Saturday, August 5, 2017

Mine worker Jason Stevens, 32, of Vernal, Utah, was killed at the Deserado Mine near Rangely, Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — A worker has died in an accident at a northwestern Colorado coal processing plant, the mine and federal officials said.

The body of Jason Stevens of Vernal, Utah was found under a two-ton container used to clean coal at a Deserado Mine production facility near Rangely, The Daily Sentinel ( ) in Grand Junction reported Friday. Steves, 32, worked as a surface mechanic.

The initial investigation indicates he was working alone and did not report at the end of his shift on Wednesday. An operator found his body at 1:30 a.m. Thursday under the container, which is called a trough.

Smith was trying was trying to remove a portion of a steel beam when the accident happened, Danny Clark, the mine's human resources manager, said in a statement.

An autopsy is planned, said Rio Blanco County Deputy Coroner Roy Kinney.

The mine is operated by Blue Mountain Energy Co. and produces bituminous coal that supplies Deseret Power Electric Cooperative in South Jordan, Utah.

It produced more than 1.5 million tons (1.4 million metric tons) of coal in 2016, according to the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety.

The death was the first at the Deserado Mine since October 1996, according to the division's data.

Stevens was the 11th person to die at a coal mine in the U.S. this year, according to federal data.

Deseret Power is a regional generation and transmission cooperative meeting the power requirements of its six member retail systems, and selling surplus power to municipalities, power marketers and other wholesale electric systems in five states.

Beginning with a 25.1% interest in the Hunter II power plant, Deseret has grown into an integrated power producer in Utah. With corporate offices in South Jordan, Utah, Deseret owns 223 miles of transmission lines and 550 MW of generation. Deseret's primary generating resource, the Bonanza Power Plant is consistently ranked in the top environmentally clean coal fired plants in the U.S. and was the number one plant for availability in 2001 and 2002.

As a cooperative, Deseret is owned by its six member systems: Bridger Valley Electric, Dixie Escalante, Flowell Electric, Garkane Energy, Moon Lake Electric, and Mt. Wheeler Power. Deseret's cooperative organization, combined with its vertical integration, positions Deseret to provide member/owners, partners and customers of all sizes competitive and stable power rates.

A worker was killed at the Deserado Mine near Rangely on Wednesday night and his body was found under a two-ton trough at a production facility, according to federal officials.

Jason Stevens, 32, of Vernal, Utah, was killed in the accident, according to Rio Blanco County Deputy Coroner Roy Kinney. The U.S. Mine Safety & Health Administration confirmed it is investigating the accident and has an inspector and investigator on site.

The initial investigation shows that Stevens, a surface mechanic, was working alone and didn’t report at the end of his shift, according to Mine Safety & Health Administration spokeswoman Amy Louviere. She said an operator found him at 1:30 a.m. under the trough, which is a type of container used to clean coal. An autopsy is scheduled to determine the exact cause of death, Kinney said.

The accident happened in the mine’s processing plant, which cleans the coal before it’s shipped. “The accident occurred above ground inside the coal processing building, as the worker was attempting to remove a portion of a steel beam,” said a press release issued by Danny Clark, the mine’s human resources manager.

Three other accidents have been documented in 2017 at the mine, according to data collected by the Mine Safety & Health Administration. In those accidents, workers sustained a broken hand and lacerations that required stitches and there was an incident where the tip of a finger was amputated.

The Deserado Mine has received 166 violations from mine inspectors in 2017, and currently owes almost $12,000 in delinquent penalties, according to Mine Safety & Health Administration data. The mine has paid $28,313 in penalties so far this year and has had $50,539 in proposed penalties related to violations, according to the agency. Twenty-two of those violations have been issued since July 1, and include everything from citations for accumulation of combustible materials to not maintaining belt conveyors properly, which is considered a fire hazard.

The mine, operated by Blue Mountain Energy Co., produces bituminous coal from a longwall mine that supplies the Deseret Power Electric Cooperative based in South Jordan, Utah. It’s located in Rio Blanco County northeast of Rangely, in the Uinta Basin.

It’s the first fatality at the mine since October 1996, according to data from the Mine Safety & Health Administration. A 50-year-old surface mechanic, Ted E. Munford, died when he was driving a truck back to the preparation plant, after dumping a load at the refuse pit. According to the accident investigation report, Munford failed to lower the truck bed, hitting it on an overpass. The truck overturned and he was killed in the crash.

The Deserado Mine produced more than 1.5 million tons of coal in 2016, according to Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety. The facility employed approximately 150 miners in 2016 and reported seven injuries to the state in 2016.

Stevens’ death is the eleventh fatality at a coal mine in the country in 2017, according to federal data. There have been 18 fatalities at mines of all types in the U.S. this year to date.

Two adults (Maria Rodriguez and a good samaritan) and two children ( Isaac Briseno and Ailyn Miguel) died in a traffic collision on the 10 Freeway in Fontana, California that authorities say may have been caused by a drunk driver.

