Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SERIAL ARSONIST ON THE LOOSE IN GLASSBORO, NJ: Fire that destroyed the home of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity brothers in Glassboro, NJ was case of arson

Fire that destroyed Glassboro, NJ home was case of arson, officials say

GLASSBORO, N.J. (WPVI) -- Authorities say an early morning fire that destroyed a home in Glassboro, New Jersey was a case of arson.

The flames broke out around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 400 block of Hamilton Road.

Watch viewer video and Action Cam raw video of a fire in Glassboro, NJ that destroyed a home and several cars.
Video taken by Action News viewer Jeffrey Jennett at the scene showed heavy flames consuming the residence.

The fire spread from the home to several parked cars before firefighters got the upper hand.

No injuries were reported.

The Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office said investigators have determined the fire was deliberately set.

Several small brush fires were reported in over several blocks in the same area.

Investigators are working to determine who set the fires and why.


By Caitlyn Stulpin


For NJ.com

GLASSBORO -- After a series of fires in Glassboro, the most recently displacing five fraternity brothers, an official arson investigation has been launched.

The Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office, Glassboro Police and the Gloucester County Fire Marshal's Office are working together on an investigation after determining that an early morning fire at 411 Hamilton Road was an act of arson.

The fire, which started in the garage and quickly spread -- igniting cars, a carport and making its way all the way through the house, left five brothers of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity homeless.

One brother, Ryan Alwine, 21, and his girlfriend, 23-year-old Elisa Obedoza, were sleeping in the house when the fire broke out. Neighbors knocked on the doors, waking them up and alerting them to exit the house immediately. According to Obedoza, everything was lost besides the few things they were able to grab on their way out.

No one was injured in the fire and Rowan University is taking steps to help the students find new housing.

The Prosecutor's Officer said in a statement that several small brush fires have occurred in that same area which are being considered in the arson investigation.

No arrests have been made yet.

OSHA ENFORCEMENT CASES AGAINST: Autoneum North America, Sunset Tree Service & Landscaping LLC, Metalsa Structural Products Inc. and A.C. Castle Construction Co. Inc. and Daryl Provencher

Ohio auto insulation manufacturer faces penalties following worker injury
A worker at a Toledo, Ohio, automotive parts supplier lost his hand and part of his arm in a shredding machine. OSHA's investigation of Autoneum North America found that the company failed to equip the machine with safety guards and train workers on lockout/tagout procedures, and exposed workers to struck-by hazards from machine parts. The company was cited for three willful and two repeated violations and proposed fines of $569,463. For more information, read the news release.

Michigan landscaping company obtains Cease Operations Order for exposing workers to hazards
Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a Cease Operations Order to Sunset Tree Service & Landscaping LLC in Bay City for exposing workers to potentially serious injuries by continuing to operate without abating previously identified hazards. MIOSHA inspectors determined that the company failed to adequately provide safe access to feed rolls on a wood chipper, failed to guard a shaft on the wood chipper, defeated the safety features on an operator safety control bar, and failed to train workers in safe tree trimming operations and practices. From 2011 to 2017, the company has had an extensive history of safety and failure to abate violations. For more information, read the news release.

Kentucky cites manufacturer for exposing workers to safety hazards
Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health cited Metalsa Structural Products Inc. in Hopkinsville for exposing workers to safety hazards. Kentucky OSH inspectors concluded that the company failed to ensure proper that lockout/tagout procedures were followed while workers performed maintenance on a robotic machine, exposing them to amputation hazards. Inspectors also found that the company failed to conduct inspections on the control of hazardous energy and attach lockout/tagout devices on machinery. The company was previously cited for violations of these standards in 2013.

Judge rules that Massachusetts companies operated as single employer at worksite where three workers fell
An administrative law judge with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission upheld OSHA's contention that A.C. Castle Construction Co. Inc. and Daryl Provencher, were operating as a single employer at a Wenham, Mass., worksite when three employees were injured in a 20-foot fall from a scaffold. The employees were working on a residential roof when the wooden plank on the scaffold snapped. Both companies contested the citations and penalties, with A.C. Castle claiming it was employed by Provencher and, therefore, not responsible for the safety of the workers. The judge upheld most of the citations and ordered A.C. Castle to pay penalties totaling $173,500. Read the news release for more information.

