Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Construction worker Roger Vail, 62, with 50 States Engineering was surveying the 16th floor of One Manhattan West, when a platform he was standing on broke and fell 10 stories to his death


A construction worker fell 10 stories to his death Monday after the scaffolding he was standing on broke, police said.

Roger Vail, 62, was surveying the 16th floor of One Manhattan West, at the corner of West 33rd Street and Ninth Avenue, around 6:40 p.m. when the piece of material he was standing on broke, the NYPD said.

The Montgomery, N.Y., resident plunged to the sixth floor and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The city’s Department of Buildings on Monday issued a stop-work order at the site, records show. The planned 67-story building is one of six being developed as part of Brookfield Property Partners’ Manhattan West complex.

Vail had been working for a surveying firm called 50 States Engineering at the time of his death, a spokesman for the project's general contractor, Tishman Construction, confirmed Wednesday.

"We are deeply saddened by this terrible tragedy, and we are actively working with all relevant agencies to investigate the matter,” the spokesman said in a statement. “There are no further details at this time."

The construction worker was a longtime drummer who played in a number of bands over the past several decades, the Times Herald-Record reported.

Brookfield Property Partners didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.


Roger Vail, a drummer and Middletown native whose career with local bands spanned decades, fell 10 stories to his death Monday in a construction accident in Manhattan, the NYPD said Tuesday.

Vail died after a platform on which he was working on the 16th floor of a building on Manhattan’s West Side collapsed, said Sgt. Jessica McRorie, a spokeswoman with the NYPD’s Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Public Information. Vail landed on the sixth floor of the building at 401 Ninth Ave., McRorie said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident occurred about 6:40 p.m.

Fellow musicians who played with Vail over the years said he was 62, and besides drumming in Orange County bands, he also worked as a surveyor.

Drumming was Vail’s passion, fellow musicians said, and he played with a number of 1950s and ’60s cover bands, including Route 66 and Take 5. Vail also played in Twist and Shout, a Beatles tribune band that played around Orange County in the 1990s.

“He was the best ’60s drummer I ever worked with,” said guitarist and keyboardist Ralph Bauer, who played with Vail for 30 years. The two met when they were in seventh grade at Middletown’s Anthony Veraldi Junior High School. He said Vail recently moved to Montgomery.

“Drumming was Roger’s life,” said rhythm guitarist Tim Selear, who co-founded Route 66 with Vail back in the early 1980s. “He was more dedicated to practicing than any of us.”

Middletown Mayor Joe Stefano said Vail grew up on Jackson Avenue in the city’s 4th Ward. Route 66 entertained at DeStefano’s Olde Erie when the restaurant opened at its West Main Street location in 1998, the mayor said. “They really rocked the place,” DeStefano recalled. “They loved music. They loved being together.”

“He’s going to be missed by so many people,” said Kathie Selear, Tim Selear’s wife. “He was such a true friend. There won’t be a parking lot big enough to hold all the cars that will be there when people come to pay their respects.”

Information on funeral arrangements was unavailable as of late Tuesday.


A construction worker plummeted more than 10 stories to his death after a wooden platform gave way underneath him by the Hudson Yards Monday night.

Roger Vail, 62, of Montgomery, N.Y., was working at 400 W. 33rd St. — which is part of the massive Manhattan West development project by Brookfield Properties — doing a survey on the 16th floor at about 6:40 p.m., when he fell through a platform, police sources said.

He dropped to a 6th floor landing, and medics pronounced him dead at the scene, cops said.

The victim, a surveyor hired by 50 States Engineering — a firm hired by the general contractor, Tishman Construction, officials told the Daily News. He was working to raise a “cocooning system” designed to cover areas of active high-rise construction and prevent falls, officials said.

The city Buildings Department issued a full stop-work order at the building Monday, and issued a violation to the contractor for failing to safeguard the site.

“We are deeply saddened by this terrible tragedy, and we are actively working with all relevant agencies to investigate the matter,” Tishman spokesman John Gallagher said.

Vail’s friends described him to The Times Herald as a Middletown, N.Y. native who played drums in Orange County bands for decades.

“To all a sad, sad day. Roger Vail, good friend and great local musician passed,” said fellow musician Brent Hambly in a public Facebook post.

“Jammed w/him 6 weeks ago. Beautiful studio he built in a rustic 1890's house,” Hambly wrote in a follow-up post.

