Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Karen Rae Chapon owner of the business, Tahoe Weddings and Events at Zephyr Cove, Nevada, sentenced 72 months for insurance fraud, mortgage fraud, and theft

Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt has announced that Karen Rae Chapon of South Lake Tahoe, was sentenced for the crimes of insurance fraud, a category “D” felony, mortgage fraud, a category “C” felony and theft, a category “B” felony.

Chapon is the owner of the business, Tahoe Weddings and Events at Zephyr Cove, Nevada.

On August 15, 2016, authorities say Chapon pleaded guilty to defrauding an insurance company by submitting travel insurance claims using two separate forged death certificates and fraudulent invoices. They say Chapon also swindled a local mortgage broker and out of state title insurance company by providing forged and fraudulent bankruptcy documentation to secure a loan of $180,000. As a result of these fraudulent activities, authorities say Chapon received nearly $200,000 from insurance companies and loan institutions.

“Those considering making false claims and committing other acts of fraud should be aware that their actions will have serious consequences,” said Laxalt. “Insurance and mortgage fraud schemes not only hurt provider companies but the public at large by needlessly driving up insurance costs, and my office will continue to investigate and prosecute complex fraud schemes like this one.”

Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Thomas Gregory sentenced the 47-year-old to a term of incarceration of 72 months with parole eligibility in 24 months. $185,000 of the funds obtained through Chapon’s mortgage fraud scheme were reimbursed during bankruptcy proceedings. At the time of sentencing, Chapon was ordered to pay the remaining $13,000 to her insurance fraud victims.

(The Office of the Nevada Attorney General contributed to this report.)

Worker with Performance Contractors, Inc. died after he fell from scaffolding while working at Sasol in Calcasieu Parish, LA

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office releases new details, name of contractor who died in accident at Sasol 

Wednesday, April 5th 2017, 1:50 pm EDTWednesday, April 5th 2017, 3:28 pm EDT
By KPLC Digital StaffWESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) -

A contractor died while working at Sasol Wednesday morning, said Kim Cusimano, manager of public affairs with Sasol North American Operations.

Tyler J. Truett, 24, of Sulphur, fell from scaffolding "located several feet in the air," said Kim Myers, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office spokeswoman. The death appears to be accidental.

Deputies were called to Sasol at 10:50 a.m., Myers said. When deputies arrived, Truett was deceased.

Cusimano said Sasol cannot "speak to the cause of the accident," but said a thorough investigation will be conducted by Sasol, FTI and Performance Contractors.

"It is with deep sadness that we can confirm the loss of a contractor’s employee this morning while working at the Sasol project site in Westlake," Cusimano said. "This is a sad day for Sasol and our team on site. Our thoughts are with the employee’s family at this difficult time."

Emergency responders provided backup to site emergency responders, Cusimano said. She said the death has also been reported to the appropriate federal and state regulatory authorities.

Performance Contractors, Inc., is a Baton Rouge-based company which has provided industrial construction and maintenance services since 1979. According to its website, the company is licensed in 30 states.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists three fatalities since 2010, stemming from two events involving Performance Contractors, Inc.

In March 2010, an employee working at a Plaquemine facility was killed after being run over by an 18-wheeler. A May 2011 incident report reveals two employees were killed by toxic gasses while working in a confined space. Those fatalities were at a different facility in Plaquemine, according to OSHA.

Performance Contractors, Inc., lists a number of safety awards it received, most recently announcing on social media that it received the Southern Company Triangle Award.

KPLC has reached out to Performance Contractors, Inc. at its Sulphur office and Baton Rouge Headquarters with no response.

Wrong-way speeding drunk driver, Adam Bonilla, caused a fatal head-on crash that killed three people on the Hardy Toll Road in north Harris County in messy Texas

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - A wrong-way driver caused a fatal crash that killed three people on the Hardy Toll Road in north Harris County Sunday morning.

According to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, they received reports around 3:45 a.m. about a speeding wrong-way driver in the southbound lanes on the Hardy Toll Road at I-45 North.

Shortly after, deputies received reports that the driver crashed head-on into another vehicle with two occupants inside.

Deputies said all three people, the driver that caused the accident, and the two people hit all died at the scene.

It is unclear why the driver was driving in the wrong lane.  Most likely he was drunk, as most drunk-related crashes occur in the early a.m. hours. like here.  He was also traveling at 100 mph, another clue that tell us he was under the influence.