Pennsylvania DEP Proposes Plan to Improve Safe Drinking Water Oversight. Proposal will increase Safe Drinking Water inspection staff to ensure drinking water safety

Pennsylvania  DEP Proposes Plan to Improve Safe Drinking Water Oversight

Fee package would increase Safe Drinking Water staff to ensure drinking water safety

Harrisburg, PA – In order to provide mandated protections to public drinking water, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) proposes to increase the number of inspectors who ensure safe drinking water is delivered from the state’s more than 8,500 public water systems to more than 10 million Pennsylvania residents. To fund the positions, DEP proposes a new annual fee and amendments to existing permit fees for public water systems. The proposed fee package will allow DEP to expand the existing drinking water staff complement by more than 50 percent and improve inspection rates of public water systems.

“Years of under-investment in our safe drinking water oversight has put Pennsylvania in a precarious position,” said DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “DEP staff have done tremendous work to ensure that the water that we drink is safe and clean. But, we cannot continue with the staffing shortages we currently face.”

Over the past few months, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has noted that DEP has one inspector for every 149 public water systems, more than double the national average of one inspector for every 67 systems. EPA has also warned that if inspection requirements are not met, Pennsylvania may lose primacy over Safe Drinking Water programs. Correspondence can be found on the DEP website http://www.dep.pa.gov/About/Testimony_and_Letters/Pages/Testimony.aspx.

The proposed package would increase fees for new or amended permits and impose annual fees for community water systems, non-community water systems, and bottled, vended, retail and bulk water suppliers. The fees are anticipated to raise $7.5 million in additional annual funding for the program. More information can be found at http://files.dep.state.pa.us/PublicParticipation/Advisory%20Committees/AdvCommPortalFiles/TAC/DRAFT%20Proposed%20Annual%20Fees_TAC%20handout_Jan%2005%202017.pdf.

The proposed fee package would add 33 new positions to the existing drinking water complement. The fee package would be the first increase to permitting fees since the fees were first implemented in 1984.

“It’s clear that the ever-expanding workload of inspections cannot be managed forever by the current staff levels,” said McDonnell. “These inspections cover the entirety of the water system, from the water source, through the treatment and storage, and finally the distribution to homes. We’re seeking these increases to make sure that we can continue DEP’s high-quality work and fulfill our responsibility to ensure clean drinking water sources to the people of Pennsylvania.”

The proposed fee package will be presented to the Environmental Quality Board at their May 17, 2017 meeting. Details of that meeting are available at http://www.dep.pa.gov/PublicParticipation/EnvironmentalQuality/2017%20Meetings/Pages/default.aspx/. A public comment period will be announced once a draft of the package is finalized; details of the comment period will be announced at that time.

2 pilots killed after a Learjet 35A corporate jet operated by A&C Big Sky Aviation LLC crashed and burst into flames while on approach runway 01 to Teterboro Airport, New Jersey

Investigators expected on scene after fiery plane crash near Teterboro Airport in NJ

CARLSTADT, New Jersey (WABC) -- Federal investigators will be at the site of a deadly jet crash near a small airport Tuesday, working to determine what caused the aircraft to go down before bursting into flames.

Police said two crew members were killed when the Learjet 35 crashed among small warehouses and industrial buildings Monday around 3:30 p.m. in Carlstadt a quarter-mile from the runway at Teterboro Airport. There were no passengers aboard and no one on the ground was reported injured.

The Medical Examiner is working to determine the identity of the victims. The FAA is expected at the scene on Tuesday along with the NTSB.

There was no indication in radio communications with the tower that there was anything wrong before the plane dove into the area and burst into flames.

Surveillance video from a nearby business shows the moment of impact and then a huge fireball. A man can be seen running across a parking lot toward the crash site as thick, black smoke spews into the air.

Two of the three buildings involved in the crash sustained fire damage.

Emergency responders worked for more than an hour to extinguish the blaze, which left a smoldering wreckage of cars in a parking lot. Police said 13 vehicles also were damaged.

The plane was registered in Billings, Montana, to a company called A&C Big Sky Aviation, which has a residential address. The owners of the residence are Daniel and Julane Wells.

The airport was closed after the crash. Departing flights resumed in the evening, but no arriving flights were allowed.
The jet had flown from Teterboro to Bedford, Mass., early Monday morning. It then flew to Philadelphia later Monday morning before leaving for Teterboro in the afternoon. It was just about to land at Teterboro before the crash.

It happened in an industrial area on Kero Road in Carlstadt.


2 dead in fiery small plane crash near Teterboro Airport in NJ
May 15, 2017 11:20PM
CARLSTADT, New Jersey (WABC) -- Two crew members were killed after a small plane crashed into an industrial area and burst into flames in New Jersey Monday afternoon.

It happened just after 3:30 p.m. ET on Kero Road in Carlstadt, near Teterboro Airport -- a small airport located close to New York City.