WEAR YOUR HELMETS AND DO NOT SPEED WHEN YOU RIDE ATV: Noel William Schmieg, 34 of Mentor and Crystal Scott, 34 of Crookston were killed riding a speeding ATV when it hit an approach near Mentor, MN; they were not wearing helmets

MENTOR, Minn. (Valley News Live) 

Two people are dead after an ATV accident in rural Minnesota.
Somewhere south of Mentor, Minnesota, where Noel Schmieg and his girlfriend Crystal Scott lost their lives in an ATV accident. Now their communities are grappling with the loss.

Marcella Lentcsh is watching after her neighbor dog, because her neighbor isn't around anymore.

"We don't know what the lord's got in store of us," Lentcsh said Noel's mother on the phone. "Of course we know it's tough. It couldn't be any tougher."

Noel was found unconscious with his girlfriend Crystal Scott at the scene of an ATV accident on Saturday. They were both pronounced dead shortly after.

Lentcsh saw them both that day.

"He'd come knock on my door, 'can I sit and visit with you?' Sure that's fine," Lentcsh said.

Marcella says she never had kids of her own, her neighbor in apartment three, she called her step-son.

"Constantly helping with anybody that needed help," she said of Noel.

She says he even grilled a mother's day meal for a few of the ladies in his adopted apartment family.

"Just a lovable boy, is the way I had him," Lentcsh said.

Marcella says his girlfriend Crystal leaves behind three children.

Law enforcement says the two weren't wearing helmets. The approach shows signs of excessive speed: the dirt was removed as the ATV hit the approach, providing evidence of the speed of the ATV.  Eyewitnesses also said that they saw the ATV riding the embankment at a very high rate of speed.  Basically these two people were looking for trouble.  Sad.

MENTOR, Minn. (Valley News Live) 

Police have now released the names of two people killed when they were thrown from an ATV Friday.

The Polk County Sheriff's office tells Valley News Live that 34-year-old Noel William Schmieg of Mentor and 34-year-old Crystal Scott of Crookston were riding the ATV when it hit an approach near Mentor.

Emergency crews say Schmieg and Scott were unconscious when they arrived, and pronounced dead a short time later.

Officials say they are still trying to figure out the cause of the crash.


MENTOR, Minn. (AP) - Two people are dead after an all-terrain vehicle crash in northwestern Minnesota.

Polk County sheriff's authorities were called to the crash on a county road south of Mentor on Saturday. A 34-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman were thrown from the ATV after hitting an approach.

Authorities say both were unconscious when first responders arrived and were pronounced dead at the scene.

The names of the victims were not immediately released. The crash remains under investigation.

Drunk boater Julian Uptegrove of De Pere, 35, critically injured, 3 passengers injured, after he crashed his boat in the Cat Island rock wall in an area of the Green Bay, boats aren't even supposed to be, outside the shipping channel.

The boat that crashed into the Cat Island rock wall on June 3, 2017, shows extensive damage to the bow (WBAY photo) 

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A De Pere man remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after a boat crash on Green Bay over the weekend. Investigators believe the De Pere man was operating the boat, drunk, and speeding.

Here is what his wife Corrine wrote on his facebook page:

Update. Julian has been moved out of icu but has stated no visitors at this time. They had him up walking twice today. One day at a time. Again thank for all the support and prayers. Love you all

His three passengers -- a woman and two men, all 26 years old -- were also hurt.

Investigators are trying to piece together what happened in a crash they say likely could have been prevented.

"It very possibly could have been prevented if safe boating practices would have been followed," DNR conservation warden Darren Kuhn said.

The damage to the underside of the powerboat's bow is extensive. Brown County investigators believe it's the result of mixing alcohol with speed.

"We do know there was a lot of open, there was a lot of empty and there was still full containers of alcohol inside the boat," Capt. Dan Sandberg, Brown County Sheriff's Office, said. "All we know is that they were going fast."

Investigators don't know the exact speed yet, but they say the boat hit the Cat Island rock wall hard in an area of the bay the DNR says boats aren't even supposed to be, outside the shipping channel.

Brown County authorities think 35-year-old Julian Uptegrove of De Pere was trying to beat an approaching thunderstorm.

Investigators believe a big dent right above the steering wheel is likely from someone being thrown around by the impact.

"Anywhere from a collection of broken bones, lacerations with 20 stitches, concussions, all kinds of injuries," Sandberg said.

Authorities are still waiting for results of blood tests to find out the boat operator's alcohol level, but he was arrested for boating under the influence. Investigators say he'll likely face several criminal charges as well.

"The biggest thing is, boats don't have seat belts, and with boats, when they strike something, the things inside it are going to move around, and that's extremely dangerous," Sandberg added.

