Wednesday, April 26, 2017

20-year old employee at Strong Industries Pools and Spas killed when a 1,200-pound mold was accidentally lowered onto the worker

POINT TOWNSHIP, PA — An autopsy was ordered by Northumberland County's coroner into this morning's death of a 20-year-old employee at Strong Industries Pools and Spas.

Northumberland County Coroner James F. Kelley said the autopsy is scheduled for Thursday morning at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown.

"The 'nature of his death' is that it is 'work-force related'; therefore, I believe an autopsy is warranted," Kelley said.

Kelley has not yet released the victim's identity as his parents, who are from Alabama, wish to inform additional relatives.

Wade Spicer, owner of Strong Industries, confirmed the death this morning. He said the male employee was killed before 8 a.m. when a 1,200-pound mold was accidentally lowered onto the worker.

The Coroner's Office is investigating in conjunction with Point Township Police. Kelley pronounced the victim dead at the scene at 8:50 a.m.

More details will be posted when they become available.

Iron worker suffered significant head wound and body trauma after he fell 18 feet from a building he was working on in Atherton, CA

A 33-year-old iron worker was injured on Friday when he fell into a basement from an incomplete first floor, according to a report from Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman.

Firefighters from Engine 3 in Atherton were dispatched at 12:15 p.m. to a construction site on Britton Avenue. Capt. Mike Harrington and his crew arrived at 12:20 p.m. and found a man with “significant head wound and body trauma” in a basement that had no stairs.

Fire trucks 1 and 4 were called, and a 35-foot ladder was fully extended at an angle into the basement to establish what Schapelhouman called a “ladder slide.”

The victim, who had fallen 15 to 18 feet, was placed into a Stokes litter basket to immobilize his spine and neck, and pulled up the ladder slide using a rope and rigging system at 12:40 p.m.

The man was transported by AMR ambulance to Stanford Medical Center. His condition is unknown.



Menlo Park firefighters recently rescued a man who fell up to 18 feet from a building he was working on, landing on the concrete floor below, fire officials announced Monday. This marks the second time in nine months that crews have had to use specialized rescue techniques and technical rope and rigging equipment to perform such a rescue.

According to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, the incident happened on Friday around 12:15 p.m. Friday at a residential construction site located on Britton Avenue in the Town of Atherton. The 33-year-old man, an iron worker, had reportedly "sustained a free fall" into the basement and suffered a "significant" head wound and body trauma. However, he was still conscious and breathing, fire officials said.

Firefighters got to the scene within five minutes and got to work rigging a system to get the man out of the basement, which had no stairs.

"The personnel on Engine 3 assisted by the AMR Ambulance crew treated and packaged the patient while members of Truck 1 and Engine 4 placed a fully extended 35 foot ladder at a convenient angle to establish a 'ladder slide' that also incorporated a mechanical advantage rope and rigging system needed to manually and safely haul the patient up and out of the basement, after placing him in a stokes liter basket so his cervical spine and neck were immobilized so as to minimize the potential of further injury," a fire department news release states.

The man was pulled from the basement by 12:40 p.m. and taken to Stanford hospital.

“We are experiencing a building boom as part of a robust economy," Fire Chief Schapelhouman said. "Unfortunately, we have also noticed that with that comes a higher and more frequent number of industrial emergencies and accidents as our firefighters very adeptly and quickly addressed during this emergency."

Firefighters performed a similar rescue operation last August.

One worker on a boom truck died, another injured after the boom tipped over in Cobb County, Georgia

Apr 26, 2017 6:58 AM EST
By La-Keya Stinchcomb, Digital Producer


One construction worker is dead and another is injured after both were transported to the hospital with injuries during an accident.

The incident occurred Tuesday afternoon at 50 Maner Terrace.

Cobb County officials said the workers were in a boom lift basket that was located on the boom truck at the time of the accident.  The boom lift then somehow fell off the truck.

It is not clear if they were working on a roof or installing windows.

OSHA is investigating the incident.

The identity of the deceased has yet to be released.


COBB COUNTY, Ga -- Rescue personnel were called to the scene of a reported construction accident on Maner Terrace.

According to a Cobb Fire Department spokesman, callers reported that a boom lift had fallen at 50 Maner Terrace and two workers were possibly injured.

Wellington Apartments are located at that address.

