Employees were allowed to enter the mold area of the machines without first locking out the power source, the lawsuit claims.

Workers were not adequately trained in lockout procedures and there was no system in place to confirm there was not a worker inside the injection molding machine before it was turned on, the lawsuit claims.

Intentional acts and omissions by the company led to Scharenbroch’s death, the lawsuit claims.

In an earlier interview with the Detroit Free Press, Angel L. Scharenbroch says she can't understand why no one saw her 6-foot, 200-pound husband inside the machine before someone turned it on, crushing him to death.

"Emotionally it’s been a nightmare for myself and my children," she told the newspaper.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration in April, 2015 assessed the company $558,000 in penalties, but that amount was later reduced.

Grand Rapids Plastics ended operations at its Wyoming plant in April. The company began layoffs after losing contracts with Fiat Chrysler, its main customer. It made parts for the Chrysler 200.

Grand Rapids Plastics had four locations on Roger B. Chaffee Boulevard in Wyoming.

An employee of Consolidated Electrical Contractors & Engineers, Inc. died after he was shocked and fell 12 feet at the Naval Air Station Jacksonville, FL

Worker dies after shock, fall at NAS Jacksonville work site

Rich Jones
The main entry gate to Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

By WOKV News Team

Jacksonville, FL —

OSHA is investigating, after a man died following an accident on a work site on Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

We’re told an employee of Consolidated Electrical Contractors & Engineers, Inc. was doing work above the false ceiling of the new commissary that’s being built on the base. OSHA isn’t sure the nature of the work that the employee was doing, but he suffered an electrical shock and then fell to the floor- approximately 12 feet. The worker was taken to the hospital, and passed away Sunday morning.

OSHA says they’re actively investigating whether there was a violation of standards. Inspectors say when there is a fatality relating to a fall, they always question whether proper fall protection was used on the site.

Consolidated Electrical Contractors & Engineers, Inc. gave a statement to WOKV extending sympathy to the family of the victim. They withheld further comment until the active investigations are complete. NAS Jax also declined to comment, saying they are not involved in the investigation.

Consolidated Electrical Contractors & Engineers, Inc. is one of the Southeast's largest electrical contractors with over 20 years of experience in design/build and construction.

A massive 3-alarm fire destroyed an apartment complex under construction in Gilbert, AZ

Gilbert apartment complex destroyed, 3-alarm fire
An apartment complex under construction went up in flames in Gilbert on Saturday night.

Posted:Oct 16 2016 12:20PM MST

Updated:Oct 16 2016 12:21PM MST GILBERT (KSAZ) -
An apartment complex under construction went up in flames in Gilbert on Saturday night.

A massive 3-alarm fire broke out and destroyed four buildings that were under construction.

The fire broke out at around 7 p.m. at an apartment complex near Guadalupe and Gilbert Road.

Four buildings went up in flames but luckily no one was inside those brand new apartments.

Two nearby apartment buildings had to be evacuated .

After several hours the fire was put out by more than 100 firefighters.

The Battalion Chief told FOX 10 that was a huge loss for the community.

That was the second fire that has broken out at an apartment complex under construction in that area.

The last fire happened in April and it was a 5-alarm fire.

A father and son farmers were killed when the farming auger they were handling hit an overhead power line in Sand Creek Township.

Two electrocuted when auger hits power line on Scott County farm

October 16, 2016 — 1:52pm
Sand Creek Township, MN
A father and son were killed Sunday morning when the farming auger they were handling hit an overhead power line, authorities said.

Capt. Scott Haas of the Scott County Sheriff’s Office said a 911 call came in at 10:11 a.m. that two men had been electrocuted on their family farm in the 20800 block of Xanadu Avenue in Sand Creek Township.

The men were unresponsive when they were found by a family member. The two had been lifting a farming auger, similar to a grain elevator, when it came in contact with a power line.

Rescue workers tried to resuscitate the men with CPR, but one was declared dead at the scene. The other was flown to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he was pronounced dead.

The victims’ names will be released by the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office.


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Authorities in southwest metro say a father and his son were electrocuted Sunday when a large piece of farm equipment touched a power line.

The incident happened shortly after 10 a.m. in Sand Creek Township, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office said.

The father and son were lifting the auger up to a grain elevator when the wind caused the auger to sway and touch a nearby power line. A family member found both men unconscious, the sheriff’s office said. The father, a 53-year-old man, was pronounced dead at the scene despite efforts with CPR.

Emergency crews flew to the son, a 25-year-old man, to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

The names of the victims will be released by the medical examiner’s office. The Jordan Fire Department, Allina Ambulance and Jordan Police Department assisted the Scott County Sheriff’s Office at the scene.


Overhead power lines on a farm or ranch can pose a significant electrocution hazard. 

Because power lines may have been installed without insulation or the insulation may have worn off due to exposure to weather, you should assume that all power lines are bare. Death from electrocution can occur when a person touches a power line while he or she is also in contact with the ground. When electricity enters something or someone, it takes the easiest and shortest path to electrical ground, the point at which the electricity is absorbed (as in the earth).

