Wednesday, March 29, 2017

2 people killed after a 1980 Mooney M20J 201 small plane crashed in Monroe County, Miss.

Two people are dead in Monroe County following the crash of a single-engine headed for Madison.

The pilot has been identified as Richard Arlin Justice, 73, of Hatley, according to Monroe County Coroner Alan Gurley. The name of the passenger is not being released at the request of the family, Gurley said.

The two were the lone occupants of the plane.

According to FlightAware, a 1980 Mooney M20J fixed wing single-engine plane, registered to Justice, was scheduled to depart from the Monroe County Airport at 6:10 a.m and arrive at Bruce Campbell Field in Madison at 7:05 a.m. The plane took off at 6:14 a.m.

Shortly after takeoff, the plane "must have had some problems" and turned around toward the airport, said Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell.

The plane crashed three to five minutes after takeoff in a wooded area, Cantrell said.

Officials found the wreckage about a half mile south of the airport around 11:40 a.m., according to Federal Aviation Administration Communications Manager Kathleen Burgen.

The two bodies were recovered from the plane.

There was no sign of fire at the scene, Cantrell said.

The FAA is investigating, Burgen said. The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating the accident and is in a "fact-finding" stage, according to spokesperson Terry Williams.

Williams said it will likely be a year before a final probable cause of the crash is released.



An experienced pilot and a passenger have died after a plane crash in northeast Mississippi.


Monroe Emergency Management Director Bunky Goza told WTVA-TV that the single-engine Mooney M20 left Monroe County Airport around 6:15 a.m. Tuesday, bound for Madison.

The plane never arrived, and emergency workers found wreckage in a wooded area south of the Aberdeen airport after 11 a.m.

Monroe County Coroner Alan Gurley said Richard Arlin Justice, 73, of Hatley, was the pilot who died. The passenger's name wasn't immediately released.

Airport Manager Wes Kirkpatrick told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that Justice was an experienced pilot who kept his plane at the airport.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the National Transportation Safety Board will send investigators to determine the cause of the crash.


Time: 06:17
Mooney M20J 201
Owner/operator: Private
Registration: N643RJ
C/n / msn: 24-1003
Fatalities: Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Unknown
Location: South of Monroe County Airport (M40), Aberdeen/Amory, MS - United States of America
Phase: Take off
Nature: Unknown
Departure airport: Monroe County (M40)
Destination airport: Bruce Campbell Field (KMBO)
The aircraft impacted the terrain in Monroe County during an apparent attempt to return to the point of departure at Monroe County Airport (M40) in Aberdeen/Amory, Mississippi. The airplane sustained unreported damage and the two occupants on-board received fatal injuries.


Brave turkey killed by reckless New Jersey driver in La Porte County, Indiana

 The New Jersey driver, John Tarabocchia, failed accommodate the poor turkey, that slammed into his rental car's windshield.  The turkey died, while John Tarabocchia wet his pants.

Tim Fleischer has the exclusive interview from Emerson. (LaPorte County Sheriff's Office)

By Tim Fleischer
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 11:33PM
EMERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- It was a driver's nightmare! Before John Tarabocchia knew it, a 30-pound turkey came crashing through the windshield.

"I thought he would go over the roof of the car - instead he went right into the windshield," said Driver John Tarabocchia.

John, with his son Ian in the passenger seat and his wife Corina, and her mother, Maria in the back seat, then wrestled his rental car to the side of Route 20 in La Porte County, Indiana.

 The New Jersey driver, John Tarabocchia, failed accommodate the poor turkey, that slammed into his rental car's windshield.  The turkey died, while John Tarabocchia wet his pants.
"The rear-view mirror broke off, so I looked at the side mirrors. I got over one lane, and finally pulled over to the side. There were some other vehicles on the other lane that pulled a u-turn and came over and assisted us," adds John.

The Sheriff's Office also responded.

"Four wild turkeys were flying across the roadway and this vehicle, the westbound vehicle struck the fourth one in this small flock," said Captain Michael Kellems. 

 The New Jersey driver, John Tarabocchia, failed accommodate the poor turkey.

John and his family, from Emerson, New Jersey tell Eyewitness News they were making the 120-mile trip from South Bend to the airport in Chicago. They had spent the weekend at University of Notre Dame, where his daughter Riana has been accepted. They were about 40 miles into the trip when the large turkey suddenly flew up in front of them.

(LaPorte County Sheriff)

"Hats off to Mr. Tarabocchia. He was able to keep that car under control and pulled off the side of the road without contacting any other cars," Captain Kellems adds.

John said if he had veered right or left, he would have lost control of the vehicle.

Back home after a very long day, John and his family are tired, a bit shaken, but are most thankful everyone is safe and sound.