1 driver killed, 1 injured after 2 pickup trucks pulling hay rakes were rear-ended by a semi-truck collide on Highway 152, east of Los Banos

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) says westbound lanes are blocked after a crash on Highway 152 and San Juan Road, just west of Highway 33 and east of Los Banos. (KFSN)

Updated 1 hr 1 min ago
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The California Highway Patrol (CHP) says westbound lanes are blocked after a crash on Highway 152 and San Juan Road, just west of Highway 33 and east of Los Banos.

CHP said two pickup trucks pulling hay rakes were making a right turn from Highway 152 to San Juan Road when a semi-truck rear-ended one of the hay rakes. The impact caused one pickup truck to run into the other pickup truck -- killing the driver of the truck in the middle.

The driver of the other pickup was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the semi-truck refused treatment.

Drugs and alcohol are not suspected in the crash.

Stay with Action News on air and online for the latest on this story.

Latanya Sanders, a special education teacher's aide, was seriously injured after an unlicensed student driver ran her over at Oakland High School

Unlicensed student driver runs over beloved teacher's aide at Oakland High School

A special education teacher's aide was seriously injured after an unlicensed student driver ran her over at Oakland High School Tuesday. (KGO-TV)

By Lisa Amin Gulezian
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 11:51PM
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A special education teacher's aide was seriously injured after officials say an unlicensed student driver ran her over at Oakland High School Tuesday.

Police say a white SUV ran over the aide. It was originally parked in a faculty lot.

"Just all of a sudden lurched forward -- went through a gate. The gate was basically on top of the person," said John Sasaki of the Oakland Unified School District. "And the car rolled over the person as well."

The person behind the wheel was not the owner, but an unlicensed student.

The owner of the SUV came here to drop off her sisters for swim class and then she parked her car in a lot, knowing it wasn't allowed. She left to run errands and left the keys with her sisters.

Then, they found out the car could be towed. They weren't able to move it so they gave the keys to their cousin, an 18-year-old without a driver's license.

"She didn't mean to do it," said the owner, who didn't want to be identified. "She meant to reverse, but she doesn't know the gears so that happened. She's really emotional right now."

But so are school staffers, who have identified the victim as Latanya Sanders.

"I couldn't believe it," said friend Marilyn Major. "I stopped my car and I grabbed my head and I'm like -- and I said, 'I hope she's alright.'"

Sanders has worked with special education students for years. She was outside, likely waiting for the buses that transport kids when she was hit.

"We're very tight and we're all concerned about her," said Driver's Ed teacher Bill Visnick.

Sanders is in critical condition. The teenage driver is cooperating with police.

Drunk driver of a pick-up truck slammed into several vehicles parked in a Pasadena home driveway, injuring a child

Child injured when truck crashes into parked cars in driveway of Pasadena home

Charges have not been filed, and there's still no word on what caused the driver to lose control.  However, it is obvious the driver was on drugs or drunk.  Most drunk-related crashes occur in the early a.m. hours, like her.

Updated 11 mins ago
PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- A homeowner in Pasadena chased down the driver of a truck who slammed into several vehicles parked in his driveway.

It was a chain reaction collision that started when the driver ran over the yard and smashed into several vehicles around 3:30 a.m. on the 1300 block of Chandler Cove and Benton Drive.

One of the cars was pushed into the garage door and into a wall, hurting the family's 4-year-old grandson inside the house while he was sleeping. The family said he suffered some cuts.

The family said they woke up to a loud noise, and when they went outside, they saw the suspect hitting reverse and driving off.

"I heard a loud boom. I thought it was thunder," homeowner Diana DeLeon said.

The husband got into his vehicle, called police and followed the suspect.

"I had to go look for this guy," homeowner Tony DeLeon said.

Police caught up with the driver and arrested him a few blocks away. Officers eventually brought the suspect back to the home, where he said he wanted to speak with Tony.

"He just said he wanted to apologize because he had been going through a lot of family problems," Tony said.

Charges have not been filed, and there's still no word on what caused the driver to lose control.


Cleanup continues at site of 19,000-gallon Oklahoma oil spill


LOYAL, Okla. — A Houston-based pipeline company is cleaning up a nearly 19,000 gallon oil spill in northwest Oklahoma that threatened a local water supply.

Crews from Plains All American Pipeline were at the site Tuesday in Loyal, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of Oklahoma City.

The leak was reported Friday, but it's unclear when it started. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are monitoring the cleanup.

Corporation spokesman Matt Skinner says roughly 70 acres of farmland are affected and that the spill reached a small creek, but he says it was contained before it flowed into a second creek that flows into the Cimarron River about 16 miles (26 kilometers) away.