Four people are dead and two were transported in a traffic collision on the 10 Freeway in Fontana Friday, according to San Bernardino County Fire authorities. (KABC)

Friday, August 04, 2017 11:56PM
FONTANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Two adults and two children died in a traffic collision on the 10 Freeway in Fontana Friday that authorities say may have been caused by a drunk driver.

The fatal crash involving three vehicles took place on the eastbound side of the freeway east of Cherry Avenue.

According to the California Highway Patrol, a Honda containing a woman, her two children and her mother had pulled over to the side of the road with an overheated engine around 12:30 p.m. A second vehicle, a dark-colored pickup, had pulled over in front of the Honda to try to help them.

The mother and grandmother were standing in front of the car with the good Samaritan. As they were looking over the vehicle, a white Nissan truck slammed into the two vehicles on the shoulder, crashing so hard that the impact crumpled the entire rear section of the Honda, where the two children were seated.

The impact also sent the dark pickup hurtling across to the other side of the freeway.

"The impact was so severe ... the back seat is pushed into the front seat so bad we can't see anything until they pull the vehicles apart," said CHP Officer Jesus Garcia

Two children and the adult female passenger in the Honda were killed.

The female driver survived with serious injuries and was transported to a local hospital.

She is the mother of the two children who were killed, officials said.

The driver of the white Nissan truck, who was believed to have been intoxicated, survived the crash and was transported to the same hospital. Officials said they found open cans of beer in the Nissan. Officers remained with the suspect at the hospital.

The fourth person killed was the good Samaritan in the dark-colored pickup who had pulled over and was attempting to assist the woman and children with their car trouble.

The CHP later identified the victims and suspect:

The passenger in the Honda who died was Maria Rodriguez, 58, of La Puente. She is the mother of the driver of the Honda, Maria Briseno, who survived and was hospitalized.

Step-siblings Isaac Briseno and Ailyn Miguel, both 12 years old, were the children killed in the back seat of the car.

The name of the good Samaritan in the other pickup has not been released, but he is a 60-year-old man from Rialto.

The suspect in the white Nissan was identified as Luis Sanchez, 64, of Riverside. He was being held pending toxicology tests. Authorities said Sanchez refused to speak with them.

Before the overheated vehicle was struck, Maria Briseno called her husband and told him about the vehicle's problem, officials said.

When her husband arrived, he came upon the fatal crash scene, according to the CHP.

Investigators say they found open cans of beer in a vehicle involved in a collision that killed four people on the 10 Freeway in Fontana.

Skydiving instructor Ashlie Caceras of Lodi, California with Skydive Lake Tahoe and David Becker of Germany killed during a skydiving jump at Minden-Tahoe Airport (KMEV), Minden, Nevada.

Names released of parachute jumpers killed in Minden

Updated: Fri 8:59 AM, Aug 04, 2017

MINDEN, Nev. (KOLO) - The Federal Aviation Administration says two people were killed Thursday morning in a tandem skydiving accident in Minden.

The accident happened shortly after 10AM August 3, 2017 near Heybourne and Firebrand Roads, along the northwest corner of the airport.

Investigators say one of the victims, 43-year-old Ashlie Caceras of Lodi, California, was an experienced instructor working for Skydive Lake Tahoe; the other was 21-year-old David Becker of Germany. He had never been skydiving.

Another tandem jump was made from the same plane around the same time; the instructor from that jump says everything initially appeared to be going smoothly with the jump that led to the two deaths.

The victims landed about a mile from their marker. The FAA continues to investigate.

2 killed in Nevada sky-diving accident near Lake Tahoe

By Associated Press August 3

MINDEN, Nev. — A sky-diving instructor and a German tourist were found dead on the ground Thursday after they did a tandem jump from a plane flying near Lake Tahoe in western Nevada, authorities said.

An initial investigation indicated both were attached by a single harness and had been connected to one parachute and also had a reserve parachute, said Capt. Dan Coverley of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Coverley and other officials did not disclose whether the parachute did not open or whether it malfunctioned. The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating.

The two were found at about 10:15 a.m. near the Minden-Tahoe airport, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Coverley identified the instructor as 43-year-old Ashlie Caceras of Lodi, California and said she worked for the Skydive Lake Tahoe skydiving tour business.

The tourist was identified as 21-year-old David Becker of Sankt Martin, Germany.

The (Gardnerville) Record Courier reported the last time there was a fatal skydiving death at or near the airport was on March 23, 2008, when Skydive Tahoe co-owner Wes Harberts’ parachute malfunctioned.

The U.S. Parachute Association in 2016 recorded 21 fatal skydiving accidents in the U.S. out of roughly 3.2 million jumps.

Date: 03-AUG-2017
Time: -10:15
Cessna 206
Owner/operator: Skydive Lake Tahoe

C/n / msn:

Fatalities: Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: None
Location: Minden-Tahoe Airport (KMEV), Minden, NV - United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature: Parachuting
Departure airport: Minden-Tahoe (KMEV)
Destination airport: Minden-Tahoe (KMEV)
Two in-tandem parachutists were fatally injured during a skydiving jump at Minden-Tahoe Airport (KMEV), Minden, Nevada. The aircraft was not damaged. The pilot and another in-tandem pair of jumpers were not injured.