Officials said the small, Learjet 35 jet came from Philadelphia and was just about to land at Teterboro. There was no indication in the radio communication with the tower that there was anything wrong -- the plane simply dove into the the industrial area about a 1/4 mile from the airport and burst into flames. Three buildings caught fire as a result.

Carlstadt spokesman Joe Orlando said two crew members on board -- believed to be the pilot and co-pilot -- were killed in the crash. No passengers were on board, and no people on the ground were injured. In a press conference, officials said the fact that no one on the ground was injured at that time of day was "quite remarkable."

The Medical Examiner is working to determine the identity of the victims.

Here are photos showing the scene of the crash:

(Photo/Jeff Williams)
A person who worked in one of the buildings hit by the plane said the crash happened about 30 minutes after one of the businesses closed, so no one was inside. However, there were people in the second building -- and they were all able to get out safely. Officials said that two of the three buildings affected suffered exterior damage only. 13 cars were also damaged by the plane crash.

The FAA issued this statement shortly after the crash:

"A Learjet 35 crashed on approach to Runway 1 at Teterboro Airport at 3:30 pm today. The aircraft went down about 1/4 mile from the airport in a residential area. The flight departed from Philadelphia International Airport and was headed to Teterboro. The FAA is enroute to the scene. Local authorities will release information about people on board the aircraft. We will update this statement when we get new information."

The FAA is expected back at the scene on Tuesday along with the NTSB.

Here is a look at the plane that crashed, as posted on the website FlightAware.com:

Airport officials closed Teterboro Airport immediately after the crash. It reopened about three hours later.

Officials give their insight on the crash:

It happened in an industrial area on Kero Road in Carlstadt.


Date:Monday 15 May 2017
Time:ca 15:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic LJ35 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Learjet 35A
Operator:A&C Big Sky Aviation LLC
Registration: N452DA
C/n / msn: 35A-452
First flight: 1981
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1 km (0.6 mls) S of Teterboro Airport, NJ (TEB) (   United States of America)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:Philadelphia International Airport, PA (PHL/KPHL), United States of America
Destination airport:Teterboro Airport, NJ (TEB/KTEB), United States of America
An Learjet 35A corporate jet crashed and burst into flames while on approach runway 01 to Teterboro Airport, New Jersey, USA, according to the FAA.
The airplane impacted the ground in an industrial area between Kero Road and Commerce Road in Carlstadt, New Jersey, 1000 m short of runway 01. A fire erupted and consumed the aircraft. Both crew members have died in the accident.

» Flightaware

Town of Sweden, NY employee, 19-year-old Benjamin Levchuk, killed after he drove an ATV-John Deere Gator into a pole barn at the Sweden Town Park


A town of Sweden employee was killed Monday afternoon in an ATV crash in Sweden Town Park.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, the 19-year-old Benjamin Levchuk drove the ATV into a pole barn around 11:45 a.m.

Upon arrival, deputies saw an ATV-Gator that was halfway into a workshop building with Levchuk still seated on it. The ATV was was still running. A deputy along with town workers pulled the John Deer Gator partially away from the building so responding medical personnel could render aid. But Levchuk was deceased.

According to town workers, Levchuk had went to the building to retrieve the ATV to assist another worker whose lawn mower was stuck. When Levchuk didn't return, one of the workers went to look for him and found him on the ATV. The worker immediately called 911.

Sweden Town Park is located at 4763 Redman Road, just south of the College at Brockport.


May 15, 2017 09:56 PM

A young man who worked for the Town of Sweden was killed on Monday.

Deputies say 19-year-old Benjamin Levchuk drove a John Deere Gator into a pole barn at the town park on Redman Road around 11:45 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputies say no one witnessed the crash. They are now investigating to determine what exactly happened.

There is now a piece of plywood covering up the hole in the pole barn where the crash happened.

A board covers the site of impact

We're told, after Levchuk had been unaccounted for, for a period of time, other workers went to check on him and found the scene with the Gator lodged in the side of the building. They tried to get him some medical help but he was declared dead at the scene.

The medical examiner is now looking into what exactly killed him.

Deputies say Levchuk had gone to the barn to get an ATV to help another worker whose mower had gotten stuck. 


Sweden, N.Y. – Investigators are still working to find the cause of the ATV crash that killed a Town of Sweden employee.

On Tuesday, the family of Benjamin Levchuk,19, remembered him - how he loved to fish, and that he started his new job with the town two weeks ago.

Most notably, Levchuk spent time with his mom on Mother's Day.