"Definitely the luck of the Irish, and somebody up there looking down on us," John said.  What "Irish" crap is this?  This guy is not Irish!  He is a lying Italian.  He caused the death of this poor turkey.

Construction worker with Ghidorzi Construction fell from ladder and crushed his head while doing work at the Hilton Garden Inn construction site in Rib Mountain, WI

WAUSAU, WIS. (WSAW) A worker died at the construction site of a new hotel in Wausau last Thursday and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.

According to Captain Dale Wisnewski of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department, 45-year-old Shane Cash of Wisconsin Rapids fell from a ladder while drilling holes in the ceiling of the new Hilton Garden Inn on N. Mountain Road in Wausau.

Wisnewski says Cash died at the scene.

OSHA spokesman Scott Allen confirmed an investigation is taking place.

Allen says investigators will question witnesses and property owner Ghidorzi Companies to make sure OSHA standards were being followed.

Margaret Ghidorzi, a spokesperson for the company released a statement on the worker's death.

"On Thursday afternoon, a fatality occurred on the construction site of the Hilton Garden Inn. A subcontractor was discovered by a co-worker after passing away during the workday. Since this tragedy, we have and continue to work proactively with authorities to determine the root cause of the accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, loved ones and co-workers as we all mourn his loss."

Construction for the 5,900 square foot building began in July 2016. By law, OSHA has 6 months to complete the investigation. 


RIB MOUNTAIN, WI - An incident at a Rib Mountain construction site is under investigation after a worker died Thursday.

Marathon County Sheriff's Capt. Dale Wisnewski identified the worker as Shane Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids. Cash died at about 4 p.m. Thursday while doing work at the Hilton Garden Inn construction site in Rib Mountain, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration spokesman Scott Allen.

Cash was working as a subcontractor for Ghidorzi Construction, said company spokeswoman Margaret Ghidorzi. Ghidorzi said Cash's body was discovered by a co-worker. She did not identify the man as Cash in her statement.

Preliminary findings indicate Cash fell off a ladder, Allen said. Cash was drilling holes in the ceiling before he died, Wisnewski said. Allen said OSHA investigators are interviewing any witnesses, reviewing the company's safety record and evaluating whether the company was following safety regulations.

"Since this tragedy, we have and continue to work proactively with authorities to determine the root cause of the accident," Ghidorzi said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, loved ones and co-workers as we all mourn his loss."

Allen said falls are a leading cause of workplace injuries and death.

The future Hilton Garden Inn is off of North Mountain Road. The new hotel is taking the place of the old Howard Johnson Inn & Conference Center and Emma Krumbee's restaurant. ​

Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Review Board upholds $301,000 in fines against Hartman Construction and Equipment related to trenching death of construction worker

Board upholds $301,000 in fines related to death of construction worker

Author: Alex DeMarban

A state review board upheld several fines against an Anchorage construction company after a worker died in a 2015 trench collapse, determining an unsafe workplace and using excavators in the attempted rescue put the man's life at risk.

But, after Hartman Construction and Equipment challenged the original eight fines against it, the Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Review Board reduced the numbers to five and lowered the total penalty from $560,000 to $301,000, according to a March 1 decision announced by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Tuesday.

"HCE's inadequate safety culture and blatantly dangerous trench work practices created an extremely unsafe workplace," the board said in its 27-page order. "Its unsafe practice of using its excavators to try to free Mr. Morgan from the collapsed trench caused by its own dangerous trench work practices put him at risk of serious physical harm or death."

The incident occurred June 16, 2015, as Samuel Morgan, 23, worked in the 100-foot-long trench, near 91st Avenue and King Street in South Anchorage. A 6-foot-high trench wall collapsed, burying Morgan to his waist in tons of soil and rubble during his work on the wastewater pipe replacement project.

He suffered pelvic bone fractures and "numerous traumatic injuries to organs and blood vessels in the groin area," said the order, signed by Chair Keith Montgomery and board members Tom Trosvig and Tony Barnard.

Exactly what caused the injuries that led to Morgan's death is in dispute, the decision showed. Complicating matters was that David Hartman and his sons, Derek and Chad, were the only people who witnessed the attempted rescue.

Calls to Hartman Construction, owned by David and Linda Hartman, were not returned Tuesday. The company has filed a notice of appeal in Alaska Superior Court, according to the Labor Department, which originally issued the fines in late 2015.

"In the board's view, the appearance of the wound supports the theory that the excavator played a contributory role in the injury," after a large Hitachi excavator was used to help remove some of the debris, the three-member review board said.

The uniformity of the edges around a gaping wound supported that theory, the board said, after detailed photos of Morgan's body were reviewed. The large excavator was used after a small excavator was too short to be useful, said the order, which stemmed from an Oct. 5-7 hearing.

