Sunday, June 19, 2005

Weekly Toll -- Fathers Day Edition

Lots of fathers mourning their children this Fathers Day, and lots of children missing their fathers.

Officer Killed While Trying To Stop "Trashing"

"He was a great dad," Donovan Walker, 11, said. "And I loved fishing with him. We had good times together."

"I woke up at 6 this morning and just cried for an hour and a half because he hadn't come home," Dick Walker, the victim's father, said.

Loved ones left behind, after a routine assignment ends in the death of a 44-year-old single father with an 11-year-old son, Donovan; a 9-year-old daughter, Marissa; and their grandfather, Dick, who will now raise them both.

Michael walker was taking pictures of a house on Caddo Street for city code violations, when the homeowner's 22-year-old son confronted him and things turned violent. Michael got in his car and backed away, and a co-worker happened to call him on his cell phone.

Michael's last words to him: "I need an officer," Stephen Wilson, the city's chief building inspector, said.

"During the confrontation, the son went back in the house and retrieved a pistol. He came back out and started firing on the code enforcement officer," Chief Kerry Crews, of the Commerce Police Department, said.

That was just 30 seconds before police officers and Michael's father say they arrived.

"But I was able to be with him when he took his last breath," Dick said. "And the last thing he was able to hear was his daddy telling him he loves him."

More here.

Dad killed in fall between subway cars

Brooklyn, NY -- A Brooklyn postal worker was killed when he fell under the wheels of a subway train while apparently walking between the cars - a practice transit officials want to stamp out, cops said yesterday.

Ronald Williams, 56, was riding the No. 4 train to his home in Crown Heights late Tuesday when the train reached its last stop at Utica Ave. and other passengers emptied out.

For some reason, Williams stayed on board and apparently fell to the tracks around 11 p.m. as workers shifted the train to another platform to prepare to return to Manhattan, transit officials said.

"It's a terrible loss. He was a loving father, a loving husband and a loving grandfather," said his stepdaughter Yeisa Williams, 27, a police dispatcher. "He would give the shirt off his back for anyone."

Person man dies when truck ‘bucket’ falls in Chapel Hill

CHAPEL HILL, NC — A 31-year-old Person County man died Wednesday when the tree-trimming bucket he was in fell to the ground, according to law enforcement officials in Chapel Hill.

Kevin James Dunevant of 309 Charlie Jay Rd. died at the scene of the accident on Severin St. in Chapel Hill shortly after 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Dunevant, who was employed with Brad's Tree Service of Person County, reportedly fell approximately 30 feet to the ground when a boom holding the bucket up malfunctioned.

Worker killed at Shelton job site

SHELTON, CT — A 37-year-old man from Brazil was buried alive and suffocated after a trench wall collapsed on him Saturday as he helped dig a house foundation, offi-cials said.

Police said the man’s four co-workers frantically tried to dig him out by hand for 20 minutes before calling police, but he had suffocated by the time they partially unearthed him.

Officials at the scene said the 11-foot-deep trench was essentially a death trap, since its walls were not shored up, as required by most building regulations.

"The vibration caused the trench to cave in," said Shelton Assistant Fire Chief Mike Ullrich. "It hap-pened too quick, too fast to do anything about it."

The man, whose identity was not released, was the cousin of Marcio Lira, owner of Edwardo Osello Ma-sonry. The victim, visiting from Brazil, was married, police said, but it could not be determined if he had children.

Heat takes its toll

ORMOND BEACH, FL -- Weather forecasters say daytime temperatures in the low 90s this week have been only a degree or two higher than normal. But the oppressive mix of heat and humidity -- only four days before summer officially arrives -- can be life-threatening.

Six homeless people in Daytona Beach this week have been rushed by ambulance to Halifax Medical Center. And Marvin Lee Alderson, a 46-year-old construction worker, died Wednesday on the job.

His family believes it was heat-related, according to a spokeswoman at Newlife Cremation and Funeral Home. However, a county spokesman said the autopsy did not determine a cause of death, but additional tests may provide some answers.