There are numerous pieces of equipment on a farm or ranch that, due to their height, can come in contact with overhead power lines:

  • loader tractors 
  • portable grain augers and elevators 
  • dump trucks 
  • cultivators in transport mode
  • irrigation pipes 
  • equipment with antennas 

Specific Risks

  • Dump trucks: When raised, the bed of a dump truck or trailer can contact overhead power lines. The person operating the dump truck should note the location of power lines before raising the bed and should not move the dump truck or trailer while the bed is in the raised position.
    • Typically, if a raised bed contacts a power line, the operator will not be at risk of electrocution if he or she remains inside the vehicle because the truck’s tires provide insulation. If, however, a person standing on the ground touches the dump truck or trailer while it is in contact with an overhead line, he or she could be electrocuted.
  • Hay: A loader tractor or telescopic loader may be used during hay handling. Because the booms of such vehicles may reach as high as overhead power lines, putting the vehicle at risk of contact, hay should not be stored under power lines.  
  • Grain bin: Electrocution incidents associated with grain bins occur when augers and/or elevator equipment is used in the vicinity of overhead power lines. The National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) requires that, where a portable auger or filling equipment is used, power lines be at least 18 ft. above the highest point on any grain bin constructed after 1992.
    • Consult a licensed electrician or your local power company for guidance when planning changes to your grain bin operations.
As a farmer or rancher, you can reduce your risk of electrocution by following these recommendations:

  • Be aware of the location of overhead power lines on your farm, and avoid the risk of electrocution by choosing a route for your equipment that avoids potential contact.
  • Never touch a power line.
  • Contact your local power company if an incident occurs.
  • Never use ladders around power lines.
  • Remember that some equipment may have a higher profile during transport.
  • Maintain a 10 ft. clearance space between the power lines and your equipment. Contact your power company to determine the height of power lines on your farm.
  • If you are in a tractor and come in contact with power lines, remain in the tractor and have someone contact the power company to shut off the power.
    • If you are in a tractor that contacts power lines and you must exit because of an emergency such as a fire, jump out and away from the tractor as far as possible. Never allow any part of your body to touch both the equipment and the ground at the same time. Plan to fall away from the tractor to avoid tripping back into contact with the tractor.
  • Review safety measures with all individuals working on your farm, whether full-time, part-time, seasonal, or voluntary.
  • Remember that even nonmetallic objects such as tree limbs, ropes, and straw can conduct electricity.

How to Prevent Electrical Accidents

David E. Baker
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Electricity, one of the most versatile and widely used power sources, is used extensively on almost every farm. Farmers are so familiar with electricity that they may take electrical safety for granted. When this happens, accidents often follow. The National Safety Council reports almost 500 electrical fatalities annually. On average, more than 20 of these deaths are directly related to farming operations.
How much electricity is fatal? People can feel electrical currents at levels as low as approximately 1 milliamp (mA), which produces a slight tingling sensation. Increasing current levels above the 5 mA "let go" threshold can cause loss of muscular control, irregular heart rhythm and, finally, cardiac arrest. Five mA is only a small fraction of the current needed to power a 60-watt bulb, which draws about 1/2 amp, or 500 mA.
Electrical shock occurs when a person touches an electrically charged object at the same time they are touching another surface capable of conducting electricity to ground. A current then passes between the points of contact. The shock effects depend on the amperage, duration of contact and resistance of the pathway through the body. For example, damp skin is less resistant to current flow and permits greater shock effects. For this reason, you should work in a dry environment while handling electrical equipment.
The seriousness of a shock depends on the path the current takes through the body. For example, a small current passing through the heart is much more critical than a current passing between two fingers of the same hand. Testing for live current with one hand instead of two reduces the risk of a dangerous shock by making current less likely to flow through the heart.
Be aware of potential danger from power lines when operating grain augers and other types of tall farm equipment.
Figure 1
Be aware of potential danger from power lines when operating grain augers and other types of tall farm equipment.

Power hand tools

Portable power tools are one of the most frequent causes of death by electrocution on farms. Farm workers typically expose themselves to more electrical hazards than do workers in other industries. They frequently work alone, often operating electrical equipment in damp and dusty places with no one nearby to help in case of an accident. Farm work thus requires extra caution in using power tools. Follow these precautions:
  • Never use any electrical hand tool that does not carry the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Listing Mark. This mark indicates the tool has undergone extensive testing and has been found to be safe when properly maintained.
  • Older tools with a two-wire design should be immediately upgraded to a three-wire system by qualified personnel. If your tool cannot be upgraded, discard it. Most power tools in use today have a three-wire system. This third wire serves as an emergency ground in case of an internal short or ground fault.
  • Make sure the three-wire system is maintained through all adapters and extension cords. Adapters not properly connected to receptacle boxes make the ground fault wire ineffective.
  • Never disconnect or carry power tools by their cords. This causes the cord's insulation to rapidly deteriorate. Inspect tool and extension cords routinely for fraying and other signs of deterioration. Repair or replace immediately.
  • Consider using a ground fault interrupter (GFI). GFIs do not replace traditional protection provided by current isolation, insulation and grounding, but they are a backup if insulation or grounding fails due to age, abuse or mechanical breakdown. The GFI detects low levels of leaking current and cuts off power quickly at leakages greater than 5 mA.

Overhead lines

Too often, careless handling of farm equipment around electric power lines and utility poles leads to tragedy. Accidents can be prevented by insisting that hired hands and family members learn to survey work areas before using farm equipment. Make each worker determine that equipment will not come within 10 feet of power lines or power support equipment. Electrocutions can occur even if actual contact is not made with the line. The greater the line voltage, the farther electricity is able to "jump" to a ground conductor.
Recognize that power lines often follow property lines. As workers reach the end of the field and turn the equipment, there is a good chance power lines will be nearby. Power lines also are often near grain and equipment storage facilities. Be sure that paths from equipment storage areas to fields and from the fields to grain storage areas are safe routes. If you have any doubts that your equipment will clear a line, assume that it will not and take measures to avoid possible contact.
Crop storage equipment such as balers and stackers can be extended in height to exceed electric code clearances for power lines. When storing hay or baled straw, take precautions to be sure the stacking equipment will not come into contact with power lines.
Portable grain augers are a leading cause of farm electrocutions. Lower augers when moving them from one bin to another. The operating height of an auger usually is greater than the height of power lines. If workers push one into a line by hand, they can be instantly electrocuted.

