Saturday, March 18, 2017

FRESNO DEADNO: 1 person killed, 4 injured in 3 car collision in East Central Fresno after a speeding red Mustang made a reckless turn

Officers said the Mustang turned erratically, tried crossing four lanes of traffic, before an SUV and a truck rammed into its side. (KFSN)

By Christina Fan
Friday, March 17, 2017 11:24PM
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It was another Friday workout for Julio Cervantes, boxing in his garage, when he heard the sound of impending disaster. Five people were entangled in a heap of metal as Cervantes and others rushed to help. He said this mangled red Mustang and its driver were both crushed.

"He gargled something when he was in my arms when we took him to the grass."

Police said it was the driver of the Mustang who caused the accident. Officers said he turned erratically, tried crossing four lanes of traffic, before an SUV and a truck rammed into its side.

Cervantes said there was not even a chance to do CPR.

"I never had nobody die in my arms before-- I don't know what to say."

Police said an autopsy will show if drugs or alcohol were involved to help explain why the victim made such a dangerous high speed turn.

"He doesn't have a lot of trauma, so there is a possibly it was a medical issue he had which caused him to crash," said Lt. Joe Gomez, Fresno Police Department.

Cervantes said he is still in shock with how quickly life was lost.

"Nobody would have survived that, nobody. He's lucky he didn't have a child or wife there."

The crash is a reminder that a simple mistake on the street can quickly turn deadly-- crushing more than metal and glass.

The Metropolitan Apartments project in Raleigh was inspected more than 50 times before it burned to the ground.

The Metropolitan Apartments project was inspected more than 50 times before it burned to the ground.

By Jonah Kaplan
Updated 2 hrs 30 mins ago
RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- No one lived in the unfinished building that burned down, but fire protections in neighboring existing apartments helped limit the damage.

That's the prevailing feeling among officials on Friday as crews work furiously to clean up the wreckage from a massive five-alarm fire Thursday night in downtown Raleigh.

"While this happens - it's a rare occasion in the City of Raleigh," Fire Chief John T. McGrath told the ABC11 I-Team. "Things can be replaced. People cannot. No one was killed and no one was seriously injured."

McGrath confirmed to the I-Team that the general contractor, Clancy Theys, passed several recent inspections at their construction site at 314 W. Jones St. The project, the 241-unit Metropolitan Apartments, were being built at the site of the Trailways Bus Station - a property worth more than $7 million, according to county records.

Greyhound Bus Company sold the lot to Northbrook, Ill-based Banner Real Estate Group in January 2016. The terminal was torn down on November 29, meaning construction only began three and half months ago.

"This company, since they began building (the apartments), has been inspected 50 times - the latest on Monday," the chief added.

North Carolina's building codes are governed by international standards, mandating that all apartment complexes like Metropolitan, have tested and approved sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers at specified locations, access to exits, and fire-repellant doors that resist flames by at least two hours.

The doors, however, cannot be installed until the walls are finished - which is why Metropolitan did not have those protections in place.

For more information on building and fire codes, visit:

State building codes

Banner Real Estate and Clancy Theys Company released this joint statement:

"We thank the heroic firefighters and all first responders who risked their lives to contain this fire and that no loss of life occurred. While the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, we are working closely with authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and review of the incident.

To our neighbors and to the surrounding community, we are saddened by this unfortunate situation and ask for your patience as the investigation continues and as we begin the process of site cleanup."

Downtown Raleigh fire (image courtesy Eric Debrah)

ANOTHER DRUNK AND DEAD FEMALE DRIVER IN TEXAS: A speeding and drunk young woman died after hitting the back of an 18-wheeler in Houston, Texas.

Saturday, March 18, 2017 09:18AM
HOUSTON, TEXAS (KTRK) -- A young woman died after hitting the back of an 18-wheeler overnight.

The woman was driving too fast around a curve and hit the semi turning on Almeda Genoa and Scott St., police said.

She was killed instantly.

The driver of the 18-wheeler wasn't hurt.

The woman was between the ages of 20-30, police said.

She hasn't been identified.

