Monday, March 27, 2017

Father and son die in fiery crash after a tire popped, ran off the side of the road, went down on an embankment and struck a tree in NC

CHESTER COUNTY, N.C. -- Authorities tell NBC Charlotte two people are dead following a fiery crash in Chester County Saturday morning.

According to S.C. Highway Patrol, the accident took place around 8 a.m. on Old Mill Road near I-77.

Chester County Coroner says 53-year-old Christopher Gragg, of Lenoir, lost control of the vehicle after a tire popped, ran off the side of the road, went down on an embankment and struck a tree.

Driver's son, Cody Gragg, also died in the accident.

No other vehicles were involved in the incident, troopers say.

Cassandra Higginbotham, 29, of Carrollton, who was critically injured in a six-vehicle crash has died at a hospital in Texas

WACO, Texas (KWTX) 

Cassandra Higginbotham, 29, of Carrollton, who was critically injured in a six-vehicle crash during a rainstorm on March 11 on Interstate 35 that claimed the life of her daughter, has died at a local hospital.

Brynleigh Higginbotham, 4, died in the late-afternoon accident on the southbound interstate in Elm Mott north of Waco.

Her father, Daniel Higginbotham, 30, remains in critical condition.

Southbound lanes were closed because of an earlier crash when the KIA SUV in which the Higginbothams were riding was struck from behind.

A second child, Kason Higginbotham, 8, was taken to McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple where he is in stable condition.

Ten others were treated for minor injuries at the scene. One victim had to be freed from the wreckage of a vehicle.

Shelley Lynn Burkett, 55, of Oglesby is the driver killed in fiery collison with 18-wheeler in Waco, Texas

WACO, Texas (KWTX) 

The Department of Public Safety Monday identified a woman who was killed in a fiery three-vehicle crash nearly two weeks ago as Shelley Lynn Burkett, 55, of Oglesby.

Just after 6 p.m. on March 15, Burkett, who was driving a Honda Civic, was attempting to turn south off of westbound State Highway 84 onto Burkett Lane when a four-door Kia struck her car from the rear, pushing the Honda into the path of an oncoming 18-wheeler.

Both the Honda and the 18-wheeler caught fire.

The driver of the rig wasn’t injured.

The Lampasas woman who was driving the Kia was taken to a local hospital with what were described as minor injuries.

Caltrans workers and local Central Valley leaders calling on California lawmakers to pass a transportation funding measure to fix badly damaged roads.


Gov. Jerry Brown and legislatures are combing through a $6 billion funding package to offer relief for the entire state. (KFSN)

By Cory James
Friday, March 24, 2017 04:50PM
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- With signs in their hands, Caltrans workers and local Central Valley leaders banded together, calling on lawmakers in Sacramento to pass a transportation funding measure to fix badly damaged roads.

Recent storms have made driving conditions worse, and lawmakers from Fresno, Madera and Kings Counties spent Friday morning urging the governor and legislature to pass a bill that will provide funding to repair highways and roads.

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislatures are combing through a $6 billion funding package to offer relief for the entire state. The bill would give the city and county of Fresno about $18 million a year for repairs.

Council member Esmeralda Soria says this would drastically help with the city's $250 million deferred street maintenance.

"We don't have enough funding to keep up with the maintenance and repairs that our infrastructure needs," Soria said.

Orville Thomas with California Alliance for Jobs is fighting to remind legislatures of that. And his team purchased five billboards on major freeways leading into the capital to make the message loud and clear.

"Right now, about 60 percent of California roads are at a failing grade, and we really want to make sure these roads are being addressed," he said.

Caltrans District 6 director Sharri Ehlert says previous transportation measures have helped, but adds the funding only goes so far.

"You've seen a lot of improvements along Highway 99 in those areas that we've invested with the Prop 1B," Ehlert explained. "That money is gone, they've been exhausted and so now with that, it's great we had a one-time infusion, but we need a more stable long-time funding source."

It's one that will not only repair roads and highways but create new jobs as well because the bill is being fine-tuned, it is unclear what this will cost taxpayers.

The deadline for passage of the funding bill is April 6.

1 person has died and multiple people are injured in a 4-alarm structure fire at the corner of 26th Street and San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, CA

Oakland firefighters have confirmed one person has died and multiple people are injured in a four-alarm structure fire at the corner of 26th Street and San Pablo Avenue. (KGO-TV)

By Amy Hollyfield
Monday, March 27, 2017 11:59AM
OAKLAND, Calif. -- One person is confirmed dead, seven were rescued and three suffered injuries from smoke inhalation this morning in a four-alarm fire in West Oakland, according to fire officials.