Stray voltage

Voltages greater than 1 volt disturb cattle, decrease dairy cow milk production and lower the average daily gain in beef cattle. If animals are exposed long enough to voltages greater than 25 volts, the voltage can be fatal.
Stray voltage on farms may stem from several sources. The voltage may occur predictably throughout the day, or it may occur randomly. These factors make controlling stray voltage a major problem.
On-farm stray voltages have been traced to the following sources:
  • Ground faults on the farm.
  • Voltage gradients across the ground or floor due to wires faulted in the earth.
  • Electric fence wires shorting directly to equipment or energizing pipes and equipment.
Electrical motors and equipment can "short out" or ground fault to their outside casings. The severity can vary from a fault with no visible effect to a complete short circuit. When short circuits occur, all conductive materials, such as stainless steel milk lines and pipe fencing, become energized. Wood also can conduct electricity when it is wet. To correct the problem, faulty equipment should be repaired or replaced immediately by someone with proper training. The three-wire electrical supply line helps reduce the problem when the fault first occurs.
Voltage gradients through the earth or across a floor occur when an underground wire faults to earth. This often happens when the insulation of underground wires not rated for direct burial becomes damaged. Typically, the wires have not been buried at the proper depth. Underground wires buried many years ago are suspect, particularly if voltage gradients are detected in the earth. To correct the problem, the lines must be replaced with ones rated for direct burial.
Electric fence wires running through buildings can cause problems when building electrical wire is used. The maximum insulation rating of building electrical wire is 600 volts, which is not adequate insulation for the high-voltage pulse output of a fence charger. When this type of stray voltage is suspected, look for breakdowns in the insulation that could be causing a fault to metal equipment inside a barn. To prevent this problem, use insulated wire rated beyond the maximum voltage output of the fence charger.

2 killed, 2 injured after a hit-and-run vehicle runs a red light and T-bones the victim's vehicle in Koreatown in Los Angeles

2 killed after car catches fire in Koreatown hit-and-run
Firefighters in Koreatown help extinguish a car that caught fire following a crash early Saturday, Oct. 16, 2016.

By staff
Updated 1 hr 35 mins ago
KOREATOWN, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Police on Sunday were searching for a hit-and-run driver in a crash that claimed two lives in Koreatown after the victims' vehicle burst into flames upon impact.

Los Angeles police said the wreck happened near W. 3rd Street and Wilton Place around 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

The suspect vehicle traveled west on 3rd Street when it ran a red light and hit another car, which set it on fire, police said.

Two of the five people in the car were pronounced dead at the scene, while two others were rushed to a hospital in unknown condition.

A description of the hit-and-run suspect was not released.

Alleged side-swipe driver sought in Pomona rollover crash that left 4 dead, 4 injured; 6 were not wearing seat belts.

A hit-and-run driver is being sought Sunday in a deadly hit-and-run crash in Pomona, where four people were killed and four others injured.

By Darsha Philips and staff
Updated 2 hrs 6 mins ago
ORANGE, Calif. (KABC) -- A hit-and-run driver is being sought Sunday in a deadly hit-and-run crash in Pomona, where four people were killed and four others were injured.

A group of eight was driving home to Lake Elsinore from Universal Studios around 5 a.m. Saturday when their SUV was clipped by a newer-model white car, which then took off.

The SUV, driven by the wife and mother of those killed, rolled down an embankment and over an off-ramp.

Four people were pronounced dead at the scene and the other four were taken to the hospital. Police suspect they were not wearing seat belts.

Gerardo Herrera, 49, his 21-year-old daughter Noemi and 29-year-old son Luis, as well as 26-year-old Elba Rosales, were killed.

Rosales was the girlfriend of another of Herrara's sons, who was injured in the crash.

"They should be here. We should all be home doing what we normally do on the weekends, barbecuing. Just being together sharing laughs, sharing stories," said Noe Juarez, the nephew of Gerardo Herrera.

As of Sunday morning, one of the injured remained hospitalized at UCI Medical Center and three others were hospitalized in Colton.

The hit-and-run suspect was not yet found.

The family set up a GoFundMe account with the goal of raising $15,000 for medical and funeral expenses, you may access the link by clicking here.

NOTE: Earlier reports stated California Highway Patrol officials made an arrest, but a CHP spokesperson later confirmed no arrests have been made.

If no driver is found, it is possible that the female driver was speeding or was driving under the influence in the a.m. hours.  This was an overloaded SUV and it does not take much to lose control.

4 killed after SUV crashes, rolls down embankments in Pomona

Four people were killed after the SUV they were in was sideswiped by a car, causing it to overturn down two embankments on the 60 Freeway in Pomona Saturday morning. (KABC)

By Chelsea Edwards and staff
Saturday, October 15, 2016 11:37PM
POMONA, Calif. (KABC) -- Four people were killed after the SUV they were in was sideswiped by a car, causing it to overturn down two embankments on the 60 Freeway in Pomona Saturday morning.

Authorities said around 5 a.m., the driver of a 2003 Ford Explorer was heading eastbound on the 60 Freeway near the Reservoir Street off-ramp, traveling between 65 and 70 mph. The driver, identified as Elena Chavez-Lopez, told authorities that a white newer-model car hit the left side of her SUV.