MOST DRUNKS KILL OR INJURE PEOPLE IN THE EARLY A.M. HOURS: Speeding drunk driver critically injures passenger after he lost control of his vehicle and ran off the roadway, striking a utility pole and breaking it in half in Philly

HOLMESBURG (WPVI) -- Police say a driver was speeding and under the influence in a crash in Philadelphia's Holmesburg section.

It happened around 3 a.m. Saturday on the 8200 block of Frankford Avenue.

Police say a male driver in his 20s lost control of his vehicle and ran off the roadway, striking a utility pole and breaking it in half.

The crash also brought down utility wires.

A female passenger became trapped in the wreckage.

Crews had to turn live wires off and pull them off the truck before firefighters could get to her.

She was then taken to Aria-Torresdale Hospital and listed in critical condition.

The driver was taken into custody.

PECO officials said power was lost to a few homes, but should be restored.


Two people were critically injured after a pickup truck they were in crashed into a utility pole in Philadelphia's Holmesburg neighborhood early Saturday, police said.

The truck was traveling at high speed on the 8200 block of Frankford Avenue at about 1:30 a.m. when it slammed into the pole, splitting it in half, police said. The male driver and his female passenger were both taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Police said the man, whose name was not released, was arrested for driving under the influence.

PECO spokeswoman Sabrina Brooks said 317 customers lost power as a result of the broken utility pole. As of 8:30 a.m., most had their power restored; only 16 customers were still without power. She said the remaining customers were expected to have their power restored in the morning.

An AT&T subcontractor injured after trench collapses while installing fiberoptic lines near Boeing's Jetplex facility in Alabama

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - First responders are on scene near Boeing's Jetplex facility where an AT&T subcontractor suffered an injury while working on a trench bearing some fiber lines.

While the workers were running machinery, a worker was sent down into a hole. While down the hole, a sidewall shifted causing the man to be entrapped for around five minutes.

The man was freed by coworkers and taken to Huntsville Hospital for treatment.

OSHA will be conducting an investigation of the incident.

Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp. et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corp.: Texas chemical plant explosion award upheld by Texas Supreme Court

Texas Justices Won't Disturb Exxon's $4M Blast Coverage Win

By Michelle Casady Law360, Houston (February 17, 2017, 2:20 PM EST) -- 

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday declined a request from AIG subsidiary Commerce and Industry Insurance Co. asking the high court to review a lower court ruling holding it liable for more than $4 million in personal injury claims paid by Exxon Mobil Corp. in the wake of a Texas chemical plant explosion.
In February 2016, Commerce and Industry argued that although Exxon was listed as an “additional insured” on policies it and Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp. issued to an Exxon subcontractor, coverage is limited to performance of the subcontractor's services. A lower court erred by not constructing the underlying services contract to find Exxon was only covered for ongoing operations, the insurer told the court.

In a June response to the petition for review, Exxon told the high court that there was no need to review the court of appeals' “excellent opinion,” because there had been no error to correct, and Commerce and Industry simply doubled down on arguments already rejected by the other courts. Their main argument, Exxon told the court, is that “performance” is an active verb, and thus must refer only to ongoing operations.

“The court of appeals tactfully used a footnote to answer this, pointing out that 'performance’ is a noun, and can be used to refer to a future performance, an ongoing performance, or a past performance,'” the brief reads. “If C&I’s odd claim about performance being an active verb were a sideshow, our response would not mention it. But it is the aorta of C&I’s argument.”

Despite requesting and receiving three extensions to file a petition for review, court records show that Liberty never filed a petition with the high court.

Todd Spitler, spokesman for Exxon, told Law360 on Friday that the company believes the court of appeals and Supreme Court ruled correctly in the matter.

The insurers were fighting court rulings requiring them to cover Exxon under the additional insured provisions for policies held by subcontractor Wyatt Field Service Co., which worked at Exxon's Baytown, Texas, plant three years before the explosion that caused the injuries at issue.

Wyatt was hired as a subcontractor in 2007 to perform work at the Baytown plant. As part of the contract, Exxon required Wyatt to obtain a $2 million policy from Liberty and a $25 million policy from Commerce and Industry to cover its work at the plant, according to court records. Wyatt completed its work at the plant in 2008.