Around 5:30 a.m. emergency crews responded to the scene of a residential structure fire at 2551 San Pablo Ave. near Mead Avenue.

There were a total of 86 tenants, 85 of whom have been displaced, according to Battalion Chief Erik Logan.

When fire crews arrived on scene there was heavy smoke and flames visible, Logan said, and he did not hear any alarms going off.

Most of the residents had self-evacuated and were already on the street.

"It was extremely scary you're wondering if you are going to make it. Is this it?" said Karen Redus, a fire victim.

One couple tried to open their door but the doorknob was too hot to touch. they were trapped.

"I got up, there was smoke everywhere. I tried to walk but the smoke hit me and I fell down. I went for the door, I couldn't get out, it was a lot of smoke," said another fire victim.

"I thought I was going to be dead. I thought about the other fire they had down by Fruitvale," a fire victim told ABC7 News.

At least one person did not make it out, and human remains have been located on the second floor, according to Logan.

James Cook, an attorney with John Burris Law Offices, said the address is a transitional housing facility for homeless people, people getting out of prison and people with mental health issues.

The facility is a 62-unit building operated by Urojas Community Services, a faith-based organization acting as the master tenant, Cook said.

The building's owner served the tenant with a 30-day eviction notice last week, but they were trying to stay and planning to file a breach of contract lawsuit, according to Cook.

He described the building as "virtually uninhabitable," with exposed wires and backed up plumbing inside.

"I think there were a lot of issues going on in that building," Cook said.

A 49-year-old woman named Angie who lived in the facility for roughly two months said she did not hear any smoke detectors or fire alarms go off during this morning's fire.

"It was scary," Angie said. "All I thought about was the people I love, my friends and the people I care about getting hurt."
The Bay City News contributed to this report.

A grocery store employee injured when an unlicensed driver crashed a car into the store in Jersey City

A grocery store employee suffered minor injuries when Sunday night when an unlicensed driver crashed a car into the store on the corner of Ocean and Lembeck avenues, police said.

The 19-year-old driver told police he was headed north and was turning left onto Lembeck Avenue from Ocean Avenue when a driver traveling south on Ocean caused him to lose control of his 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt.

The driver, of Suburbia Court in Jersey City, crashed into the storefront shattering a window and a glass door, as well as causing other damage, police said. A 51-year-old store employee was taken to the Jersey City Medical Center complaining of pain to his shoulder -- which was struck by the front door in the crash.

The 19-year-old was issued summonses, including one for being an unlicensed driver, police said.

A construction worker crushed to death by a large pre-cast concrete condominium panel during unloading near Toronto’s waterfront.

TORONTO, CANADA - A construction worker died Monday after reportedly being crushed by a big concrete slab near Toronto’s waterfront.

Emergency personnel were called around 11:30 a.m. Monday for an industrial accident on a site where a condo building is going up at Lower Jarvis St. and Queens Quay.

“A panel had fallen on a worker there,” said Toronto Police Const. David Hopkinson. “The injuries were quite serious.”

Hopkinson said the worker was rushed to hospital on an emergency run, but pronounced dead soon after.

Ontario’s labor ministry was called in to investigate.

Joseph Mancinelli, vice-president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, told the John Oakley Show​ on AM640 it’s believed the worker was hit and crushed by a pre-cast concrete slab that had come off of a truck.
Mancinelli identified the worker as a 35-year-old pre-cast concrete erector with LiUNA Local 506.

Today mourns the loss of one of our Brothers. Our deepest condolences to the friends, families and loved ones.
UPDATE: Worker dies, crushed by panel at Toronto construction site

by DCN News Services Mar 27, 2017

TORONTO—A construction worker has died as a result of injuries suffered when a pre-cast concrete panel fell on him Monday morning (March 27) at a downtown Toronto construction site.

The incident occurred close to 11:30 a.m. near the intersection of Lower Jarvis Street and Queens Quay East.  A Ministry of Labour spokesperson indicated the worker was injured when the wall fell during unloading. The worker was rushed to a trauma center where he was pronounced dead.

Toronto Police said the man was in his mid 40s.

Two ministry inspectors and a ministry engineer have been assigned to investigate.

The intersection was shut down for the investigation. 


Police say a man has died following an industrial accident at a downtown construction site on Monday.

Emergency responders were called to the site near Lower Jarvis Street and Queens Quay just before 11:30 a.m.