Loved ones celebrate memories of couple killed in wrong-way crash

Family and friends gather to remember a loving couple who lost their lives in a deadly wrong-way head-on crash.

By Tracy Clemons
Tuesday, April 04, 2017 10:13AM
SPRING, Texas (KTRK) -- Friends and family of a couple killed in a horrific wrong-way crash on I-45 early Sunday morning gathered for an emotional celebration Monday evening.

Patrick and Jackie Delane had just left an IHOP where they were eating with relatives and celebrating Patrick's 50th birthday, which would have been Monday.

The couple's family and friends instead held a vigil to honor their memory on Patrick's birthday.

"Y'all know my daddy was my life," Patrick's daughter Melanie told the crowd.

"She loved to entertain," said Jackie's son, Bryson Brown. "Her home was always open to everybody no matter what holiday - Christmas, Thanksgiving, Arbor Day. Come over to the house and have a drink."

Minutes after leaving a pre-50th birthday celebration with family, the couple was hit by a wrong-way driver.

Eyewitness News obtained new video footage showing Adam Bonilla, 32, driving his Dodge Charger northbound in the southbound lanes.

Bonilla, speeding at over 100 mph, hit the Delanes head on. All three were killed.

More than 100 people showed up outside the couple's home for an emotional candlelight vigil and balloon release.

Guests were met with a sign in the yard that wished Patrick a happy 50th birthday.

The couple's family told ABC13 it was a birthday surprise from Patrick's wife Jackie, that they never got to see.

Everyone gathered and sang Happy Birthday to Patrick Delane, as many wiped away their tears.

"I do thank God for letting us get out that night and celebrate Patrick's birthday," said Jackie's sister Jeanette Crawford.

Crawford said the tragedy is overwhelming, but Monday night they were overwhelmed by love, and that love will help carry them.

"Every day we sit at this table here at their home. We never would've thought we would be sitting here planning a funeral for (Jackie) and (Patrick) at the same time," said Crawford.

"I think if they had a choice, neither one of them would've wanted to live without the other," Bryson Brown said.

Patrick and Jackie's funeral is scheduled for Saturday at Fallbrook Church.

A drunk-driving wrong-way crash left six people injured, one critically, at an intersection in Northridge, California

A wrong-way crash left six people injured, one critically, at an intersection in Northridge, police said. A suspected DUI driver was arrested.

By staff
Wednesday, April 05, 2017 08:03AM
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. (KABC) -- Six people were injured, at least one of them critically, and a driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI late Tuesday evening after a wrong-way crash in Northridge, authorities said.

The three-vehicle pile-up was reported at 11:50 p.m. at the intersection of Nordhoff Street and Zelzah Avenue, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department's Valley Traffic Division said.

One of the motorists suffered multiple broken bones in the collision and was rushed to Holy Cross Hospital in critical condition, according to the LAPD.

Another driver, a 20-year-old man, was taken into custody for allegedly being under the influence. His name was not immediately released.

The intersection remained closed Wednesday morning as the investigation continued and crews worked to remove the heavily damaged vehicles from the scene.



The Air Force says a pilot is safe after an F-16 crashed in Maryland. (WJLA)

Updated 1 hr 31 mins ago
CLINTON, Md. -- The Air Force says a pilot is safe after an F-16 crashed in Maryland.

The Air Force said Wednesday that the pilot was on a training mission in an F-16 from the Joint Base Andrews-based 113th Wing.

Officials say the pilot ejected and is safe. The plane went down a few miles from Joint Base Andrews.

Prince George's County fire department spokesman Mark Brady tells WRC-TV that one pilot parachuted out of the aircraft and was picked up by a military helicopter.

He says the pilot was found in the same general area as the plane.

Brady says homes in the area are being evacuated. He says there are no other reports of injuries. He didn't know whether anything on the ground was hit.

A construction worker injured after a 7-ton steel hammer fell on his legs while driving steel sheeting into the ground at a site in Kew Gardens, Queens, NYC

KEW GARDENS, Queens (WABC) -- A construction worker was freed and is expected to survive after a 7-ton steel hammer fell on his legs at a site in Queens Wednesday morning.
The hammer was 7 tons and it was being used to drive steel sheeting into the ground. 