In 2011, employees of a different contractor were injured in an explosion that involved some of the same equipment that Wyatt had worked on. The injured workers sued both Exxon and Wyatt, alleging equipment had been improperly installed. Exxon settled with the workers before trial, then turned to the insurers to cover the cost.

A Harris County district court found on summary judgment Exxon was an additional insured under Wyatt's Commerce and Industry and Liberty policies. The Fourteenth Court of Appeals in December 2015 upheld the decision, holding Exxon proved it wouldn't have been sued but for the work of the subcontractor and showed the claims against it fall within the scope of the additional-insured coverage.

Counsel for Commerce did not return a call seeking comment Friday

Commerce and Industry is represented by Robert Siegel, Brendan Doherty and Charlotte Fields of Gieger Laborde & Laperouse LLC.

Liberty is represented by Kevin Risley, Brian S. Martin and Rodrigo Garcia Jr. of Thompson Coe Cousins & Irons LLP.

Exxon is represented by David Gunn, John Adcock and Erin Huber of Beck Redden LLP and Mike Morris and Danny Van Winkle of Tekell Book Allen & Morris LLP.

The case is Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp. et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., case number 16-0074, in the Supreme Court of the State of Texas.


A male worker was electrocuted while working on live power lines Thursday afternoon in central Laredo, authorities said.

Laredo police identified him as Pedro Luis Salinas, 30, of Concepcion, a small community located between Hebbronville and Falfurrias. Salinas was an electrician for T&D Solutions, a subcontractor of American Electric Power working on live lines, according to police.

"At this phase of the preliminary investigation, there's no indication that foul play was noted," said Investigator Joe E. Baeza, LPD spokesman. "An autopsy will be performed, nonetheless."

First responders were dispatched at 5:40 p.m. to the 100 block of East Fremont Street for an injured person report.

"Details regarding the accident are under investigation," AEP said in a statement. "Further specific information about the accident will have to come from local authorities. Our hearts go out to the family of the victim."

An LPD report states Salinas was in an aerial lift bucket working on several lines.

"The spotter (a co-worker) reported that he was watching Mr. Salinas work on the electrical line," the report states, "when all of the sudden, he noticed a spark flash ignited near Mr. Salinas."

Salinas fell inside the aerial lift bucket. He was unresponsive and had shallow breathing, according to police. Co-workers administered CPR until paramedics arrived.

EMS crews rushed Salinas to Laredo Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

Webb County medical examiner personnel took custody of the body.  

Baeza said that, as per procedure, police are investigating the case.

LPD notified the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. The agency will conduct its own investigation.

OSHA states on its website that its mission is to "assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance."


T&D Solutions, a PowerTeam Services Company, is one of six outstanding companies that make up PowerTeam Services. The companies include KS Energy Services, Southeast Connections, Distribution Construction, Associated Diversified Services, and Culy Construction & Power Services.

With initial service operations in Southeast Texas and Louisiana, T&D's service territory has expanded throughout the Southwest, Central South, Midwest, and East Coast with over 1,200 resources. Our success is a direct reflection of our Mission Statement and our dedication to those principles.

T&D Solutions approaches safety as an ethos instead of a mandate, and Team Member Jon Appling says the cultural conversion is taking grip as planned.

“We’re actually changing people’s hearts, and that changes the way they do things,” Appling says. “To change the way a [team member] thinks, you have to change [his or her] heart.”

The way T&D Solutions is changing hearts, minds and behaviors related to safety is by emphasizing training throughout its ranks and having all levels of management – field workers and office personnel alike – spend more time on-site with the crews that deliver the utility company’s services.

“That’s from our CEO on down,” Appling reiterates. “There’s a commitment to be out there to show that you actually care about a [team member’s] safety. You have to get out there where they’re working and show that you’re concerned about what they’re doing.”
Two Big Grids

T&D Solutions is concerned about the power and energy needs of an 18-state market that extends west to New Mexico, north to Iowa, east to Maryland and south to the Gulf Coast states. In these states, T&D Solutions services electrical utility companies, concentrating on safely transporting electricity from the source of generation to its final destination for business and residential customers.