The lack of seat belts, air bags and brakes on boats are all things the Department of Natural Resources pointed out a few weeks ago in our Target 2 investigation about boating under the influence and Wisconsin's laws, "Are drunk boating laws watered down?"

After this weekend, wardens are worried.

"Certainly concerned what's coming up for the future boating season if this is how we're starting," Kuhn said.

In this case, the location of the crash also serves as a warning to other boaters. Authorities say water levels around Cat Island are higher now and boats are able to access those rock walls, so boaters need to pay extra attention to where they are and stay in the shipping channels.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among persons aged ≥65 years (older adults).

Falls and Fall Injuries Among Adults Aged ≥65 Years — United States, 2014

Gwen Bergen, PhD1; Mark R. Stevens, MA, MSPH2; Elizabeth R. Burns, MPH1


What is already known about this topic?Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among persons aged ≥65 years (older adults).
What is added by this report?In 2014, 28.7% of older adults reported falling at least once in the preceding 12 months, resulting in an estimated 29.0 million falls. Of those who fell, 37.5% reported at least one fall that required medical treatment or restricted their activity for at least 1 day, resulting in an estimated 7.0 million fall injuries.
What are the implications for public health practice?Although falls are common, approximately half of older adults who fall do not discuss it with their health care provider. However, older adult falls are largely preventable. Health care providers can play an important role in fall prevention by 1) screening older adults for fall risk, 2) reviewing and managing medications linked to falls, and 3) recommending vitamin D where appropriate for improved bone, muscle, and nerve health.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among adults aged ≥65 years (older adults). During 2014, approximately 27,000 older adults died because of falls; 2.8 million were treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries, and approximately 800,000 of these patients were subsequently hospitalized.* To estimate the numbers, percentages, and rates of falls and fall injuries among older adults by selected characteristics and state, CDC analyzed data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. In 2014, 28.7% of older adults reported falling; the estimated 29.0 million falls resulted in 7.0 million injuries. Known effective strategies for reducing the number of older adult falls include a multifactorial clinical approach (e.g., gait and balance assessment, strength and balance exercises, and medication review). Health care providers can play an important role in fall prevention by screening older adults for fall risk, reviewing and managing medications linked to falls, and recommending vitamin D supplements to improve bone, muscle, and nerve health and reduce the risk for falls.
BRFSS is an annual, random-digit–dialed telephone survey of the noninstitutionalized U.S. civilian population aged ≥18 years conducted annually in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Detailed information regarding the survey is available online. The median response rate for 2014 was 47.0%.
In 2014, survey respondents were asked, “In the past 12 months, how many times have you fallen?” If the response was one or more times, they were asked, “How many of these falls caused an injury? By an injury, we mean the fall caused you to limit your regular activities for at least a day or to go see a doctor.” This analysis was limited to adults aged ≥65 years in all 50 states and the District of Columbia who were asked the questions about falls.
The first question was used to estimate the percentage of older adults who reported one or more falls and the total number of falls; the second question was used to estimate the number of fall injuries. Response options ranged from zero to 76 or more with reported means of 0.67 falls and 0.16 fall injuries. The percentages and numbers of falls and fall injuries included all adults aged ≥65 years in the denominator. Adults with responses of “Don’t know/Not sure,” “Refused,” or “Not asked or missing” for questions about falls, fall injuries, or demographic characteristics were excluded, reducing the sample to 147,319 adults.§
The percentages and numbers were compared across the following subgroups: sex, age group, race/ethnicity, marital status, education, annual household income, health status, and state of residence. Orthogonal polynomial contrasts and pairwise t-tests were used to identify significant increases or decreases where appropriate. The 2014 BRFSS data were weighted by iterative proportional fitting (raking) to represent state-level population estimates and aggregated to represent a nationwide estimate. All results presented are weighted. Analyses were conducted using statistical software to account for the complex sampling design.
In 2014, 28.7% of older adults reported falling at least once in the preceding 12 months, resulting in an estimated 29.0 million falls (Table 1). Of those who fell, 37.5% reported at least one fall that required medical treatment or restricted activity for at least 1 day, resulting in 7.0 million fall injuries. Women (30.3%) were more likely to report falling than men (26.5%) (p<0.01) and were more likely to report a fall injury (12.6% compared with 8.3%; p<0.01). The percentage of older adults who fell increased with age (p<0.01), from 26.7% among persons aged 65–74 years, to 29.8% among persons aged 75–84 years, to 36.5% among persons aged ≥85 years. The percentage of older adults who fell was higher among whites (29.6%) and American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) (34.2%) than among blacks (23.1%) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (19.8%). The percentage of older adults who reported a fall injury also increased with age (p<0.01), from 9.9% among persons aged 65–74 years to 11.4% among persons aged 75–84 years, to 13.5% among persons aged ≥85 years. AI/ANs were more likely to report a fall-related injury (16.8%) than were whites (10.9%), Hispanics (10.7%), and blacks (7.8%). The rate of fall-related injuries was significantly higher in the population reporting poor health (480 per 1,000) than the population reporting excellent health (69 per 1,000).
Among states and the District of Columbia, the percentage of older adults who reported a fall ranged from 20.8% in Hawaii to 34.3% in Arkansas. Several states had either significantly higher or lower percentages of reported falls among older adults compared with the national average (Figure) (Table 2). The percentage of older adults experiencing fall injuries ranged from 7.0% in Hawaii to 12.9% in Missouri.