There was an accident, and the 7-ton hammer landed on a worker, pinning him. 

When we arrived on scene, we were dealing with three issues – the first issue was stabilizing the scene, because the hammer was leaning up against the steel sheeting and we were concerned about the hammer falling further and causing very serious injury. 

We stabilized that using ropes, a griphoist and some struts. Once we had it stabilized, Rescue Paramedics administered medical care to the patient. He was conscious the entire time. 

The third part of the plan was removal. Rather than lifting the 7-ton hammer, we chose to dig underneath because that was an easier, quicker and safer operation. The operation took 15-20 minutes. What you saw take place here that quickly and that efficiently was due to constant training,” says FDNY Deputy Chief James DiDomenico, describing the rescue of a trapped construction worker earlier today in Queens. 

FDNY members from Rescue 4, Squad 270, Engine 305, Ladder 151, and 45 Rescue worked together to stabilize the scene and save the patient’s life. The patient was transported to a local hospital in stable condition.


Eyewitness News Reporter Kristin Thorne reports from the scene of a construction accident in Kew Gardens

KEW GARDENS, Queens (WABC) -- A construction worker was freed and is expected to survive after a 7-ton steel hammer fell on his legs at a site in Queens Wednesday morning.

The incident happened around 11 a.m. at 82nd Avenue and Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens.

The man was said to be conscious the entire time he was trapped.

He was taken to Jamaica hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Responders had to decide whether to pick up the hammer and remove the victim from underneath it, or dig out the victim from underneath. They chose the latter, and were able to create enough space to pull him out without further injury in 15 to 20 minutes.

The cause of the accident is unknown, and the investigation is ongoing.


A seven-ton I-beam fell onto a construction worker at a Queens job site Wednesday, seriously injuring him, officials said.

Firefighters and paramedics rushed to the municipal parking garage on 126th St. behind the Queens Borough Hall on Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens at about 10:20 a.m., officials said.

Deputy Chief Jim Didomenico told reporters that the beam was attached to a crawler crane and was being used to drive steel sheeting into the ground at the commercial construction site.

The cable attaching the I-Beam, known as a hammer, to the crawler crane snapped and pinned the construction worker’s lower legs, officials said.

“If the whole thing had come down on him it would have been a much worse outcome,” Didomenico said. “But because it partially caught some of the steel sheeting, firefighters and EMS came in and were able to stabilize that so it didn’t come down any further.”

Firefighters used ropes and a hoist to stabilize the I-Beam. They then dug underneath the worker to make space to slide him out of the dire situation instead of trying to lift the hammer off of him.

The worker was conscious throughout, Didomenico said. He suffered two broken legs, according to a city official.

Over about 15 minutes, an FDNY lieutenant and a captain talked with the man, explaining what they were doing every step of the way.

Paramedics gave him an IV and tried to reduce his pain, officials said. An ambulance took him to Jamaica Hospital in serious condition.

“This doesn’t happen every day, thank God, but we have to be ready for this,” Didomenico said. “So the speed and what we did, as well as we did it, is about training, constant training, and being ready every day.”

41-year-old worker Javier Pedraza’Perez died after a fall while building a warehouse at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayetteville

A construction worker from Roswell died after a fall Tuesday while working at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayetteville, officials said.

The man was identified as 41-year-old Javier Pedraza’Perez, according to Clint Patton of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident happened about 11 a.m., Fayetteville fire spokesman Chief Keith Harris said.

Pedraza’Perez was a contract worker who fell while working on a new warehouse that is not related to production, Pinewood Studios spokesman Frank Patterson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating, along with the company that employed Pedraza’Perez.

Randolph Williamson spokesman Gary Tanner released a statement Tuesday afternoon:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of a subcontractor who was fatally injured in an accident today on a construction site at Pinewood Atlanta Studios,” the statement said. “We hope to learn more in the coming days about what caused this tragedy, as safety is our top concern at this and all of our project sites.”

The facility on Sandy Creek Road is a full-service film and entertainment studio complex that is made up of 18 sound stages on 700 acres, according to the company website. It was built for the production of film, television, music and video games.

Disney has used Pinewood Studios the past few years for filming many of the Marvel Comics franchise movies. "Passengers," starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, was filmed there.

