Monday, April 24, 2017

3 family members killed, 1 injured after speeding black driver Larry James Williams, 37, crashes his pickup truck into their car on southbound State Highway 288 in Houston

Houston police say a father, grandmother and the child were killed when a truck hit the vehicle they were traveling in on 288 at Bellfort Avenue Sunday afternoon.

Updated 21 mins ago
HOUSTON, TEXAS (KTRK) -- Investigators filed charges in connection with a deadly crash that killed three people, including a 2-year-old, over the weekend.

Larry James Williams has been charged with possession of marijuana. He was released on $5,000 bond.

Investigators say he was driving the truck that hit the family's Chevrolet Aveo on Highway 288 at Bellfort Avenue Sunday afternoon.

Jose Quintanilla, who was driving, was killed in the crash, along with his mother-in-law Jimena Barranco and his young son Sebastian. Grisel Barranco was riding in the passenger seat and survived the crash.

Grisel Baranco-injured

Jimena Barranco - died


Jose Quintanilla-died


Sebastian - died

Larry James Williams

Grisel Barranco, 22, survived the crash that killed three members of her family.

Police say Williams was speeding on Highway 288 and went to exit at Reed Road. His truck then veered back into the main lanes and hit the family's car.

Williams and two passengers in the truck were not injured.
Investigators say Williams did not show preliminary signs of intoxication. Additional charges may be filed.


HOUSTON, TEXAS - Three people were killed in a two-vehicle crash that shut down three lanes on southbound State Highway 288 at Bellfort Boulevard Sunday afternoon, Houston TranStar confirmed.

The incident was reported at 4:50 p.m. at 9100 South Freeway.

Police said a man, identified as Larry James Williams, 37, driving a black Dodge Ram pickup truck at a high rate of speed in the exit lane to Reed Road had drove into the main lanes and struck a yellow Chevrolet Aveo. The impact caused the Dodge to flip on its side.

Police said the man who was driving the Aveo was killed along with his mother-in-law and child. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the fourth passenger in the Aveo was the driver's wife, who was taken to a hospital. Police said she is expected to survive her injuries.

The three passengers inside the Dodge were not injured.

Police said Williams did not show signs of intoxication, but was charged with possession of marijuana.

The incident is under investigation.

Pfc. Jeremiah Holmes killed after his motorcycle slammed onto a left-turning car in Fayetteville, NC

According to the Fayetteville Police Department, a Fort Bragg soldier has died after a fatal wreck on Yadkin Road Saturday evening. (WTVD)

Updated 2 hrs 4 mins ago
FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The Fayetteville Police Department says a Fort Bragg soldier has died after a fatal wreck on Yadkin Road Saturday evening.

Police officers were called to 5000 block Yadkin Road near Lake Valley Drive and Silver Pine Drive around 5 p.m. after reports of an accident.

Sgt. Shawn Strepay with the Fayetteville Police Department said a Honda turned left in front of a motorcycle striking and killing the driver, 24-year-old Jeremiah Holmes of the 4100 block of Collins Street, Fort Bragg.

The driver of the Honda 51-year-old Joseph Brown and his two teenage passengers sustained non-life threatening injuries.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding the traffic crash is asked to contact officers with the Fayetteville Police Department's Traffic Unit at (910) 433-1830 or Crimestoppers at (910) 483-8477.

Fort Bragg officials said Holmes was from Rancho Cucamonga, California. He was a cannon crew-member assigned to Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.

Pfc. Jeremiah Holmes (image courtesy Fort Bragg) 

"He was well liked by his peers and respected throughout the organization. Just two weeks ago, we celebrated his promotion to Private First Class in front of his fellow Paratroopers," said said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Munn, commander of the "Loyalty" battalion, 1st Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment.

Pfc. Holmes joined the Army in April 2016 and, following Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training, was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division in August 2016.

Dawud Abdulwali sentenced 15 years in prison for setting on fire the Da Vinci apartment complex under construction in downtown Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A 58-year-old man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Monday for one of the largest fires in Los Angeles history.

The massive fire in December of 2014 could be seen for miles. Flames roared through the Da Vinci apartment complex under construction in downtown.

Dawud Abdulwali pleaded no contest to setting the fire and received his sentence.

The L.A. County District Attorney's Office said the fire caused tens of millions of dollars in damage.

According to witnesses, Abdulwali set the fire as a protest to high profile cases of alleged police misconduct.


A 56-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with a fire that destroyed a downtown Los Angeles apartment complex last year, causing tens of millions of dollars in damage to the unfinished structure and a nearby city-owned building, authorities said Wednesday.