Whether or not Morgan's injuries were "directly" caused by one of the excavators, their use was "extremely dangerous," the board said.

Dr. Norman Means, a former Alaska medical examiner retained by Hartman Construction to testify as a pathology expert, indicated that Morgan's injuries were caused when trench material slammed Morgan's body into a wall of the trench.

That conclusion was based on testimony from David Hartman about how the incident occurred.

However, the board said it found David Hartman's sworn testimony "less than credible" in key areas. The board's concerns included that Hartman had denied ever being cited by Alaska workplace safety officials for a prior trench violation. When evidence was presented showing the agency had brought such a citation against him in 2005, Hartman later claimed he had forgotten about it, the order said. The board said it was unlikely he would have forgotten, since he hired counsel and filed an appeal with the Department of Labor at the time.

The state said that evidence was presented in the recent case showing Hartman Construction knew the trench could collapse, though the company kept working without instituting safety protections, including not properly sloping or benching the excavation, the agency said.

Morgan's widow, Cassie Morgan, said she and Morgan's family "are extremely disappointed that Hartman Construction and Equipment, Inc. continues to deny responsibility for the actions that led to my husband's death. The pain and suffering we have, and continue to experience, is traumatic."

"We continue to pray that justice will prevail," she said in a statement emailed Tuesday.

Hartman Construction admitted three violations — addressing four of the fines — but said they were not "willful" violations, the decision said. They included not providing a means of egress and lacking adequate safety measures in the trench, including in the form of trench boxes, walled metal structures that protect trench work, the order said.

The fines the board upheld included one that Hartman Construction had violated state law by not creating a work environment free of hazards likely to cause death or serious harm. The company disagreed.

The order called the violations "willful" because they involved "plain indifference" or "conscious disregard" for employee safety.

The case has been "painful" for state officials involved in it, because a man's life ended, said Deborah Kelly, director of the department's Labor Standards and Safety division.

She said the company played "Russian roulette" with Morgan's life because it violated so many safety procedures.

"Given the lax approach to safety, it was only a matter of time of time before a trench cave-in occurred; unfortunately, Mr. Morgan was in the wrong place at the wrong time and suffered the consequences," the order said. 


ANCHORAGE, Alaska–The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development has issued eight citations against Hartman Construction & Equipment, Inc., and fined the company $560,000 for its willful failure to adhere to safety standards. The citations and fines are the result of an investigation conducted after the death of employee Samuel Morgan. Mr. Morgan, who was 23 years old, died at an Anchorage worksite near 91st Street west of King Street on June 16, 2015, when he was partially buried in a trench collapse and then mangled by the construction company’s equipment.

The investigation revealed numerous safety violations at the construction site, including the employer’s basic failure to provide a safe workplace. Other safety violations included failure to provide adequate access and egress from the trench, failure to protect employees from loose rock and soil, failure to properly locate spoil piles, failure to use a protective system in the excavation, and failure to properly bench or slope the excavation. Prior to the fatality, the employer identified a section of the trench wall that had sloughed off and marked the area with traffic cones, yet the protective trench box at the site was not assembled to allow for its use and there were no ladders at the site for safe trench access at the time of the incident.

Mr. Morgan was in the trench when an unguarded wall sloughed off and buried him to the waist. David Hartman, a partial owner of the company, and other employees tried to free Mr. Morgan from the collapsed trench using two excavators and fatally injured him in the process. The State Medical Examiner determined that Mr. Morgan’s injuries resulted from being struck by construction equipment.

“My heart goes out to the family of Samuel Morgan. This avoidable tragedy deserves the full attention of every employer in the construction industry,” said Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas. “Every employer who has ever thought about cutting corners on safety should view this case as a severe warning that failure to provide the necessary and adequate protections for Alaska’s workers will not be tolerated.” The citations, which carry the maximum penalty allowed under the law, were issued as “willful” due to the indifference the employer exhibited toward following occupational safety and health standards. The employer has the right to formally contest each of the alleged violations outlined in the citations.

2 reckless storm chasers with the Weather Channel killed after they disregarded a stop sign and slammed into another storm chaser’s Jeep also killing the driver in Spur, Texas

 2 reckless storm chasers with the Weather Channel killed after they disregarded a stop sign and slammed into another storm chaser’s Jeep also killing the driver in Spur, Texas

A few miles west of Spur, Tex., three storm chasers died while tracking a tornado when their two vehicles collided at a rural intersection on Tuesday afternoon. One storm chaser, driving a black Chevrolet Suburban, disregarded a stop sign and slammed into another storm chaser’s black Jeep, authorities with the Texas Department of Public Safety said.