Worker driving a Shaw's Tree Service truck electrocuted in Jacksonville, Florida after the arm holding the bucket came in contact with an electrical line

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A man driving a bucket truck for a tree-trimming company was shocked Wednesday when the arm holding the bucket came in contact with an electrical line, police said.

The man in the bucket was not hurt.

The men, who work for Shaw's Tree Service, were trimming trees in the Spring Park Road area on Seville Street when the man in the cab started to get out to get a drink. At that moment, the arm of the truck hit a power line, sending electricity down to the cab, where the man who was half in, half out of the truck was shocked.

Officials told News4Jax that the top part of the boom is insulated but not the bottom part, which made contact.

A fire sparked but was quickly put out.

"I heard a big commotion, (then), 'boom,' the power went out," neighbor John Hamlet said. "I ran outside, and that's when I saw that the truck was on fire. We were trying to get it put out and somebody was yelling, 'Electrical fire don't put water on it,' so everybody quit."

The injured worker was rushed to Memorial Hospital. His condition is unknown, but a co-worker said there were visible entry and exit wounds.

Neighbors said this was the first time they saw a tree-trimming service on their street. Hamlet said that, ordinarily, JEA trims the branches close to power lines.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Jacksonville Fire Rescue and JEA responded to the scene.

Power was out in the immediate area and JEA crews were working to restore power and check the power lines.

Welder Gary Patton with Aqua Treat Inc. was critically injured when an explosion threw him about 50 feet from a wastewater solvent holding tank in Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga, TN
An employee working with welding equipment on top of a tank at Aqua Treat Inc., on Moccasin Bend was injured "seriously and traumatically" in an explosion around 10 a.m. today, a Chattanooga police spokeswoman said.

Officials identified the injured man as Gary Patton, 41. He was welding a wastewater solvent holding tank when an explosion threw him about 50 feet from the tank.

Aqua Treat, located at 617 Hudson Road, is an industrial wastewater treatment facility that processes nonhazardous industrial wastewater and solids, according to the company website.

The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment of multiple injuries, police spokeswoman Elisa Myzal said.

Aqua Treat officials said there was no danger to the public or the environment. The plant ceased operations and employees were evacuated out of the building while fire and police officials investigated the incident and removed the injured worker from the site, Myzal said.

No foul play was initially suspected but it was too early to say for sure, she said. Since the man's injuries were so severe, police responded to the incident to help with the investigation.

Officials were not immediately able to say what was inside the tank where the man was working when the explosion happened.

Aqua Treat, Inc. is an industrial wastewater pre-treatment facility, and is designed to pre-treat difficult and recalcitrant non-hazardous (non-RCRA regulated) industrial wastewater and solids.  All accepted waste has been analyzed in our fully equipped lab and been determined to be non-hazardous.  A prerequisite for acceptance includes a completed profile of the waste, signed by the generator.  The profile serves as an affidavit from the generator detailing any possible components of the waste.  This step is required by permit and is an added protection against plant contamination. 
Once the acceptance protocol is completed, the waste can be transported to Aqua Treat by our in-house vacuum tankers or delivered to us.  Incoming waste is finger printed upon arrival and once it is deemed acceptable it is off loaded into our treatment tanks.  In every step of our process, the regulations are meticulously followed.
Also, liquid waste products and solids, are brought to the facility in drums and 300-gallon plastic totes.  All treatment processes take place on secondary containment concrete pads with drainage to the primary clarifying tank.  All stormwater on treatment areas and unloading pads drain to the primary clarifying tank for treatment.

Industrial wastewater pretreatment plants are governed by federal law.  Metal limits for our discharge water are mandated by federal law, but the oversight for these federal regulations falls to local POTW’s.  Aqua Treat is regulated by the Chattanooga POTW, (Moccasin Bend), located 1 mile from the plant, and we discharge directly to the city’s plant.  Aqua Treat is required by Moccasin Bend to maintain a 24 hour flow meter sampling all of our discharge water.  Also, Moccasin Bend regularly installs their own flow meter to sample our discharge.  This scrutiny is added assurance to the customer that Aqua Treat is always in compliance.  Strict enforcement of waste regulations is insurance for generators that there will never be any chance of future liabilities.
When choosing a non-hazardous wastewater facility, this strict adherence to the letter of the law by our plant and by our regulatory agency has induced many large corporations to choose Aqua Treat.
Aqua Treat Site Map