In 2014, 28.7% of older adults in the United States reported an estimated 29.0 million falls in the preceding 12 months. Older adult falls can result in death, serious injury, and loss of independence (1,2). This analysis found that an estimated 7 million falls required medical treatment or caused restricted activity for at least 1 day. Women and those in older age groups were at higher risk for falling and being injured in a fall. Reduced muscle strength is a risk factor for falls, and aging and female sex are associated with reduced muscle mass (1,2). Women have been found to be more likely to report falls than men (3). Aging also is associated with changes in gait and balance, increased inactivity, more severe chronic conditions, and more prescription medication use, all of which are risk factors for falls (1). Limited research exists on the causes for racial/ethnic differences, but these differences might be related to differences in health and behavior (4,5). Reasons for state differences are unknown; however, even in Hawaii, the state with the lowest incidence, 20.8% of older adults reported a fall.
Annual Medicare costs for older adult falls have been estimated at $31.3 billion (6), and the older adult population is expected to increase 55% by 2030.** Applying the number of falls from this analysis to the projected 2030 population would result in an estimated 48.8 million falls and 11.9 million fall injuries, unless effective interventions are implemented nationwide.
The findings in this report are subject to at least four limitations. First, BRFSS data are self-reported and subject to recall bias. Second, BRFSS does not include persons in long-term care facilities who are at higher risk for falls (7). Third, the broad definition of fall injury for this analysis might have resulted in a higher estimate of injurious falls compared with other reports. Finally, the response rate (median = 47%) could have resulted in nonresponse bias; however, weighting and survey methodology are used to adjust the estimates and reduce the effect of nonresponse bias.
Older adult falls are largely preventable, and health care providers (e.g., physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists) can play an important part by discussing falls with older adult patients and providing appropriate interventions (8). The American and British Geriatrics Societies (AGS/BGS) Clinical Practice Guideline recommends that health care providers use a multifactorial approach to prevent falls that includes activities such as asking about falls, assessing gait and balance, reviewing medications, and prescribing interventions such as strength and balance exercises, or taking vitamin D.†† This type of approach has been estimated to be capable of reducing falls by 24% (8). Based on the AGS/BGS guidelines, CDC has developed the STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries) initiative§§ to provide resources to help health care providers incorporate fall prevention into primary care (3). STEADI stresses three initial steps that can be completed in one patient visit: 1) ask patients if they have fallen in the past year, feel unsteady, or worry about falling; 2) review medications and stop, switch, or reduce the dosage of drugs that increase fall risk; and 3) recommend daily vitamin D supplementation for improved bone, muscle, and nerve health (with dosage of vitamin D and decision on whether to co-supplement with calcium to be determined based on the patient’s history).
Health care providers should discuss fall prevention with their patients because approximately half of older adults who fall do not discuss it with their health care provider, often because they fear this will lead to a loss of independence (9). Health care providers cite limited time and cost as barriers to incorporating preventive services, such as those proposed by STEADI, into their clinical practice (10). However, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) now provides incentives for health care providers to conduct fall prevention activities through payment and delivery reforms (e.g., Welcome to Medicare Visit, Medicare Annual Wellness Visit, and the Medicare Shared Savings Accountable Care Organization Program).¶¶ CMS also links health care provider incentives to fall prevention quality measures through the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in the Merit-Based Incentive Program. PQRS includes two quality measures for falls: Falls Risk Assessment and Falls Plan of Care.*** Mechanisms such as payment and delivery reforms and quality reporting measures are opportunities to make fall prevention a routine part of clinical practice and reduce the barriers to providing services that can prevent falls among older adults.


Susan Dugan, Hilary Eiring, MPH, Robin Lee, PhD, Judy A. Stevens, PhD, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC.