The crash caused Chavez-Lopez to lose control of the vehicle, and she veered to the right. The car then overturned onto the right shoulder, rolling down an embankment across from the off-ramp and then rolling down a second embankment before finally stopping at a chain link fence.

Authorities said there were eight occupants in the vehicle, which only has seven seats. Six of the eight occupants were ejected from the Explorer onto the dirt embankment near the off-ramp. Four of those people suffered fatal injuries, while the other four suffered major to minor injuries, authorities said.

Three of those injured occupants were taken to Arrowhead Regional Hospital, while another was taken to UC Irvine Hospital. Authorities suspect six of the eight passengers were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.

Authorities closed off an off-ramp near the 60 Freeway in Pomona after an SUV crashed and rolled down two embankments on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016. (KABC)
A family member contacted Eyewitness News and said the group was coming back from Universal Studios. They had stopped at a Denny's restaurant before the accident. The family member said she and her husband were traveling in a car in front of the SUV.

The coroner's office identified the deceased, who are all Lake Elsinore residents, as Gerardo Herrera, 49, his daughter Noemi Herrera, 21, his son Luis Herrera, 29, and Elba Rosales, 26.

The other occupants in the car were identified by the family member as Laura Herrera, Gerardo's wife and mother of the two children who died; Jose Chavez, the boyfriend of Noemi Herrera; and Gerardo Herrera Jr.

Noe Juarez, the nephew of Gerardo Herrera, described his family as a large, loving, tight-knit group.

"They just loved life. They didn't deserve this," he said. "I'm still in shock. I'm hoping to wake up from a nightmare."

He said he spent Friday night with all of the victims at the theme park, snapping photos and having fun before he left.

Juarez said his cousin Noemi Herrera had just given birth to a son. He said she was always smiling, happy and would brighten everyone's day.

"They should be here. We should all be home doing what we normally do on the weekends, barbecuing. Just being together sharing laughs, sharing stories," he said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account with the goal of raising $15,000 for medical and funeral expenses, you may access the link by clicking here.

Authorities said alcohol and drugs were not suspected in the crash. The white car and the driver have not been located, if it exists at all.

Anyone with more information on the incident was asked to call Officer Sullinger at the Baldwin Park California Highway Patrol office at (626) 338-1164.

UConn Student Leaning on Firehouse Door Crushed to Death By Campus Fire Truck when it left the driveway to respond to the scene.

UConn Student From West Hartford Fatally Struck By Campus Fire Truck

A look at the outside of the building where police say UConn student Jeffny Pally, 19, of West Hartford, died early Sunday when she was struck by a fire truck. (Kathleen McWilliams)
Kathleen McWilliams

A student was killed after being struck by a UConn Fire Department vehicle early Sunday morning, state police said.

Trooper Kelly Grant identified the victim as Jeffny Pally, 19, of West Hartford.

Grant said the female victim was seated with her back against the exterior door to Bay 7 at the UConn Fire Department. At 1:13 a.m. the department was called to a scene at 100 North Eagleville road and shift commander, Dana E. Barrow Jr., 60, prepared to respond to the incident. The door to the bay, which Pally was leaning on, mechanically opened so the fire vehicle could get to the scene.

Grant said Pally fell back when the door was lifted and was fatally struck by the fire truck when it left the driveway to respond to the scene.

Barrow has been placed on an administrative duty position as the investigation continues, Grant said.

"Every student is precious to us, and this is a heartbreaking and tragic loss," UConn President Susan Herbst said in a statement. "Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends, and all those whose lives she touched. We know that words cannot begin to express their grief."

The school is encouraging students to seek support through its Counseling & Mental Health Services.

"I am just distraught and saddened by the loss of this remarkable young woman," said West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor, whose youngest son was friends with Pally.

Cantor said Pally was the youngest of three siblings to attend Hall High School in West Hartford, where she was "a really good math student" and an athlete. Hall will have extra counselors on hand Monday morning to help greiving students.

"She was such a nice, sweet person," said Kristen Jenkins, a classmate. "I didn't know her well, but she always seemed like she cared a lot about other people and was really involved on campus."

UConn Police responded to the scene but by request of the State's Attorney Office and UConn officials, Troop C and the State Police Crash Analysis Reconstruction Squad will handle the investigation.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Trooper Mark DiCocco at 203-630-8079 or at

Speeding, drunk driver on drugs and without license fled police and caused fiery crash in Elizabeth, NJ; 3 injured

A police pursuit in New Jersey ended in a fiery crash early Friday morning. Lori Bordonaro reports. (Published Friday, Oct. 14, 2016)

The chase started in Union, where Elizabeth police suspected the driver of a Chevy Impala was involved in some overnight robberies, police said. When they tried to pull him over, he took off speeding into Elizabeth.

Police lost sight of him, and moments later the driver slammed into a fire hydrant on Morris Street, knocking it to the ground. The driver and his two passengers were trapped inside.

"He had to be going at least 60 mph," said witness Lamont Benjamin. "I knew no way would he be able to turn, and I just hear bang, hit the wall."

Fire crews cut off the roof of the car and pulled everyone out.

Police say 49-year-old Timothy Chambers' license had been suspended and he may have been drinking. One of his passengers allegedly told police they had smoked crack.

All three are now recovering at the hospital. One passenger has a broken arm, the other a fractured hip.

The driver is charged with eluding police. It's not clear if he's retained an attorney.

Bus driver killed, 43 passengers injured after the Greatime Getaways bus slams onto a tractor-trailer truck carrying sand in Gilmer County, GA

1 dead, 43 injured in Gilmer County tour bus crash

Updated: Oct 14, 2016 - 10:07 AM

GILMER COUNTY, Ga. - Multiple agencies are investigating a deadly crash involving a tour bus and a tractor-trailer Thursday in Gilmer County.