3 U.S. Marines with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Force are missing, 23 rescued after their V-22 Osprey aircraft crashed into the sea off the east coast of Australia

OKINAWA, Japan --

Search and rescue operations were underway for three U.S. Marines who were missing after their Osprey aircraft crashed into the sea off the east coast of Australia on Saturday while trying to land.

Twenty-three of 26 personnel aboard the aircraft have been rescued, the Marine base Camp Butler in Japan said in a statement.

The MV-22 Osprey involved in the mishap had launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard and was conducting regularly scheduled operations when the aircraft crashed into the water, the statement said. The ship's small boats and aircraft immediately responded in the search and rescue efforts.

The Osprey is a tilt-rotor aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter, but flies like an airplane. They have been involved in a series of high-profile crashes in recent years.

The aircraft was in Australia for a joint military training exercise held by the U.S. and Australia last month in Shoalwater Bay. The Talisman Sabre exercise, a biennial event between the two nations, involved more than 30,000 troops and 200 aircraft.

Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said Saturday's incident occurred off the coast of Shoalwater Bay in Queensland state.

"I can confirm no Australian Defence Force personnel were on board the aircraft," Payne said in a statement. "The United States are leading the search and recovery effort."

Payne said she had spoken with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis "to offer Australia's support in any way that can be of assistance."

In 2015, a U.S. Osprey crashed during a training exercise in Hawaii, killing two Marines. Last December, a U.S. military Osprey crash-landed off Japan's southern island of Okinawa. Its five crew members were rescued safely. And in January, three U.S. soldiers were wounded in the "hard landing" of an Osprey in Yemen.


Three Marines are missing after a Marine Corps V-22 Osprey experienced a mishap off the East Coast of Australia, officials with III Marine Expeditionary Force said Saturday morning in a news release.

A spokesman for III MEF, Capt. Eric Flanagan, said the mishap took place around 4 p.m. local time Saturday, or about 2 a.m. East Coast time. There were 26 personnel aboard the Osprey; 23 so far have been rescued, and a search-and-rescue effort continues for three Marines who have not been located.

The aircraft was assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (reinforced), out of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Japan. In April, VMM-265 became the aviation combat element of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is continuously deployed in the Pacific.

"The aircraft involved in the mishap had launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and was conducting regularly scheduled operations when the aircraft entered the water," Flanagan said in a statement.

"The ship's small boats and aircraft immediately responded in the search and rescue efforts. The 31st MEU is currently operating with the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group as part of a regularly-scheduled deployment in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region," he said.

The mishap is under investigation, Flanagan said, and search operations are ongoing.

The Marine Corps also participates in rotational unit training deployments to Australia, known as Marine Rotational Force-Darwin, or MRF-D. However, in a message posted to the unit's Facebook account Saturday, MRF-D officials said no troops assigned to the rotation were involved in the V-22 incident.

For the Marine Corps, this is the second major aviation mishap of the summer. In July, a KC-130T transport aircraft crashed in Mississippi, resulting in the deaths of the plane's nine crew members and seven troops assigned to Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.

The last time a Marine Corps V-22 Osprey experienced a mishap was in December 2016, when a V-22 attempted a precautionary emergency landing off the coast of Okinawa, but crash-landed in shallow water instead. Members of the five-person crew were injured, but all survived the mishap.


A search and rescue operation is being conducted after a US military aircraft was lost off the Australian coast.

The incident involved an MV-22 Osprey belonging to the US Marines based in Okinawa, Japan.

The third Marine Expeditionary Force said the aircraft had launched for "regularly scheduled operations" before it entered the water.

Rescue teams recovered 23 people, but three service members are still missing.

Australian media reported the incident happened during an attempt to land on an aircraft carrier.

The MV-22 Osprey is a tilt-rotor aircraft, capable of carrying 24 people at a time in addition to four crew members. It is similar to a conventional plane, but has helicopter-like rotor blades which allow it to take off vertically, without a runway.

Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper quoted military sources as saying that the accident happened as the aircraft was trying to land on the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.

Australia's Defence Minister, Marise Payne, said she had spoken to her US counterpart, James Mattis, and confirmed the incident happened near Shoalwater Bay, off the coast of Queensland.

"I can confirm no Australian Defence Force personnel were on board the aircraft," she said in a statement.

US military forces have been operating in the area as part of a joint training exercise called Talisman Sabre. It involved some 30,000 personnel from both countries.

An MV-22 Osprey was destroyed earlier this year during a controversial raid by US forces in Yemen, after three crew members were injured in a "hard landing".

It was so badly damaged that US forces deliberately destroyed the craft in an air strike.

In July, 16 people died after a US Marine Corps plane crashed in Mississippi.

Type:Silhouette image of generic V22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell Boeing MV-22B Osprey
Owner/operator:US Navy
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: / Occupants: 26
Other fatalities:0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:off the coast, near Shoalwater Bay, QLD -   Australia
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6)
Destination airport:USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)
Crashed during a flight between two ships, reportedly while on approach/landing. There are said to be up to 3 POB missing and reports that up to 23 have been rescued. The aircraft was assigned to the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.