The company’s capabilities include transmission services including trained to hot-stick up to 230 KV, substation operations, distribution of electricity and a variety of turnkey processes for renewable energy. T&D’s transmission operations include new construction and maintenance services on electrical systems conducting bulk transfer of electrical energy from generation power plants to substations near population centers. The company currently serves two of the three major grids in the United States.

For substations, the company converts voltage from high to low, or vice versa, depending on a project’s scope. This work includes switching, protection and control equipment as well as one or more transformers.

For distribution work, T&D’s projects involve new construction, system improvements and complete rebuilds. The company also has participated in several FEMA projects involving several hundred miles of power lines.
The Safety Differential

Appling admits most companies like T&D Solutions offer similar services. Utility capabilities usually are the same across a swath of the country, and the industry remains competitive with so many providers operating in overlapping regional markets.

This applies to the industrywide acceptance of increased safety needs for employees and end-users alike. However, Appling says T&D’s execution of its specialized safety plan is what makes his company stand out from the competition.

“I see our market being more competitive for sure because you have more companies that do the same thing T&D does, so that limits the amount of resources to go around the different companies,” Appling says.

Appling makes it clear that T&D Solutions has always made safety its top priority. However, the company’s approach to safety is what has changed, and getting everyone involved at all levels has proven to be a successful strategy as incident rates continue to drop.

“Everyone has to be brought into it,” Appling says. “When a man goes to work every day, he has two choices – he can work safely or unsafely.”

The choice to work safely comes innately with an upper-level commitment to training, Appling says, and T&D Solutions is going all-in with its instruction. The company is constructing its own training facility on a 140-acre parcel it owns in Kountze, Texas, that will feature residence halls as employees become certified as linemen. Forty acres will be devoted to training grounds and dormitories for students, and the rest of the acreage will feature a T&D family resort with fishing areas, campgrounds and RV hookups for T&D team members and their families.

“Instead of getting new people sporadically, we’ll get the big bulk of our training out of the way through our program designed by the [U.S.] Department of Labor,” Appling says.

Appling says the curriculum prepared for the facility will feature a mix of classroom and hands-on training. T&D will set up simulated power lines where trainees can test their skills.

Led by President of Safety Eugene Williams, Director and Manager of Training Daniel Welch and CEO Chad Dubea, the facility will ensure anyone employed by T&D who wants to pursue additional safety training can do so within their employer’s curriculum.

Although T&D intends to continue growing organically, Appling says initiatives like the training facility show it remains committed to safety first.

“Our vision is we definitely want to keep growing and we want it to be manageable, but we are never going to jeopardize our safety net just so we can get more market share,” he says.

SO MANY CRAZIES AND DRUNKS AND DRUG-ADDICTS ON THE ROAD: Drugged dump truck driver, Dalton M. Lampley, 23, of Calvert City, Ky. traveling the wrong way on I-24 struck about 10 vehicles


CALVERT CITY, Ky. (WZTV) — Multiple people were taken to the hospital, some with life-threatening injuries, after being struck by a dump truck traveling the wrong way on I-24.

The dump truck driver, Dalton M. Lampley, 23, of Calvert City, Ky. is charged with 1st Degree Fleeing or Evading Police, 1st Degree Wanton Endangerment of a Police Officer, 1st Offense Driving Under the Influence, 1st Degree Possession of a Controlled Substance (Meth), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Resisting Arrest.

Multiple calls came in about 1 p.m. regarding a dump truck traveling the wrong way on I-24 near mile marker 16. Kentucky State Police responded to assist the McCracken County Sheriff Department in a pursuit.

Troopers took lead of the pursuit near the McCracken/Marshall County line. The chase continued into Calvert City and ended near the intersection of Highway 1523 and Highway 62, where the dump truck became disabled.

Police said there were about 10 vehicles struck by the dump truck, with multiple people being taken by ambulance to hospitals in McCracken County for injuries, some believed to be life-threatening.

Lampey was taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries and lodged in Marshall County Jail upon his release.The Marshall County Sheriff Department, Calvert City Police Department, Paducah Police Department and Marshall County Ambulance Service are assisting KSP and McCracken County Sheriff's Department in the case.