“Ben wasn't the most affectionate of people,” said family friend Jeff McKinney. “He gave her the card and leaned over and gave her a kiss, and told her that he loved her."

Levchuk’s mother was too upset to speak with 13WHAM, but shared the card her son gave her one day before he was killed.

It read, "You mean a lot to me. You're one of my favorite people, in case you didn't know. Mother's Day is a special time for me to tell you so. Happy Mother's Day. Love, Benjamin."

On Monday, deputies said Levchuk went to the storage barn to get a John Deer Gator ATV. He was going to help a co-worker whose lawn mower was stuck in the park. That's when deputies said the vehicle struck the side of the building.

Co-workers found Levchuk sitting in the ATV, unresponsive.

“It was a shock, couldn’t sleep,” said the Benjamin’s father, Vladimir Levchuk. “I wish I could have spent more time with him. I wish I could take him home to spend more time. Sometimes you don't know when your day comes."

The 19-year old Brockport High School graduate’s loved ones are still wondering what exactly happened.

"Could be that the tractor got stuck,” said Levchuk. “The pedal or steering wheel locked because it's like 90 degrees - went straight into the building. It’s something wrong with the machine, or maybe he died before he hit the building. Nobody knows yet."

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office is investigating that ATV to determine whether or not there was some sort of mechanical issue.

The cause of the crash is still unclear.  It is possible that the young man pressed the accelerator pedal instead of the break.  He did not have much experience in driving the John Deere Gator.

Starting a Gator is similar to starting a car; the key goes into the ignition switch and the operator turns it to the start position. Unlike starting a car, Gator drivers must depress the brake pedal for the vehicle to start and the engine starts in any gear. Therefore, starting with the parking brake activated is advisable. The Gator's transmission operates with a shift lever located between the front passenger seats and shifts occur with the vehicle stopped at idle. Models offering four-wheel drive generally have an electric switch mounted on the dash that locks the front wheels for all-wheel drive. Gator accelerator, braking, and steering controls operate much like a car.

Operator Training and Requirements

  1. The John Deere Gator safety decals and labels identified in this section are placed in the appropriate areas to draw attention to potential hazards.
  2. The decals and labels are required and shall not be removed.
  3. Should a warning decal or label become damaged, removed or otherwise rendered unreadable, it shall be replaced by the Amherst College Mechanic as soon as possible.
  4. As a utility vehicle, the John Deere Gator was not designed to be used for "off roading". The units purchased by the College are not all-terrain recreation vehicles.
  5. The Gator was not intended for public road or highway use, as it may be a hazard to the faster moving traffic.
  6. Operators and passengers should be seated separately, and shall not under any circumstances be allowed to ride on the vehicle, unless they are seated in the center of the seat with both feet inside the vehicle.
  7. Gators are permitted to cross Routes 9 and 116, at crosswalks with flashing lights, provided appropriate care is used with regard to pedestrians and traffic. The Gator must come to a complete stop before crossing.
  • Golf carts, John Deere Gators, lawn mowers and other slow moving vehicles which do not have license plates shall be equipped with permanent or temporary "flashing" strobe lights if they are used to cross public ways.
Gators are not permitted to operate with traffic. Driving along the road, the bicycle lane or breakdown lane is prohibited and may result in the removal of keys from the operator as determined by the Amherst College Chief of Police.
The John Deere Gators have safety decals and labels that warn of the appropriate hazards and risks. Safety alerts range in hazards from a lower risk “Notice” to a much more significant “Danger”.
  • Hazardous situations with high probability or death or severe injury
  • Hazardous situations which have some probability of death or severe injury
  • Hazardous situations which may result in minor or moderate injury
  • Indicating a possibility of company policy as the message relates (in)directly to personnel safety or protection of property.
The operator’s manual, which must be available for review and training, explains the potential safety hazards associated with the operation of the Gators.
Decals and labels specific to the Gator include:

Danger Labels

Gator Safety
Shield Eyes
  • Explosive gases can cause blindness or injury.
    •   Flames, smoking and sparks will create explosion hazard.