The sheriff's department tells Channel 2 Action News that there were 48 people on the bus at the time of the crash.

Authorities say the bus driver was killed and 43 people on the bus were injured in the crash. Forty-two people were taken to the hospital by ground and one by air. Georgia State Patrol says all the people on the bus have non-life-threatening injuries.

The bus driver was identified as 66-year-old Richard Rees, of Marietta. The tractor trailer driver was identified as 56-year-old Charles Howard, of Concord, North Carolina.

The husband of a crash survivor tells Channel 2 Action News the bus was headed to a casino in North Carolina.

Officials said most of the passengers on the bus were elderly.

"It's just heartbreaking. It's really heartbreaking to see that," witness Angela Newberry said.

The sheriff’s office posted on its Facebook page that the crash happened on Highway 515 at the intersection of Whitestone Road.

Witnesses said they saw first responders cut the windows off the bus to rescue the passengers.

"Everyone's adrenaline is up when you get to a scene of this magnitude, but thankfully these folks are seasoned and they got to work right away with what they needed to do," Gilmer County Public Safety Director Tony Pritchard said.

Preliminary investigation shows the truck driver was at fault, according to GSP. Troopers say he was making a left turn onto Highway 515 southbound and paused for traffic, leaving his cargo load across the northbound lanes. The bus driver, who was northbound, crashed into the back of the truck.

Howard was not injured and now faces charges.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant questioned Howard, who did not comment after the wreck.

The truck is owned by Polcon Tile & Terrazo out of Charlotte, North Carolina.

U.S. Department of Transportation safety records online show that in January 2015, inspectors issued two unsafe driving violations to Polcon drivers.

One was a lane restriction violation in South Carolina, and another for failure to obey a traffic control device in Georgia.

The bus is owned by Marietta-based Greatime Getaways.

Federal records we found show no unsafe driving violations but six maintenance violations, including one for "brake connections with leaks/constrictions."

Georgia State Patrol is investigating whether any of that played a part in the wreck.

Meanwhile, authorities are warning drivers to pay attention.

"Anybody traveling in this area this time of year, we just urge you to take extreme caution, pay close attention,” Tony Card said.

"It's just a real bad wreck. I haven't seen something like this before," witness Justin Rogers said.

Gilmer County Fire and Rescue said there is limited sight distance in the area, which has led to several crashes.

All northbound lanes and one southbound lane were closed as troopers investigate the scene.

Harnett County ambulance on fire in North Carolina

Harnett County ambulance on fire (Credit: Thomas Honeycutt)

Sunday, October 16, 2016 11:12AM
CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Harnett County ambulance caught fire in Cumberland County Sunday morning, prompting firefighters to rush to the scene and extinguish the flames.

The ambulance was fully engulfed by 7:15 a.m. in a vacant lot on Wake Stedman Road near the northbound exit for I-95.

The Wade Fire Department responded to the blaze. ABC11 is waiting on the fire chief to provide additional details.

It is not yet known what caused the ambulance to go up in flames. We are still waiting to hear if anyone was injured.

Common Ground Coffee House and other businesses in Downtown Kingsburg, CA were destroyed overnight Saturday after the building they were in went up in flames causing over $1M in damages

Flames ripped through the historic three-story building early Saturday, wiping out three businesses inside. (KFSN)

By Cory James
Saturday, October 15, 2016 11:25PM
Common Ground Coffee House and other businesses in Downtown Kingsburg, CA were destroyed overnight Saturday after the building they were in went up in flames. Flames ripped through the historic three-story building, wiping out three businesses inside.

One of those businesses was Common Ground Coffee House. Debra Rodriquez managed it and said seeing the shop that changed her life destroyed is heartbreaking.

"I went through a period of depression," she recounted. "My daughter volunteered me to come and volunteer and I came kicking and screaming but it changed my life."

Pictures taken inside show some of the damage inside the three-year-old coffee shop. Rodriguez estimates the total loss is over a $100,000 for her business alone.

"I know the whole roof has completely caved in but I'm not too sure about our equipment," she said.

The fire that burned the 100-year-old building for hours and brought out firefighters from four different departments. The property loss of the entire building is valued at about $1 million.

It's shocking news for nearby businesses like Blend Wine Room who know this could have easily happened to them.

"It was just kind of sad to see," Megan Letson with the business said. "They've been neighbors and it's such a small town feel here I just feel really bad for them and I hope they will rebuild soon."

And Rodriguez has faith that they will.

"God will reward us," she said. "He's going to take something away and reward us with some better and bigger."

Woman helping her daughter-in-law by filling her car tank with gas was killed along the Southwest Freeway in Houston by reckless driver

Woman killed in crash, helping daughter-in-law who ran out of gas

A woman was killed in crash as she was hit helping family.

By Marla Carter
Sunday, October 16, 2016 09:22AM
HOUSTON, TX -- A mother is killed and two family members were taken to the hospital after an accident along the Southwest Freeway in Houston Saturday night.

It all happened after the woman ran out of gas at the Southwest Freeway and Belfort.

She had two of her kids with her, her nine-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter.

The woman ran out of gas around 8pm and called her mother-in-law for help.

Her mother-in-law arrived, went and got gas and returned.

As they were filling up the car, another car on the highway clipped a van, lost control and crashed into the family's sedan.

The mother-in-law, who was outside of the car, was killed.

Her daughter-in-law and 15-year-old granddaughter had non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the car was taken into custody.