Worker for Orgain Ready Mix Concrete died after getting caught in a conveyor belt in Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--A 61-year-old Erin, Tennessee man working for Orgain Ready Mix Concrete reportedly died after getting caught in a conveyor belt.

According the accidental death incident report taken by Murfreesboro Police, the 51-year-old was breaking ice off of a conveyor belt when he became caught in the machine.

The site supervisor and another man attempted to free him from the machine but were "unsuccessful."

FOX 17 News contacted the company which stated they would "not be making any comments." The company is based in Clarksville and is listed as a contractor. The actual site of the accidental death is listed on the report as 450 Middle Tennessee Boulevard in Murfreesboro.

The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) confirms the accidental death and says two safety officers were on site following the accident. Further details won't be known until a final report is issued which usually takes between 6-8 weeks.

A worker at Goodyear's Gadsden plant was injured


A worker at Goodyear's Gadsden plant was injured today, company officials said.

In a statement, the company said the accident happened early this morning. Company officials did not identify the employee or give any information on the accident or the extent of any injuries.

"Goodyear's on-site emergency response team, as well as local emergency personnel responded immediately," the company stated. "An investigation into the cause of the injury is underway."


OVERLAND PARK, Kan.—Years ago the former United Rubber Workers union and Goodyear worked together on a collaborative program that may be responsible for one of the firm’s U.S. tire factories still operating today.

And two of the participants in the program, the third-party facilitator and a Goodyear manager of industrial relations, say the principles they focused on still are relevant in labor-management relations today.

Robert Hughes, currently president of Overland Resource Group in Overland Park, was working back in the 1980s with W.P. Dolan & Associates, a forerunner of his current firm. W.P. Dolan at the time was working with Goodyear and the URW in Tyler, Texas, as the company was looking to convert the factory from bias-ply to radial tire production.

W.P. Dolan focused on helping union and management clients work together in a collaborative manner to help improve organizational performance, according to Hughes. He said that Jerry Butcher, head of Goodyear’s North American manufacturing at the time, approached them about setting up a similar program at the Gadsden, Ala., facility, represented by URW Local 12.

The Alabama plant basically had two parts, one an old area where bias tires were produced, and then a newer expansion put up in the 1970s to manufacture radials. “Jerry said this is a big work force, with a lot of experience and an experienced management team,” Hughes said. “It’s been a good plant for us. But the board of Goodyear is not going to spend money on improving locations if they don’t see we have a reasonable business relationship with labor.”

Doug Wade was sent to the Gadsden plant in 1986 as manager of industrial relations, and he recalls that a lot of company personnel refused to go to Gadsden because the threat of closure hung over the factory. He went there with the expectation that the plant would not survive.

But after talking to union and management officials, they presented a plant to Goodyear leadership to try to save the facility. The top executives felt like they were hearing a tale they’d heard before, and historically it was “all talk and no change,” Wade said. “Goodyear signed off with great doubt it would ever happen.”

At that point Goodyear leadership—headed by Butcher—suggested they work with W.L. Dolan, as the company and union were in Tyler. So Wade and the president of Local 12 at the time went and met with plant management and union leadership from the Texas facility to see if they felt the process could work in Gadsden.
Difficult times

Wade said at the time both Goodyear and the union were experiencing difficulties. The company was being raided by Sir James Goldsmith, and the URW had lost membership because of plant closings. “We had two sick organizations that needed to change,” Wade said.

After both sides agreed, W.L. Dolan helped build structure and provide facilitation and expertise to deal with key issues such as quality, safety, communication and lowering medical costs.

With the bias and radial sides at the Gadsden plan, Wade said there were two separate cultures that never worked well together. “We tired to create ‘One Gadsden,’ ” he said.

There were difficult things to deal with, including changing the piece work and bumping structures to make it a more efficient operation. Goodyear leadership gave a target of $30 million in costs savings, so the two sides had to reopen the contract that had just been reached the prior year, Wade said.

“That was a hard pill for the union to swallow, but they agreed to,” he said. “We had a week in order to successfully negotiate a contract that would take $30 million in cost out of the plant.”