A spokeswoman for the pipeline company promised a statement on the spill later Tuesday.


LOYAL, Okla. —

The Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner has taken the lead on the cleanup efforts after thousands of gallons of oil spilled in Loyal.


Officials said close to 19,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from an 8-inch-wide Buffalo Pipeline. Preliminary reports show that the pipeline was corroded, which might have caused the spill.

“It’s definitely dangerous and not good for anyone,” resident Katy Huber said. “I know there is oil going down every road around here."

OCC officials say most of the impact appears to be on farmland and roads. The spill has covered 60-70 acres. The OCC were able to use booms to keep the oil out of the Cimarron River.

Plains All American owns the pipeline, and crews are on site digging near where the leak began. The company said there is no threat to drinking water, but residents in the area say they are still concerned.

“(It’s) never fun to see oil like that get out into the environment, and it definitely affects all of us,” Huber said.

OCC officials do not know how much longer they’ll be cleaning. Plains All American will conduct integrity testing before the pipeline can be restarted.

Peyton Trueblood wrongful death lawsuit moved to Potter County State Court due to lack of diversity' she died when a storage container filled with fireworks exploded while working for the musical “TEXAS” in Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Peyton Trueblood, dead
Trueblood lawsuit withdrawn from federal court, refiled in Potter County

A wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Peyton Trueblood, who was killed in a fireworks accident in July 2015 while working for the musical “TEXAS” in Palo Duro Canyon State Park, has been withdrawn from a federal court and has been refiled as a state case in Potter County. The new suit also introduces two additional defendants who face three allegations from family.

Trueblood, 21, a University of Alabama Theatre and Dance Department student from Tuscaloosa, died on the night of July 31 when a storage container filled with fireworks exploded while she was inside the structure at the defendant’s direction, according to the suit.

The new suit, filed in the 47th Judicial District, was moved because one of the two companies now named in the lawsuit was based in Alabama, lawyers said.

“Since Defendant Ultratec Special Effects and the plaintiffs are residents of the State of Alabama, no diversity exists,” court documents stated (meaning the federal court did not have jurisdiction, while a state court would).

In addition to Ultratec Special Effects, the distributor of the fireworks, Wald and Company Inc., a Missouri-based company who manufactured the fireworks, has also been named in the suit. As such, both parties now face three counts: Strict Products Liability - Manufacturing Defect; Strict Product Liability - Design Defect Against; and Strict Product Liability - Failure to Warn against.

The Trueblood family is being represented by Amarillo attorney Jesse Quackenbush along with Los Angeles-based attorney James A. Morris.

“There was an amendment of the procedures,” Morris said of the new allegations. “And we believe that we’ll be able to discover facts that they had some level of responsibility.”

Morris said some aspects they will be researching have to do with how the two companies shipped the fireworks, how the explosives were stored, and if there were sufficient warning labels on the items insideof the storage container.

“The fireworks manufactured by Defendant Wald and Company and distributed by Defendant Ultratec Special Effects were in a defective condition, unreasonably dangerous due to defects in the design, manufacturing, and/or inadequate warnings on the occasion in question,” court documents state in the suit’s introductory allegations.

The original lawsuit, filed on Sept. 29, 2016 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, sought damages against Blaine Bertrand, Kris Miller, Rick Bertram, and Dennis Rice, all workers involved with “TEXAS,” for Negligence, Gross Negligence, and Strict Liability.

The four are represented in the case by Peterson, Farris, Boyd & Parker of Amarillo, while Ultratec Special Effects is being defended by Terry Fitzgerald, Richard A. Branca, Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams LLP, a Houston-based law firm. A representative for Wald and Company Inc. was not listed in court documents.

The four defendants filed an initial answer to the allegations on Oct. 19 in the Northern District Court, denying the allegations against them.

“(T)he primary reason for the lawsuit is to assure future tragedies are prevented,” Quackenbush said in a statement when the federal suit was filed. “Peyton’s mother received numerous letters and telephone calls from this year’s cast and crew alleging that the defendants continue with their unsafe practices and have not been abiding by their plea bargain agreement with OSHA,” Quackenbush said at the time.

In February 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a $42,000 fine and six “serious” citations against the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation Inc., producers of the musical, after investigating the explosion. The Department of Labor said the musical production had failed to do five things: train workers on the use of explosives; provide fire retardant clothing; perform a hazard assessment; and, develop a written hazard communication program. Each of the six citations carried a $7,000 penalty.