Police are looking into what caused the driver to crash in the family's car.

DRUNKS DIE IN THE A.M. HOURS: One person was killed and four others injured in a crash involving four vehicles just after 3 a.m. on Route 3 in East Rutherford near MetLife Stadium.

Eyewitness News
Updated 1 hr 20 mins ago
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (WABC) -- One person was killed and four others injured in a multi-vehicle accident in New Jersey Sunday morning.

The crash involving four vehicles happened just after 3 a.m. on Route 3 in East Rutherford near MetLife Stadium.

A 24-year-old man who was driving one of the vehicles was killed. Three people were seriously injured and another person suffered minor injuries.

All the victims were taken to Hackensack Medical Center.

Eastbound Route 3 was closed throughout the morning for the accident investigation, with motorists detoured at the Berry's Creek Bridge exit.

The roadway was re-opened late Sunday morning after some traffic delays through the area.

The victim's identity has not yet been released. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

North Carolina Flooding: Third death confirmed in Cumberland County, 26 in state

A third storm-related death has happened in Cumberland County in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, the state joint information center said Saturday.
A 63-year-old man died Wednesday when he collapsed after getting out of his vehicle, said Pam Walker, a public information officer for the state. The confirmation the death was storm-related was made by the public health division of the Department of Health and Human Services, a normal protocol during incidents such as Hurricane Matthew, following consultation with the emergency responders.
The governor’s office announced the death on Friday. There were no other details on how the man’s death was storm-related. His name has not been released.
Spokeswoman Sally Shutt said the county also had no other details.
Floodwaters and vehicles were involved in the other two deaths. Isabelle Ralls, 81, was found Monday afternoon found in her 1991 Ford Taurus near Rhodes Pond in the northern part of the county. Thursday, the body of Tarry Faircloth, 53, was found less than 100 yards from his 1997 Dodge Avenger at the Clinton Road entrance ramp to Interstate 95.
The Cape Fear region has had 11 deaths related to the storm. Three people were killed in Robeson County, two each in Bladen and Sampson counties, and one in Columbus.
Columbus: Danny Gale Chestnut, 70, of Swamp Fox Highway East in the Nakina community of Tabor City, was found about 50 yards from where his abandoned pickup at Gore’s Chapel in Nakina. His body was found Tuesday.10/11
Sampson: Solomon Hickmond, 30, of Garland, died Oct. 8 after his 2012 Chevrolet Equinox hit a tree near N.C. 411. The only details on the other death, announced by the governor’s office Oct. 9, indicated a car attempted to pass through a flooded road.
Bladen: Two people were killed and one escaped a vehicle traveling in Clarkton on Rosindale Road, which collapsed leaving the car submerged in water. Shawn Dale Kemp, 44, and Juwan Rolando McKoy Carter, 22, died.
Robeson: The name of a Fairmont man found dead in his home hasn’t been released. He appeared to rely on an oxygen tank and could not escape the house. His death was announced Thursday by the governor’s office. Terry Strickland of Lumberton died when his car was swept off N.C. 211 by water. His death was announced Tuesday. Charles Ivey, 76, of Lumberton died Monday when he fell into water at his home on West Fifth Street.
Statewide, the death toll stood at 26 late Saturday evening. In addition to the Cape Fear region counties, there have been four deaths in Johnston County, three in Lenoir, two each in Wilson and Wayne, and one each in Pitt, Rowan, Gates and Wake counties.
The Associated Press last week reported a Harnett County death connected to the storm, but governor’s office press releases do not indicate one in the county.
Nationally, 43 people have died as a result of the storm.

Gov. Pat McCrory said Saturday that the death toll in North Carolina is at 26 from Hurricane Matthew and its floodwaters, including two in Cumberland County. Crews continue to work on damaged Interstate 95 in Robeson County, with no timetable for when the major North-South route will reopen.
Almost all the deaths in North Carolina have been from people driving or walking into flood waters and being swept away. In Cumberland, Isabelle Ralls, 81, died near Rhodes Pond in the northeast, and Tarry Faircloth, 53, was killed off Clinton Road east of the Cape Fear River. 

Interstate 95 remains closed in both directions around Lumberton, despite crews working around the clock to fix bridges, pavement and clear debris. Crews can't give an estimate on when the East Coast's main north-south highway will reopen at that spot.
"We have to see the inspections, we have to finish the engineering, we have to finish the construction," McCrory said.
 McCrory talked a lot about recovery at his Saturday news conference - one week after the hurricane dumped more than a foot of rain 100 miles inland causing massive flooding in the eastern part of the state. Towns such as Princeville, Lumberton and Fair Bluff remain under water, and not all rivers have crested.
Early next week, the governor plans to release a detailed plan on how North Carolina will rebuild, including how to pay for the effort. But he said serious problems remain.
"There are still many, may difficult days ahead for North Carolina," McCrory said.
Two babies have been delivered in a mobile hospital unit, his office said, commending the Med 1 Mobile Hospital of Charlotte that is stationed in Lumberton.
The Lumber River is receding throughout Robeson County, but is not expected to drop below major flood stage until Monday afternoon. The Neuse River at Goldsboro reached record levels this week and is not expected to drop below major flood stage until Sunday evening.
The Neuse River at Kinston also reached record high levels and is not expected to drop below major flood stage until late Wednesday. The Tar River is expected to drop below major flood stage at Tarboro this evening, but it is not expected to drop below major flood stage in Greenville until Tuesday morning.
The governor's office said the number of statewide power outages continues to drop, down to 13,366 from a peak of over 800,000 on Sunday. A majority of these, approximately 12,000, are located in Robeson County.
The North Carolina National Guard has 1,136 reservists activated. There have been 2,333 water rescues to date, but there were no rescues reported overnight.
Over 660 roads remain closed through central and eastern North Carolina due to damage or flooding, the governor's office said. Drivers are being told not to rely on GPS devices for closure and detour information. Call 511, download the ReadyNC app or visit for the latest road closure updates.
The governor said that officials are continuing to work with FEMA to develop temporary housing solutions to those who have been impacted. Since the state received its disaster declaration Monday, the federal government has dispersed nearly $9 million to disaster survivors through the Individual Assistance Program.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved North Carolina’s request for a hot meal waiver in all 100 counties, allowing Food and Nutrition Services recipients to purchase hot meals prepared for immediate consumption from authorized Electronic Benefits Transfer retailers.
The governor warned citizens to be on the lookout for fraudulent activity and scam operators and that the State Bureau of Investigation will pursue criminal charges. He also warned citizens to verify the license of any contractor prior to hiring and to only give money to credible relief efforts.            