Joseph Mancinelli, vice-president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, told the John Oakley Show​ on AM640 it’s believed the worker was hit and crushed by a pre-cast concrete slab that had come off of a truck.

Paramedics said the man did not have vital signs when he arrived at hospital.

Mancinelli identified the worker as a 35-year-old pre-cast concrete erector with LiUNA Local 506.

“When you hear about a 35 year old that’s not going to make it home to his family, it’s pretty heartbreaking,” he said.

The circumstances surrounding the man’s death are being investigated by the Ministry of Labour.

Construction worker crushed to death by safe deposit box that fell off a lift at the Cheltenham Mall in Montgomery County, PA

Police say the man was crushed to death after an old safety deposit box fell on him. (WPVI)

Updated 36 mins ago
CHELTENHAM TWP., Pa. (WPVI) -- Police say a man was crushed to death when a safe deposit box fell on him in Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County.

The victim has been identified as 35-year-old Jonathan Maust of Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.

The fatal incident occurred around 1 p.m. Monday at the former Cheltenham Mall on the 2400 block of Cheltenham Avenue, which is currently under construction.

Police say Maust, along with two co-workers, were attempting to relocate a large safe deposit box inside an old Wells Fargo bank.

They placed it up on a lift. That's when, police say, it fell onto Maust.

A special operations unit was called in due to the size and weight of the box.

Action News has learned Maust leaves behind a wife and child.


CHELTENHAM TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — A construction worker was killed Monday afternoon after he was crushed by a large safety deposit box which had fallen on top of him.

Cheltenham Township police said in a statement they were called to the old Wells Fargo bank at 2401 Cheltenham Avenue for a report of an industrial accident shortly after 1 p.m.

When officers arrived, they were directed to the vault where they found 35-year-old Jonathan Maust of Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, who had been crushed by a large safety deposit box that fell on top of him. Maust died at the scene.

Police determined the victim, along with two coworkers, attempted to relocate the safety deposit box when it tipped and fell on Maust.

Sources initially told CBS 3 an ATM fell on the worker.

Cheltenham Township police, OSHA and the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office are currently investigating the incident.

Drunk tractor-trailer driver, Sandhu Simranjeet Singh, slams his truck into a car, killing 1 and injuring 2 on the westbound Cross Bronx Expressway

NEW YORK (WABC) -- One man was killed and two others injured when a tractor trailer struck their vehicle on the westbound Cross Bronx Expressway Monday morning and kept going.

The tractor trailer driver was later stopped by Port Authority police on the New Jersey Turnpike.

The vehicles collided at about 2 a.m. on the westbound expressway approaching the George Washington Bridge ramp, just east of the intersection of Amsterdam Avenue and West 180th Street.

A 25-year-old man in the car, identified as Caeser Contreras, was pronounced dead at the scene. Two women in the car, ages 28 and 39, were taken to Harlem Hospital.

The two other men were taken to Harlem Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

The truck driver, 23-year-old Sandhu Simranjeet Singh, of Durham, North Carolina, is charged with driving while intoxicated.

The truck will be moved from Vince Lombardi Service Area, where Singh was located, to the Port Authority Police Station in Fort Lee. Singh will likely spend the night in New Jersey on the commercial driver DWI charge, awaiting possible extradition possible to New York, where further charges are possible.

Drivers were diverted from accessing the George Washington Bridge lower level from the westbound Cross Bronx Expressway during the morning commute for the ongoing investigation.

Staffing firm Barrett Business Services Found Responsible in Warehouse Carbon Monoxide Exposure Incident that Sent Workers to Hospital

News Release No.: 2017-22 Date: March 27, 2017

Staffing Firm Found Responsible in Warehouse Carbon Monoxide Exposure Incident that Sent Workers to Hospital

Sacramento—Cal/OSHA has announced that citations issued to staffing firm Barrett Business Services following a September 28, 2011 carbon monoxide warehouse incident in Anaheim that sent eight temporary workers to the hospital were upheld by the Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board (OSHAB).

For months prior to the incident, the workers contracted by Barrett Business Services to package fruits and nuts in L&L Foods’ warehouse in Anaheim had complained to their supervisor that they were experiencing headaches, nausea and other health issues caused by forklifts operating in an enclosed area with poor ventilation. Neither the Ontario-based staffing company nor host employer L&L Foods took any action.

“This decision by the Appeals Board underscores the shared responsibility by staffing companies and host employers in protecting workers’ health and safety,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “This was a case where neither employer addressed known safety and health hazards.”