Later, in a State Fire Marshal’s Office investigation report, an Aug. 5, 2015 interview with Blaine Bertrand conducted at the Randall County Sheriff’s Office detailed which crew members were allowed to fire the fireworks.

The Texas State Fire Marshal’s office closed their investigation into the case in September and ruled the cause of the explosion to still be undetermined, according to Jerry Hagins, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Insurance in Austin. 


2 killed in Ultratec explosion not only workers harmed in fireworks manufacturer's history
  Crystal Bonvillian
  on February 10, 2015 at 2:48 PM

Investigators are still looking into the explosion that killed two workers on Friday at an Owens Cross Roads fireworks manufacturing facility that has a long history of similar incidents.

The onsite investigation at Ultratec Special Effects is over and the scene has been released back to the company, said Special Agent Michael P. Knight, a public relations officer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)'s Nashville office.

Knight said the main focus of the investigation now is to determine the cause of the explosion that killed 43-year-old Aimee Cothran of Huntsville and 51-year-old Marie Sanderson of Union Grove. Knight said that samples of the "blast seat," or the point of detonation in the explosion, have been collected and are being analyzed at the lab.

"The results of laboratory, combined with the interviews conducted, will aid in determining if the incident was accidental or criminal in nature," Knight said.

The fire and explosive reports have been completed by each of the agencies involved in the investigation, Knight said, which includes the ATF, the Alabama State Fire Marshal's Office and the Madison County Sheriff's Office.

Ultratec fatal explosion, Feb. 6, 2015 This aerial footage shows the scene after an explosion at Ultratec in Owens Cross Roads killed two employees and injured four other people on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. (Footage provided by Pete Dobbs)

Ultratec is a world leader in indoor and "close proximate" pyrotechnics, such as those used at concerts and theme parks like Walt Disney World. Though it has offices in Canada and Germany, it is based in Owens Cross Roads.

A statement on the company's website says that "thoughts and prayers" are with the families of those affected by the explosion, including those injured in the blast. McKenna Whorton, daughter of State Rep. Ritchie Whorton (R-Owens Cross Roads), is being treated at the UAB Burn Center in Birmingham for severe burns and an unidentified man is being treated at Huntsville Hospital for similar injuries.

Two others sustained minor burns.

"Safety is our first priority," Ultratec's statement reads. "Ultratec is committed to investigating the incident and will assist local, state and federal officials in determining its cause.

"Our immediate focus is assisting the employees and their families whose loved ones were lost or injured (Friday). Further information about the incident and its cause will be communicated when available and appropriate."

Friday's explosion is not the first incident in Ultratec's history that has injured or killed workers. The latest explosion, in November 2013, caused extensive damage to the facility, as did a 2010 fire, but there were no injuries in either of those incidents.

That was not the case in September 1999, when an explosion leveled one of the complex's buildings, killing Michael Vernon Ray, 35, and critically injuring Mike Brookshire. The men, who were inside the building, received second- and third-degree burns over 80 to 90 percent of their bodies.

A third worker, Mike Davis, was outside of the building, but was also injured. Davis had been burned in a smaller lab explosion just a few months before.

Ultratec was known as Luna Tech at that time. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Luna Tech $65,000 after the fatal explosion for what it said were improperly trained employees, a lack of an emergency plan and improper handling of hazardous materials.

About two weeks after OSHA handed down that fine, the company's owner, Tom DeWille, was himself critically injured in an explosion at the facility. DeWille, who was mixing the chemical compounds to make electrical matches, recovered from first- and second-degree burns on his face, neck, hands and upper body.

OSHA fined the company $116,200 for that explosion, citing its failure to provide a plan for personal protective equipment for employees. DeWille was also cited for not wearing the proper gear and for improper storage of electrical equipment in the room where the explosion occurred.

DeWille no longer owns the company. His LinkedIn profile indicates he retired as the company's president in 2002.

The Alabama Secretary of State's records list W. Brad English as the incorporator of Ultratec. The current president is Adrian Segeren. Ray's widow, Robin Ray, sued Luna Tech for wrongful death, but court records show that the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice in April 2001. Brookshire also sued and settled with the company, which paid for the lengthy medical treatment he needed for his injuries.