Flooding triggered by the hurricane has killed at least 43 people in the United States and more than 500 people in Haiti                             
Meanwhile, drought continues to creep into areas of North Carolina west of Charlotte, which saw almost no rain from Hurricane Matthew. Hendersonville, a city of about 15,000 in the state's western mountains, plans to ask residents to begin conserving water next week. The far western part of the state is in a severe drought.

 Updates from Cumberland County authorities:
Six teams of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster survivor assistance specialists arrived Friday in Cumberland County. They visited the four emergency shelters to make sure the residents there have registered for assistance. Three teams will return to the shelters on Saturday. 
Residents who have applied for FEMA assistance will be contacted first by a FEMA inspector. These inspectors must show their credentials and will not ask for any personal identifying information such as Social Security or bank account numbers. Call law enforcement if you are suspicious of someone claiming to be a FEMA official.
Shelter Update
As of 6 p.m. Friday, there were 132 shelter residents at the four sites. The shelter at South View Middle School moved this afternoon back to South View High School because of a failing generator.
Electrical Permit Waivers
For residents who have lost electricity to their primary service, which includes the riser and meter base, the fees associated with this permit will be waived by Cumberland County through Oct. 28. This fee waiver does not remove the requirement for an electrical permit and inspection by the Cumberland County Planning & Inspections Department.
All work associated with the electrical system shall be performed by individuals licensed with the state of North Carolina for electrical contracting. If there are any questions, call the Cumberland County Planning & Inspection Department at 321-6648 or 321-6656.
Scam Alerts
The North Carolina Attorney General’s office warns residents to watch out for scams following Hurricane Matthew. The warning covers scammers impersonating FEMA and power company officials, insurance adjusters, home repair fraud, charity scams and price gouging.
Residents are urged to report storm-related scams to the Attorney General’s Office at or 1-877-5-No-SCAM (919-716-6000 if calling from an out-of-state number). If you suspect someone who shows up at your home is trying to commit fraud, call local law enforcement immediately.

4 killed, at least 9 injured after a pickup truck driver by drunk driver swerved over a San Diego-Coronado Bridge retaining wall and plunged 60 or more feet onto vendors’ sales booths during a festival in Chicano Park in San Diego

Navy man faces charges in truck crash that killed 4 in San Diego; 2 victims ID'd as Hacienda Heights residents

A member of the U.S. Navy is facing DUI and vehicular manslaughter charges after the pickup truck he was driving plunged off a San Diego bridge, killing four people and injuring nine at a festival below. (KABC)
A member of the U.S. Navy is facing DUI and vehicular manslaughter charges after the pickup truck he was driving plunged off a San Diego bridge, killing four people and injuring nine at a festival below.

Richard Anthony Sepolio, 25, who was stationed at the naval base on Coronado Island across the bay from San Diego, was alone in the truck Saturday afternoon when he lost control and fell 60 feet onto a vendor's booth at Chicano Park, California Highway Patrol Officer Jake Sanchez said.

Sepolio remained hospitalized Sunday with serious injuries. His rank or job description was not immediately available.

"It's horrible. It's horrific. We had innocent people down here having a good time, and now they're gone," Sanchez said after the crash.

The people who were killed were Cruz Elias Contreras, 52, and Annamarie Contreras, 50, of Chandler, Arizona; and Andre Christopher Banks, 49, and Francine Denise Jimenez, 46, both from Hacienda Heights, a suburb east of Los Angeles, the San Diego County Medical Examiner said.

Witnesses had said four people in the booth were crushed by the truck.

Eight people on the ground were injured. One suffered major trauma, and seven others had minor to moderate injuries, said Lee Swanson, a spokesman for the city's Fire-Rescue Department.

Witnesses said the GMC pickup truck with Texas license plates landed on a vendor's booth set up for La Raza Run, a motorcycle ride that begins in downtown Los Angeles and ends with a celebration at the park. The crash took place steps away from a stage where a rockabilly band was playing.

On Sunday, mourners gathered at the park to lay flowers and candles and say prayers for the victims.

Tina Camarillo told the San Diego Union-Tribune she and her daughter were in a booth next to the one that was hit.

"To see such tragedy in an instant . . . ," she said. "(The truck) fell and all I saw was darkness, the glass blew, the canopy fell on my head. My daughter was running to get my mom. It was horrible."

Iris Jimenez, 29, told the newspaper she got out of the way just in time.

"I saw the truck coming at me, and if I hadn't run, I'd be dead," Jimenez told the newspaper. Her companion, Pedro Sanchez, was one of several men who rushed to lift the pickup off the victims.