Dawud Abdulwali was detained Tuesday morning by the Los Angeles Police Department’s anti-terrorism division on a traffic violation and later booked on suspicion of arson of a structure and aggravated arson. He is being held on more than $1-million bail and is expected to be formally charged Thursday, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

“This arrest illustrates that crime will not be tolerated in Los Angeles,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a news conference Wednesday outside City Hall. “We will arrest you. We will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”

Abdulwali’s arrest followed an intense investigation that began even before firefighters fully extinguished the Dec. 8 blaze at the seven-story Da Vinci complex. The speed of the fire, which broke out about 1:20 a.m. and soon engulfed the mostly wooden structure, raised suspicion from the outset.

Investigators combed through 75,000 square feet of debris and spent thousands of hours gathering evidence to zero in on Abdulwali, said Carlos Canino, the special agent in charge of the L.A. office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Fire in downtown L.A.

Officials were tight-lipped about what may have motivated the setting of the fire. Saying they did not want to jeopardize the prosecution’s case, investigators did not reveal what led them to Abdulwali or what allegedly tied him to the blaze.

Little is known of Abdulwali, who may have used the alias Timothy Roston. Abdulwali rented a back room in a South L.A. house, according to his landlord, Poleth Chavez. In December, about the time of the fire, he paid two months’ rent upfront and left, saying he was heading to San Francisco, Chavez said.

“He's pretty quiet. He keeps to himself,” Chavez said about her tenant.

A massive fire destroyed the Da Vinci Apartments under construction in downtown Los Angeles on Dec. 8, 2014.

Canino said Abdulwali has no known history of arson convictions. Investigators did not find a connection between him and the Da Vinci apartment complex, but asserted that Abdulwali was the sole suspect.

“There’s all sorts of technology out there available to use that we can exploit and, couple that with old-fashioned police work, wearing out the shoe leather, and that’s how we came to be here today,” Canino said. “All of the evidence that we have right now points to this person as a suspect.”

Surveillance video gathered by investigators shows a man parking his vehicle on the 110 Freeway and walking into the apartment building with cans of fuel, according to a fire official who spoke in March to an Echo Park community group. Canino declined to comment on whether Abdulwali was the man seen in the video.

Authorities had previously released images that show two men near the apartment complex around the time of the blaze. One is seen walking by the building before the fire started. The second is seen trying to climb a fence to get into the already-burning building and had to be blocked by firefighters. Neither has been publicly identified. Both are now considered witnesses in the case, Canino said.

Abdulwali was identified without utilizing the tips that poured in after a massive reward was offered in the case, Garcetti said. At one point, the reward climbed to $170,000.

The fire caused $20 million to $30 million in damage to the apartment complex and more than $50 million in damage to a nearby city-owned building, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Because of the sizable monetary damage, Abdulwali faces up to life in prison if convicted of all charges.

Four companies could be responsible for the spill into Strathcona County creek: Imperial Oil, Gibson Energy, Inter Pipeline and Pembina Pipeline

Pipeline break spills crude oil into Strathcona County creek
Spill contained before it could flow into North Saskatchewan River, Alberta Energy Regulator confirms

By Zoe Todd, CBC News 

Apr 24, 2017 9:10 AM MT

Crude oil spilled into an unnamed creek in Strathcona County on Saturday, near an industrial area around 17th Street and Baseline Road. (Google Maps)

Four energy companies are cleaning up crude oil that spilled into an unnamed creek in Strathcona County on Friday.

The creek, near 17th Street and Baseline Road, flows directly into the North Saskatchewan River.

Crews managed to contain the spill before it reached the river, Alberta Energy Regulator spokesperson Monica Hermary said Sunday. The size of the spill is still unclear.

"We will work with the companies to assess the cause of the incident," Hermary said. "Right now our focus is on ensuring that all safety and environmental requirements are met in response to the incident."

A team of Imperial Oil workers discovered the leak during routine maintenance.

Oil spilled along a pipeline right-of-way near the boundary between Strathcona County and Sherwood Park, a strip of industrial land where a number of companies have built pipelines.

Four companies could be responsible for the spill, Hermary said. She identified Imperial Oil, Gibson Energy, Inter Pipeline and Pembina Pipeline.

All four companies have shut in and de-pressurized their pipelines in the affected area and are helping with the cleanup.

Belinda de Wolde, a spokesperson for Imperial Oil, said the crude oil did not match her company's products when tested. Imperial Oil is leading the response to the incident.

"The current process, in addition to obviously recovering the oil, is determining where the source of the crude is," she added. "In other words, who the responsible party is. Then we would transition the recovery efforts to that company."

Crews discovered and contained the crude oil early, which de Wolde said has simplified the cleanup process.

"It's not a complicated site so it is moving quite quickly," she said.

Workers are using absorbent pads to soak up the spill. But on Sunday, de Wolde said it was still too early to estimate when crews would finish soaking up the spill.

"This is an operation that happens around the clock," she said. "No idea of how much longer it will take. We will carry on until the responsible party is identified."