The pilot, Charles McCutcheon, 67, and passenger Bryan Roth, 49, die in a Bellanca 17-31ATC Super Viking plane crash on Highway 98 in Missouri after it hit power lines

By: Marie Bowman

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 11:08 PM CDT

Two die in single-engine plane crash...

COOPER COUNTY, Mo. - Update 5:31 p.m.: Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers confirm two people died Monday in a small aircraft crash.

The pilot, Charles McCutcheon, 67, and passenger Bryan Roth, 49, were from Fayette and Franklin respectively.

Patrol spokesperson Sgt. Scott White said the Federal Aviation Administration. and National Transportation Safety Board will be at the scene Tuesday and launch an investigation to determine the cause of the crash.

Preliminary reports indicate the plane was traveling to Jessie Viertel Memorial Airport, which is near Route 98.

It's unclear where the two men took off from and how much experience the pilot had. Troopers say that will all be part of the FAA investigation.

ABC 17 News searched the F.A.A. website and found the plane had not yet been registered.

Sgt. White said the crash was the first major crash in the area in a while, that he can recall.

Original story: A single-engine plane has crashed on Highway 98 just north of Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport.

KWRT news director Bob Bosma has reported that the plane was flying low and hit power lines. The plane was a four-seat Bellanca Viking registered to Howard County.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed that there is an aircraft on the roadway.

According to dispatch reports, a power line was down at the scene and the grass caught fire. The plane ended up overturned in a ditch.

Date: 24-APR-2017
Time: -13:58
Bellanca 17-31ATC Super Viking
Owner/operator: Registration Pending
Registration: N787TV
C/n / msn: 73-31048
Fatalities: Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport (KVER), Boonville, MO - United States of America
Phase: Approach
Nature: Unknown
Departure airport:

Destination airport: Jesse Viertel Mem'l (KVER)
The aircraft impacted powerlines and major roadway terrain north of Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport (KVER) in Boonville, Missouri. The airplane sustained substantial damage and the two occupants onboard received fatal injuries.


Pilot died when he crashed his Cessna 421 Golden Eagle plane in a pond in Huntsville, Texas after he exprerienced oil problem

HUNTSVILLE, Texas - One person has died after a small plane crashed near Huntsville.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, divers have recovered the body of the male pilot from the crash site. DPS said that police received a call around 9:30 a.m. from a resident on Armadillo near FM 980. The resident had seen a plane crash into a body of water.

DPS added that the search continues for possible additional victims.

Police found a twin-engine Cessna 421 upside down in the water.

"It was on fire," said neighbor John Syphrett, who owns land near the crash site. "Shocking, you know. It's pretty quiet out there and then all of a sudden you hear a plane crashed in your backyard."

The Federal Aviation Administration says the pilot of the plane reported a possible oil problem and a fire before the plane went down.

Date: 25-APR-2017
Time: 9:30
Cessna 421 Golden Eagle


C/n / msn:

Fatalities: Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: Northeast of Huntsville Municipal Airport (KUTS), Huntsville, TX - United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Nature: Unknown
Departure airport:

Destination airport:

The aircraft experienced an inflight fire and subsequent impact with trees and lightly timbered terrain northeast of Huntsville Municipal Airport (KUTS) in Huntsville, Texas. The airplane came to rest inverted in a small lake, sustaining substantial damage. The pilot and sole occupant of the plane died in the crash.


The cause of a massive three-alarm fire in west Mobile, AL is still unsolved and fire investigators are asking for the public's help

The cause of a massive three-alarm fire in west Mobile on Sunday (April 23) afternoon is still unsolved and fire investigators are asking for the public's help in figuring out what started the blaze.

Mobile Fire-Rescue Department Spokesman Steve Huffman said that they are specifically seeking video or photos of the early stages of the fire.

The fire started in buildings 8 and 9 at about 4:38 p.m. on Sunday at the Timber Ridge Apartments located at 6700 Wall Street. It quickly shot up to three-alarms, but responding firefighters were able to rescue all of the occupants and most of their pets.

Woman leaps from balcony, saves dogs; to escape fire

A woman leaped from the balcony of a second floor apartment and caught dogs dangling from their leashes to escape a massive three-alarm fire in west Mobile.

Huffman said that the fire caused extensive damage to the roof and attic area of the buildings. Fire investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire and think that video and photos would be helpful is in determining how the fire started.

The MFRD is asking that anyone willing to share photos and video to contact them 251-208-6373 or at 251-208-7311. If you leave your name, number and a message, you will receive a return call to make arrangements to get the items.