Photos from the scene show the truck's front end crumpled and its hood popped open.

The park is beneath the bridge in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in central San Diego.

A passenger truck fell from the Coronado Bridge onto an event in Chicano Park killing four people and injuring several others.
Pauline Repard and Jeff McDonald

What started as an annual Los Angeles-to-San Diego biker run turned into an unthinkable tragedy Saturday as a pickup truck swerved over a San Diego-Coronado Bridge retaining wall and plunged 60 or more feet onto vendors’ sales booths during a festival in Chicano Park.

Four people were killed almost instantly and nine others were injured, authorities said. Two of the injured victims suffered major trauma.

The driver, who was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, was in shock within seconds of the crash and asked witnesses who rushed to his aid to please contact his commander at a nearby military base.

Authorities identified him as Richard Anthony Sepolio, 25, a Navy man stationed in Coronado.

The names of those who died were not released. The California Highway Patrol said they were a man, 62, and a woman, 50, from Chandler, Ariz., and a man 59 and a woman, 49, from Hacienda Heights.

Some witnesses said two were motorcyclists in La Raza Run and two were tending a booth, selling T-shirts at the Barrio Logan event.

Iris Jimenez, 29, of La Puente, said she was friends with the two riders, and described them as “very nice people.”

“I saw the truck coming at me, and if I hadn’t run, I’d be dead,” Jimenez said. Her companion, Pedro Sanchez, was one of several men who rushed to lift the pickup off the dead victims.

“It’s horrible. Its horrific,” said Officer Jake Sanchez of the California Highway Patrol, one of several agencies that responded to the emergency call. “Innocent people were down here having a good time.”

Police and paramedics swarmed to the busy park when officers reported multiple casualties among the visitors. They credited bystanders with shoving the overturned pickup upright, offering first aid within seconds of the crash, and for helping emergency crews close the roads beneath the bridge.

One woman was reported to have a suffered a compound fracture, with the bone showing, and a man had an injured leg, police said.

The injured were taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital, UC San Diego Medical Center and Sharp Coronado Hospital. Most of them were described as having moderate injuries and were expected to survive.

“It’s a miracle there weren’t more people hurt,” said San Diego police Capt. Chuck Kaye. He said several officers who had stopped by to check on the crowd saw the pickup fly off the freeway. They immediately went to aid the injured.

The driver was traveling from a northbound lane on Interstate 5 west onto the bridge when he lost control of his GMC pickup about 3:45 p.m. The tan truck with Texas license plates landed steps away from a stage, where the Los Angeles blues-roots band The 44s was in the middle of its performance, witnesses said.

A CHP spokesman said no police officers were pursuing the pickup before it crashed.

Stunned bystanders watched as what had been a sun-soaked afternoon of music and entertainment turned into a deathly emergency scene. One witness said it was “instant chaos and panic.”

The CHP immediately closed the I-5 north access to the bridge so investigators could do their work. The eastbound lanes remained open, and the westbound side remained closed until about 11 p.m.

San Diego, Coronado and Harbor police assisted victims, strung barrier tape around part of the park and ushered motorcycle riders out of the way of arriving fire engines and ambulances.

Several thousand people were gathered in the Barrio Logan park for what is known as the La Raza Run.

One attendee said up to 2,000 bikers left downtown Los Angeles on Saturday morning headed for San Diego, with a stop at a Lake Elsinore casino, then the Chicano Park festival of music and food capping off the run. An after-party was held in National City. Up to 1,000 others, including families and children, were from the different neighborhoods in San Diego.

People who witnessed the crash said they were stunned at what they were seeing.

An unidentfied person is transported to a hospital after being injured when a vehicle plunged off the San Diego-Coronado Bridge into an afternoon crowd at Chicano Park. (Hayne Palmour)

“I saw a truck come right off the freeway. It was going so fast it flew over the stage and landed in front of the stage on a tent, a booth that was set up,” said Chase Dameron, who was about 30 feet away.

He said four people in the booth were crushed by the pickup. Debris from the crash was scattered onto a neighboring vendor’s booth.

“It was like a movie. It was like in slow motion,” Dameron said. “Where it hit, there was dust and debris and instant chaos and panic. People running crazy.”

Isaac Cardoza of Los Angeles was selling hats at a nearby booth when the pickup came hurtling from the bridge. He said at first he thought it was a big piece of cardboard, but that didn’t make any sense.

He said the truck crushed one booth staffed with people selling T-shirts from the Wagon Wheel bar in Pico Rivera, and a second booth for a charity organization. Many witnesses whipped out cellphones to document what they were seeing, he said.

“A lot of people were holding their phones in the air, trying to record everything,” Cardoza said.

Paul Gomez, a musician with the band Generations Boulevard, said his group had finished its set before the crash.

“I was sitting on the steps of the stage and the truck came over my head,” said Gomez, who lives in the L.A. suburb of Covina. “It hit the front end, bounced and landed on its side.”

Karen Hoffman, a flight nurse who is married to Gomez, said she scrambled to the crash site, but there was little to do for the people who had been in the booth. She said she tried to comfort the driver as paramedics and investigators made their way to the scene.

Another witness who identified himself only as James said he and his girlfriend were struck by some of the metal, wood and other materials that went flying once the truck nose-dived into the booth.

“We cheated death today,” said James, who said he pushed his girlfriend to safety when he realized what was happening.

By nightfall, people were creating a memorial to the dead with candles and flowers.

None of the victims was immediately identified. In a tweet, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said: “Praying for victims & families affected by the tragedy in Chicano Park. Devastated this occurred in one of our community's most beloved places.”