Among the changes was working with local hospitals and doctors to build a Goodyear medical facility for employees and retirees that helped lower health care costs.

The toughest issue, though, was changes to piece work and mandating employees work a full shift rather than being able to quit after making a quota, something Wade said was deeply embedded in the culture. “”When we pulled the trigger on that, it had a dramatic (negative) impact on production,” he said. “We had a lot of blood, sweat and tears to try to get our production back to a level that was acceptable that we could be competitive.”

Local union leaders, though, were committed to making the change a success in the end, and production did return to competitive levels, he said. “I think we were very successful in how we communicated differently during that period of time and were very effective in our business education and communications efforts.”
Program fades away

A water tower at Goodyear's plant in Gadsden, Ala.

Wade returned to Akron in 1989 and was given the task to spread the program to Goodyear’s other union tire plants in North America. They had varying degrees of success, according to Wade.

“Those places didn’t quite have the dramatic need for change for survival that Gadsden did,” he said.

But Kenneth Coss, URW president at the time, and other union officials such as John Sellers and Jim Jessie were instrumental in pushing the program, Wade said. They were trying to convince these locations to get ahead of the curve and make changes when it wasn’t as painful.

“The other locations bought into it and we were in the midst of working with them and setting up problem solving teams to work on quality, safety and improving plant performance,” Wade said.

But from his perspective, several things happened that Wade said led to the collaborative effort ending between Goodyear and labor.

First, the URW merged in 1995 with the United Steelworkers. In the first negotiations with the USW at the helm, there was a strike that Wade and others at Goodyear hadn’t expected. “That drove a wedge in what we were trying to accomplish in management’s eyes,” he said.

Then Jessie—a leading driver from the union’s ranks—died unexpectedly, and Butcher, the key player on management’s side, was transferred to Asia. “When all those came together, nobody pulled the plug on it,” Wade said, “but nobody really championed it and supported it like they did the previous five years. And it just kind of faded away.”

Then the union staged a bigger strike in the early 2000s. “If it was on life support before, that just pulled the plug,” he said.

Wade himself was transferred and was HR director in Asia from 1999 to 2004. He then retired from Goodyear and worked with Hughes’ organization for 12 years before retiring from there this past January.

Both Wade and Hughes believe what they accomplished in Gadsden and elsewhere in Goodyear is applicable in today’s society.

“We believe most of what you need to know to make your operation work better is already known inside the operation,” Hughes said. “But you’re not organized in a way that you get to that data. So people three and four layers away from where the work is done are making all the decisions about how to do it.”

Wade said fundamental principles they applied on such issues as competitive problems, utilizing the work force to help effectuate and implement change, and improving communications can be applied anywhere.

“I’m very proud of what we did accomplish,” he said. “The main thing, other places haven’t survived and that place is still making tires today. I feel good to be a part of having helped them secure their future back in 1986 by what we did, as painful as it was.”


NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV (KTNV) - A worker is in critical condition after being stung by bees hundreds of times Wednesday afternoon.

North Las Vegas Fire Department received a call around 2:30 p.m. near Craig Road and Ferrell Street, east of Simmons Street. Workers were working on a cell phone tower that looks like a palm tree when the bees began stinging them.

One was transported to Centennial Hills Hospital in critical condition while the others were treated and released on scene.

Firefighter are attempting to disperse the bees.

Two firefighters were injured during the bee attack. One was treated on scene due to bites and another was transported to the hospital in stable condition. The firefighter has since been released.

Here is a pic of the scene where the workers were attacked by bees while working on a cell phone tower. @KTNV— Bryan Callahan (@BCallahanKTNV) March 15, 2017


NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — A worker has been critically injured after being stung by bees hundreds of times in North Las Vegas.

The North Las Vegas Fire Department was called Wednesday afternoon for reports of a man who had encountered a beehive in a cellphone communication tower.

Fire Department Capt. Cedric Williams says the man was doing some sort of work on the cellphone tower when several hundred bees stung him.

The man was taken to Centennial Hills Hospital in critical condition.

Two other people were stung and treated at the scene.