Corresponding author: Gwen Bergen,, 770-488-1394.
1Division of Unintentional Injury, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC; 2Division of Analysis, Research and Practice Integration, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC.


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A fourth worker, Angel Reyes, 46, died of his injuries Tuesday after an explosion destroyed the Didion Milling corn mill in southern Wisconsin last week

A fourth worker died of his injuries Tuesday after an explosion destroyed a corn mill in southern Wisconsin last week, the company said.

Angel Reyes, 46, died at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, Didion Milling said in a statement. Reyes was a pack operator at the plant and died from injuries he suffered in the explosion, the company said.

The blast and fire May 31 destroyed the corn milling plant in Cambria, a community about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northeast of Madison. The bodies of three other workers were recovered from the rubble. About a dozen of the 16 employees working the overnight shift were hurt. At least four remained hospitalized Tuesday.

A company executive said some employees have started returning to work at the mill complex.

The company's president, Riley Didion, told Cambria village board members Monday night that the neighboring ethanol plant, which was not damaged, will begin accepting loads of corn from farmers in the coming days.

Didion had no word on the conditions of the employees who were injured.

Village president Glen Williams said the ethanol plant is about 300 yards from what's left of the mill.

Cambria Fire Chief Cody Doucette said the rubble continues to smolder, but is contained by cement. The corn meal that continues to smolder will eventually burn out, Doucette said at the meeting.

Didion Milling employs more than 200 in facilities in Johnson Creek, Cambria and Markesan.

Sanitation worker Christopher Rice, 44, of Gold Medal Environmental of Woodbine died after the trash truck he was on ran off of the road and side-swiped a utility pole in Middle Township, NJ

Sanitation worker killed when trash truck crashes into utility pole, police said

June 6, 2017 at 3:25 PM

DIAS CREEK, NJ - Middle Township Police Department responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash on Highs Beach Road in Dias Creek June 6 at approximately 8:30 a.m.

The preliminary investigation of the scene revealed a Gold Medal Environmental trash truck, driven by Marcus Stotts, 35, of Villas, was travelling east on Highs Beach Road when it ran off the roadway and sideswiped a utility pole.

An employee of Gold Medal Environmental, Christopher Rice, 44, of Pleasantville, N.J., was riding on the side step to the rear of the vehicle. Rice also struck the utility pole.

Middle Township EMS and AtlantiCare Medics performed CPR on Rice at the scene and transported him to Cape Regional Medical Center. Rice was pronounced dead a short time later.

No charges have been filed at this time. The investigation is still pending.

Patrolman Thomas Flounders and the Middle Township Fatal Crash Team are investigating.


MIDDLE TOWNSHIP, NJ -- Middle Township Police are investigating an accident that killed a Pleasantville sanitation worker.

Police say that sanitation worker Christopher Rice, 44, of Pleasantville died in an accident involving trash truck he was on.

At 8:30 a.m., police were called to the report of an accident at High's Beach Road in the Dias Creek area of Middle Township. Officials say that a trash truck was heading east on Highs Beach Road when the driver ran off of the road and side-swiped a utility pole.

Rice, who was on the side step on the back of the trash truck, also hit the utility pole. Rice was transported to Cape Regional Medical Center where he later died.

Police are still investigating the accident. So far, no charges have been filed.



A 44-year-old Pleasantville man was killed Tuesday morning in Middle Township when the trash truck he was riding on struck a utility pole.

Christopher Rice, of Gold Medal Environmental of Woodbine, was riding on the back of a trash truck traveling east on High's Beach Road when the truck ran off the road and side-swiped a utility pole, according to a statement from the Middle Township Police Department.

Gold Medal Environmental, headquartered in Deptford, New Jersey, is a waste and recycling services company that offers a complete range of integrated collection, processing and disposal services.

The Company provides 24 hours, 7 days a week service to commercial, industrial, institutional and residential customers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Florida.

GME currently services more than 5,000 commercial and industrial accounts and over 150,000 residential customers with its fleet of over 100 collection vehicles.

Gold Medal’s fleet is 25% compressed natural gas (“CNG”) refuse trucks. CNG is a readily available alternative to diesel fuel that is made by compressing natural gas to less than 1% of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. CNG trucks are cleaner, quieter and environmentally friendly. GME has plans to continue adding more CNG trucks to its fleet.

Gold Medal collects and processes over 150,000 tons of recyclable materials each year avoiding landfill disposal. Additionally, the majority of waste collected by Gold Medal is delivered to waste-to-energy (“WTE”) facilities creating a fuel for electric power generation.