Alberta Environment and Parks as well as Environment Canada are involved and overseeing the recovery efforts to ensure safety and environmental requirements are met.

Leaking gas stove explosion injures a woman in Elmwood Park, New Jersey

Friday, April 14, 2017
ELMWOOD PARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A woman is recovering at the hospital after a gas explosion in her New Jersey home.

The garage door and the huge bay window in the living room were blown out by the force of the gas fueled explosion.

The incident left one young woman injured, but there is little evidence of a big blast inside the house.

The stove which apparently caused the explosion is still intact.

Eyewitness News had an opportunity to look at the inside of the home.

It seems like the path of the gas went in two different directions to blow out the bay window and garage door.

The explosion rocked the neighborhood Thursday night as the victim ran out of the house on fire.

"I never use that door, never," Vesclinvosk said.

Vesclinvosk says when his youngest daughter opened the door to the summer kitchen the gas vapors ignited.

"The little one say, 'It's not the gas daddy, it's the floor from the bleach,' so she opens the door and it explodes like that," Vesclinvosk said.

He was getting emotional telling me about the story and stunned that something like this could happen before Easter.

"I just cleaned the floor and I went to buy beer for Easter, and then within 10 minutes she told me, 'Dad, the house exploded,'" Vesclinvosk said.

Incense left burning unattended in the bedroom of a second floor apartment was Cause of Fire in Queens where Firefighter William N. Tolley Died

Fire Marshals Determine Incense was Cause of Fire in Queens where Firefighter William N. Tolley Died -

Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro today announced that Fire Marshals have determined that incense left burning unattended in the bedroom of a second floor apartment in Queens caused the fire where Firefighter William N. Tolley died yesterday.

Residents of the fire apartment were not present at the time of the fire, but had left incense burning in observance of a religious practice in the home.

“Compounding the tragic loss of Firefighter Tolley’s life is that the fire he responded to and fought bravely could have been prevented,” said Fire Commissioner Nigro. “You should not leave objects such as incense or candles burning while unattended, and I urge all New Yorkers to follow these safety rules to prevent a tragedy in the home.”

Marshals also determined there were no working smoke alarms in the apartment, causing a delay in discovery of the fire. Neighbors who smelled smoke from the fire called 911 at about 2 p.m. to report the fire, which occurred in a five-story apartment building at 1615 Putnam Avenue in Ridgewood.

The FDNY’s Safety Command, with assistance from Fire Marshals, is investigating the death of Firefighter Tolley. The comprehensive investigation is ongoing and will include interviews of members operating on scene; radio transmissions by fire personnel on scene captured on audio recorders; any surveillance video or photographs of the incident, as well as any eyewitness accounts; and assessment of Ladder 135’s apparatus for any operational or equipment issues.

3-alarm fire kills 5 in Queens Village, NYC

Eyewitness News
Updated 1 hr 59 mins ago
QUEENS VILLAGE, Queens (WABC) -- Investigators are trying to determine what sparked a house fire in Queens Sunday that killed five people, New York City's deadliest fire in two years.

Police say the victims were two boys, a 2-year-old and a 10-year-old; two girls, a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old; and a 20-year-old woman.

A sixth person, a 46-year-old man, was able to escape out a second-floor window and was taken to Queens General Hospital where he is expected to survive.

The fire broke out in a house on 112-16 208th Street in Queens Village just after 2:30 p.m. The fire also spread to an adjacent home - that home was damaged, but no one was home at the time.

(Peter Gerber)

The three-alarm fire took hours to get under control, and the wooden frame of the house burned quickly.

The flames were so intense that the black smoke drew neighbors from their homes, and the flames could be seen by firefighters before they arrived, leading them to call in extra crews.

They struggled to reach some of the victims who were as high up as the attic, a "super-human" task for firefighters to reach people in a home engulfed by such a massive fire, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

They managed to bring a 2-year-old and someone else from the attic where they had been trapped, he said. But they were too late to save them.

Investigators will closely examine a car parked in a driveway between the two houses that burned.

The fire appears to have started or spread through the car to the two adjacent homes. The other home was unoccupied at the time.

Witnesses heard tires pop, which may have been mistaken for an explosion.

"We are just beginning our investigation," said Nigro. "Our fire marshals will determine where the fire started, they'll determine how it started, they'll work with police detectives and we'll come to a conclusion. But we're far from that right now."

Distraught family members and neighbors showed up to the scene, crying and asking 'why would God let this happen?'

No firefighters were seriously injured.

The mother of the 2-year-old victim was away on vacation and left him in the hands of relatives.

"She's a good mother, she was always with her baby," said relative Sheener Bailey Briggs. "And she went for the first time on an airplane, the first time away from her baby and she just found out. Just pray for the family."

The fire was the deadliest in the nation's biggest city since March 2015, when a house fire in Brooklyn killed seven children, all siblings. That fire was touched off by a hot plate.