The Suburban’s two occupants and the Jeep driver were pronounced dead at the scene, Sgt. John Gonzalez, a representative for the department, told Lubbock’s Avalanche-Journal in a statement.

Kelley Gene Williamson, a 57-year-old storm chaser from Cassville, Mo., was driving the Suburban. Randall Delane Yarnall, 55, also from Cassville, was riding in the passenger seat. Storm chaser Corbin Lee Jaeger, 25, of Peoria, Ariz., drove alone in the Jeep.

“Mr. Williamson was ejected from the vehicle at the time of the crash,” Gonzalez said in the statement. “Mr. Williamson was not wearing his seat belt.” Both Jaeger and Yarnall wore theirs, he said. The investigation into the crash remains ongoing, according to the Department of Public Safety.

Authorities did not mention whether stormy conditions played a role, but one official confirmed to CNN that the storm chasers were following a tornado through Dickens County. A storm bringing heavy rains had passed through the area. Following reports of a twister, the National Weather Service station in Lubbock, some 60 miles from Spur, issued a tornado warning for northwestern Texas. At 3:30 p.m., the weather service took to Twitter to urge residents of Crosby County to seek immediate shelter.

“We would encourage anyone driving down these remote roads to slow down and pay attention to traffic signs especially in inclement weather. It can become dangerous for all involved,” Gonzalez said, reported CBS Dallas-Fort Worth.

Williamson and Yarnall worked as contractors for the Weather Channel, which released a statement mourning the storm chasers. “This afternoon we learned that three people died in a car accident in Texas, including two contractors for the Weather Channel, Kelley Williamson and Randy Yarnall. Kelley and Randy were beloved members of the weather community. We are saddened by this loss and our deepest sympathies go out to the families and loved ones of all involved.”

Storm chasers and meteorologists expressed their sympathies. “Tragedy strikes our community once again,” wrote veteran storm chaser Jeff Piotrowski‏ on Twitter, “confirming 3 storm chasers killed west of Spur TX. Now is the time to pray not share names.”

After the storm chasers were identified, Missouri news station KSPR published an interview between meteorologist Kevin Lighty and Williamson, discussing the dangers of storm chasing. “People ask what we do, well, we track weather, tornadoes for the Weather Channel you know,” Williamson told Lighty. “About 50-50. Some people says you’re crazy and the other half says — I want to go with ya.”  We believe that these people are crazy and these deaths confirm our belief.  They reached their final destination; hopefully there will not be other storm chasers employed by the reckless people of the Weather Channel.

Williamson said he was aware of the risk that storm chasers posed to each other. “The biggest danger out there is the other chasers and the grandma that’s trying to get her kids,” Williamson said. “You know, you’ve got to watch out for everybody out there, and then the storms come secondary.”

Fatalities in the field are rare. In the decades since the first death, when a University of Oklahoma meteorology student’s car swerved off the road in 1984, the few storm chasers who died perished in automobile accidents. No tornado killed a storm chaser until 2013, when a massive twister killed four, one amateur storm chaser and three veterans of the field.

A few storm chasers predicted that deaths would continue. “Yes, more chasers will die in tornadoes (or be killed in vehicle crashes while chasing). That seems inevitable,” storm chaser and retired NWS meteorologist Charles Doswell told The Washington Post in May. “What’s gratifying is how uncommon it’s been.”

The three deaths in Texas on Tuesday came at a time when the storm chasing community had already been subject to scrutiny, in part fueled by thrill-seeking chasers who shared “tornado selfies” and other risky exploits on social media.

But storm chaser and Washington Post Capital Weather Gang forecaster/photographer Ian Livingston argued that recklessness was not the norm. He wrote in June, “there are many misconceptions about storm chasing that need to be set straight. The plains are not overrun by storm-chasing caravans every spring. There are not thousands of cars on the road preventing first responders from doing their jobs. We do not do it for the money. We do not disrupt local residents’ lives.”


“A black suburban was traveling north on FM 1081, when it disregarded a stop sign and collided with a jeep traveling west bound on FM 2794,” says Sergeant John Gonzalez with DPS.

Gonzalez says the chasers, identified as Kelley Williamson, 57, Randy Yarnall, 55, and Corbin Jaege, 25, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Both Williamson and Yarnall were contractors for The Weather Channel.

“We would encourage anyone driving down these remote roads to slow down and pay attention to traffic signs especially in inclement weather. It can become dangerous for all involved,” Gonzalez says.

FOX34 chief meteorologist Matt Ernst spoke to KRLD 1080 about how quickly word spread about the tragedy.

“Anything like this a tragedy. It’s certainly something that flew through the weather community as chasers tried to find out who was in the crash.”