Warning Labels


  • Maximum of on e person per seat
  • Riders are not permitted in the cargo area



  • Massachusetts General Law, being more stringent, supersedes this requirement. No person under the age of 18 is permitted to drive the Gators or Golf Carts.
Gator  Safety




  1. Read operator’s manual
  2. Drive very slowly while turning.
  3. Always use brakes when going down a slope to prevent the vehicle from taking off (freewheeling) down a hill.
  4. No loads heavier than the vehicle is rated for.
  5. Spread load evenly.
  6. Tie loads down.
  7. Reduce speed and load on rough or hilly ground.
When filling fuel tank, both doors and front windshield should be in the full open position.
Gator Safety
  • Cell Phones and Portable Radios shall be turned off while tank is being filled.
  • Engine should be allowed to cool prior to filling the Fuel Tank.
  • Prevent Fire and Explosion cause by Static Electricity.
  1. Use only non-metal portable fuel containers, approved by either Factory Mutual (FM) or Underwritten Laboratory (UL)
  2. Never filled portable containers in vehicle or cargo area. Place container on ground and maintain contact between nozzle and container.
  3. Do not fill tank in an enclosed area.
  4. Clean up any fuel spillage with hot water and soap.
  5. Do not operate or occupy vehicle if any fumes are present.
  6. Do not cover or obstruct any vent slots at floor area.
  7. Close fuel cap tightly.

Caution Labels

  • Before Leaving Vehicle
    1. Stop engine.
    2. Set parking brake.
    3. Remove key.
  • Help prevent injury when dumping loads.
    1. Operate dump with parking brake lock.
    2. Never dump while moving.
    3. Operate dump on level ground only.
    4. Do not place hands behind seat when lowering box.
    5. Refer to Operator’s Manual for correct load distribution.

Daily Checklist

Before operation of a John Deere Gator, the operator shall:
  •  Inspect the vehicle for;
    • fuel and oil leaks
    • warning decals and labels in good condition
    • lighting abnormalities or failures
    • horns and other warning signals
    • properly inflated tires
    • guards and shields for personnel safety
    • broken or missing parts
    • check for proper security of loads


  1. Operators must be sitting in appropriate seat.
  2. Vehicle brake should be engaged.
    • Start vehicle in neutral with choke engaged (during cold weather).
    • If engine does not start within 5 seconds, turn key off and wait 10 seconds before next attempt.
    • Never attempt starting the engine more than 3 times within a 5 minute period. The starter must have time to cool to prevent damage.


During the operation, the driver shall;
  • know the location of all controls, both inside and outside the vehicle.
  • not operate the vehicle with the cargo box raised.
  • check brake action before, during and after use, and report any abnormalities to the Amherst College Mechanic.
  • not leave the vehicle running, unattended because the vehicle may;
  1. be inappropriately used by unauthorized persons
  2. accidentally shift gears and move, causing injury or property damage, and
  3. place the College in situations of undesired liability.
  • avoid sudden starts, stops ad turns.
  • use directional signals to indicate path of travel
  • turn the vehicle only on level ground.
  • not wear headphones designed to play music or other distracting noises.
    • Earplugs or muffs may be used to lower decibel levels which are generated by the Gator, during normal operation.
  • use the Gator when adequate lighting is present.
  • not permit horseplay or any other activity that will place passengers, cargo or the vehicle at risk.
  • keep from wheels straight at crest of hill or when going over bumps or depressions.
  • use headlights, as they reduce the risk of accidents by as much as 10%.

Crossing Public Ways:

The John Deere Gators and Riding Lawnmowers may cross public ways directly from one Amherst College property to another Amherst College property. Gators and lawnmowers may not be driven along a public way at any time nor may they be driven along sidewalks that are adjacent to non-College property.
  1. When crossing a public way, Gators and Riding Lawnmowers will be operated with all due caution. Gators and lawnmowers will always yield to normal vehicular traffic and will cross using improved pedestrian crossing whenever possible. Prior to crossing, Gators and lawn mowers will come to a complete stop.
  2. The crossing of public ways is never permissible during the hours of darkness.


  1. The parking brake system shall be engaged whenever the vehicle is unoccupied.
  2. Brakes shall be tested before and during operation for reasons of safety.
  3. Braking shall be used when descending steep slopes to prevent the Gator from freewheeling.



The John Deere Gator shall:
    • be stopped and parked on a level surface.
    • be locked as indicated on the center console.
    • Engine shall be stopped, and 
      • have the key removed to prevent unauthorized use.


Rough Terrain 

When using the Gator on rough terrain the following precautions shall be used;
  •  Use existing trails.
    • Avoid swails, dangerous slopes or depressions, bumps, holes, ruts and other obstacles.
  • Because of lower roof clearance, the manufacturer recommends the use of head protection.
  • Keep wheels straight at crest of hill or over bumps.
  • Reduce speed to lower risk of rollover.
  • Brake frequently when descending slopes.
    • Do not permit the Gator to "freewheel".
  • If vehicle stops or loses power, lock brake to hold vehicle in place.