On the day of the incident, a forklift driver became ill and was hospitalized for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, while seven other workers were taken to the hospital for treatment. Cal/OSHA tested the facility and found the workers were exposed to CO levels of 250-350 parts per million, which exceeded the permissible exposure level of 200 parts per million. Following an investigation, Cal/OSHA issued citations in 2012 to both Barrett Business Services and L&L Foods for numerous safety violations, including willful violations for failing to take action on known hazards.

Both employers filed appeals protesting the citations; L&L Foods settled its case on April 22, 2013. Following a lengthy appeal process that started in 2013, an administrative law judge last April denied Barrett’s appeal and imposed total civil penalties of $80,050.

Barrett objected to the appeal decision and on August 29, 2016, filed a petition for reconsideration with the Appeals Board. The Board rendered its decision last December, citing evidence gained from Cal/OSHA’s investigation that the employer did not properly train its employees, disregarded workers’ reports of health hazards and failed to monitor the worksite.

The evidence revealed that L&L Foods had sealed all of the vents at the facility to prevent vermin from entering the establishment. Barrett did not assess the safety conditions for the enclosed environment, failed to control the increased carbon monoxide levels in the workplace and continually disregarded worker’s reports of headaches and nausea from the fumes.

The citations issued included three violations for one general, one willful general and one willful serious category violation. A willful violation is cited when the employer is aware of the law and violates it nevertheless, or when the employer is aware of the hazardous condition and takes no reasonable steps to address it. A serious violation is cited when there is a realistic possibility that death or serious harm could result from the actual hazard created by the violation. A general violation is cited when an accident or occupational illness resulting from violation of a standard would probably not cause death or serious physical harm, but would have a direct or immediate relationship to the safety or health of employees.

Cal/OSHA, officially known as the Department of Industrial Relations’ (DIR’s) Division of Occupational Safety and Health, helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734). The California Workers’ Information line at 866-924-9757 provides recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics. Complaints can also be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices.

The Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board adjudicates appeals of citations issued by Cal/OSHA. All employers have the right to appeal citations within 15 days of receipt by submitting a copy of their citation package and appeal forms to OSHAB. Appeals can be submitted either by mail or online using OASIS.

# # #

The California Department of Industrial Relations, established in 1927, protects and improves the health, safety, and economic well-being of over 18 million wage earners, and helps their employers comply with state labor laws. DIR is housed within the Labor & Workforce Development Agency. For general inquiries, contact DIR’s Communications Call Center at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734) for help in locating the appropriate division or program in our department.

Pennsylvania DEP Approves Permits for Underground Injection Wells in Elk and Indiana Counties operated bySeneca Resources Corp. and Pennsylvania General Energy Company

Pennsylvania  DEP Approves Permits for Underground Injection Wells in Elk and Indiana Counties operated bySeneca Resources Corp.  and Pennsylvania General Energy Company

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today approved permits for two underground injection control (UIC) wells for disposal of wastewater associated with oil and natural gas production. The wells are located in Highland Township, Elk County; and Grant Township, Indiana County.

“After a thorough review, DEP determined that both applications meet all regulations, are sufficient to protect surface water and water supplies, and would abate pollution,” said Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.

The wells will be operated by two separate operators, Seneca Resources Corp. in Elk County; and Pennsylvania General Energy Company (PGE) in Indiana County.

In addition to the permit applications, DEP reviewed Erosion and Sedimentation Control and Post Construction Stormwater Management Plans, Control and Disposal Plans, and the applications submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as the permits issued by the EPA for the wells.

Due to concerns about seismic activity related to UIC wells that has occurred in other states DEP has applied special conditions to the permit to ensure early detection if even minor seismic events occur. These conditions include: 

• Installation of a seismometer and continuous recorder with operating, calibration, service, and maintenance information at the disposal well site; and the contact information for the responsible person in charge of conducting seismic monitoring activities.
• Verification that data is captured at the disposal well site and provided to the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Network in real time.
• Description of installation to allow for optimal seismic event identification and location.
• Submission of a tectonic seismic event contingency plan that includes monitoring, reporting and mitigation provisions.
• Provision for updating the seismic monitoring and mitigation plan, retaining seismic event data and equipment records, and submitting reports on the use of monitoring equipment.

In addition, these wells are permitted at much lower pressures, and in formations farther from the “basement” rock that is more prone to activity, than the wells in other states that have been linked to seismic activity.

More information on the permits is available on DEP’s website:

Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120



Neil Shader, DEP


Worker with Shannon Gutter Service of Watertown died after he fell 20-feet from a ladder in Waltham, Mass. and crushed his head

Waltham, Mass.
 A 54-year-old Boston man died yesterday after plummeting about 20 feet off of a scaffolding at a construction project in Waltham, police said.

The man, whose name was not released last night, suffered a serious head injury after falling from a home under construction on Lincoln Street, according to Waltham police.

Although the man was treated by paramedics at the scene and rushed to a nearby hospital, he later succumbed to his injuries, police said.

The fatal incident is being investigated by Waltham police, state troopers and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA said the man was working for Shannon Gutter Service of Watertown when he fell.

Police: Man dies in fall from scaffolding at Waltham home

March 24, 2017

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) — Police say a man working on a home under construction in Waltham has died after a 20-foot fall from the scaffolding.

The 54-year-old Boston man suffered head injuries when he fell on Thursday afternoon.

He was unresponsive when first responders arrived and was treated at the scene. He was taken to the hospital where he died.

His name was not immediately made public.

The death is under investigation by local and state authorities as well as the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Officials say the man worked for a Watertown-based gutter company. 

Shannon Gutter Service

48 Cypress St
Watertown, MA 02472 

Phone: (617) 926-3064
Name: Robert Halpin
Job Title: Principal

Shannon Gutter Service is a privately held company in Watertown, MA and is a Single Location business.

Categorized under Gutters and Downspouts. Our records show it was established in 1997 and incorporated in Massachusetts. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of 188932 and employs a staff of approximately 2.

ANOTHER UNDER-RIDING DEATH: A drunk driver caused a fiery collision that killed a mailman on Interstate 85 in west Charlotte, NC

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. - State troopers said a drunk driver caused a wreck that killed a mailman overnight on Interstate 85 in west Charlotte.

Police said that around 5 a.m. the drunk driver stopped in the middle of the interstate, near Sam Wilson Road.

A tractor-trailer skidded to a stop to avoid hitting that car and that's when troopers said the mailman, identified as 60-year-old Calvin Hazel Jr., rear-ended the truck.  His vehicle then caught fire.

Hazel died at the scene, possibly burned alive.

Channel 9 spoke with a viewer who drove by moments after the crash, who said knowing that someone died was heartbreaking.

“I just can’t imagine what those people went through, and all I kept thinking about was the cars behind me because I was afraid it would be a chain reaction,” said Virginia Lethco.

Hazel was driving a U.S. Postal Service vehicle and delivering mail when he died.

The alleged drunk driver is charged with driving while impaired. Their name has not been released.


A fiery crash early morning killed one driver on I-85 near the Catawba River on Saturday morning.

A person was killed in a crash that shut down all lanes on I-85 northbound near Sam Wilson Road early Saturday morning.

Highway Patrol says a driver slammed into the back of a semi truck just before 5 a.m. The car went up in flames.

Troopers confirmed one person died.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they are searching for another driver involved in the crash that fled the scene.

The names of those involved have not been released.

Jenea Daniel, 31, of Atlanta, and Dianne Kirk, 52, of Douglasville, Georgia facing insurance fraud charges after they allegedly filed false injury claims


State insurance investigators are seeking two metro Atlanta women on insurance fraud charges after they allegedly filed false injury claims, an official said.

The women cheated two insurance companies out of more than $21,000, said Glenn Allen, spokesman for the state insurance commissioner’s office.

Warrants have been issued for Jenea Daniel, 31, of Atlanta, and Dianne Kirk, 52, of Douglasville, Allen said.

Daniel is wanted on two counts of insurance fraud and one count of forgery, and Kirk is wanted on three counts of insurance fraud and two counts of forgery, Allen said.

“This type of crime drives up the cost of insurance, forcing Georgians to pay more for their coverage,” Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said in a news release.

In July 2015, Daniel filed a claim with Kirk’s insurer, State Farm, saying Kirk ran over her left foot with a car as Kirk backed out of a parking space at a restaurant in Douglasville, Allen said.

A month later, Kirk filed a claim against Daniel’s insurer, Progressive Mountain, saying Daniel ran over her left foot while she was in the parking lot of a grocery store in Douglasville, Allen said.

Kirk filed another claim in August, this time against Daniel’s other insurer, Geico, saying Daniel hit her left foot while she backed out of a parking space at a grocery store in Douglasville, Allen said.

Investigators think Daniel and Kirk are acquaintances and worked together to file false claims, Allen said.

Daniel received a settlement of $12,000 from State Farm, and Kirk received two payments totaling $8,158.84 from Geico, according to Allen. The Progressive Mountain claim was not paid due to errors and discrepancies noticed by the adjuster.