"We're seeing more cases of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. We're seeing several a day," said Mark O'Keefe, EVAC ambulance spokesman. "People are doing the same level of activity, but they're not taking precautions. Typically, they're not hydrating themselves, or taking rest breaks."

Shootings leave 3 dead in North Toledo store

A Washington Township man walked into a North Toledo convenience store yesterday and fatally shot his estranged wife and her co-worker and then mortally wounded himself, police said.

Customers and other employees either ran from the store or hid inside, some in a back room, as the gunfire erupted at the busy convenience mart at North Detroit Avenue and Alexis Road, just southeast of Lakeside Centre, the former North Towne Square mall.

The gunman, Archie Cox, 45, of 866 Tralger Drive, was pronounced dead at the scene.

His wife, Susan Cox, 43, also of the Tralger address, and Shantel Hendrix, 27, of 6400 North Dixie Hwy., Bedford Township, both employees at Barney’s Convenience Mart, 5821 North Detroit Ave., died after arriving at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.

PSO worker dies after fall

LEEDEY, Okla. -- An employee of Public Service Company of Oklahoma is dead after falling while working to restore power during this morning's storms.

PSO spokesman Stan Whiteford says the man died while working near Leedey in Dewey County.

The victim's name hasn't been released but Whiteford says he was from Elk City.

Dewey County Sheriff Bud Prentice says the man slipped on wet grass after getting out of his truck about 4 a.m., then slid into power lines that fell during the storm.

Prentice says the man was dead at the scene.

Farm worker dies, Excavator slid into manure-filled pond

LONGMONT, CO — A Niwot-area man died Thursday at the Adam Dairy farm east of Longmont after the tracked excavator in which he was working slid into a manure-filled pond.

Richard “Ricky” Kneale, 23, was digging at the pond’s edge with his grandfather’s excavator at around noon when the bank gave way. The 60,000-pound machine slid sideways into several feet of dark sludge, entombing Kneale in the cab.

The sole door on the machine, on the left-hand side, was pinned shut by the weight of the machine, firefighters said. Kneale tried to lever himself out with the excavator’s bucket and arm, firefighters said, but the cab filled with the liquid.

Kneale had a 4-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.

Investigators Looking At Forklift In Connecticut College Accident

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Investigators are taking a close look at the forklift a worker was operating when he was killed in an accident on the new athletic field at Connecticut College.

School officials said the contractor was behind the controls of the forklift when something went terribly wrong, NBC 30 Connecticut News reported. Police who arrived at the scene found a man critically injured. And moments later, the worker died at the construction site. His name has not been released, but local and state investigators are now trying to figure out the details on what exactly happened.

VCU Medical Center Employee Killed

Petersburg, VA -- An employee at VCU Medical Center was struck and killed by a delivery truck just outside the hospital.

Hospital officials tell 8 News the employee was killed after being backed over by a delivery truck Tuesday at about 2:00 p.m. Employees on the scene believe she may have been on a cell phone and distracted. The apparent accident happened in an alley way that leads to a loading dock near the emergency entrance.

Worker dies in accident at shipbuilding company

NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI -- A SENESCO Marine employee was killed yesterday in a mechanical accident while working at the Quonset shipbuilding company.

Patrick Guillory, 45, who had worked at the company for about a month, was working on a two-man lift operating within a barge when the speeding lift slammed into steel, pinning him and causing fatal internal injuries, according to Gary Schuler, CEO of the company. It was the first fatality for the five-year-old company, Southeastern New England Shipbuilding Corp., which employs about 300 people, Schuler said.

Guillory, a native of Louisiana who worked at SENESCO with his brother-in-law, had recently been living at a motel on Post Road in North Kingstown, Schuler said.

The two-man lift, which has various speed settings, was supposed to travel at "turtle speed."

"Somehow the speed they got was rapid speed," Schuler said. The accident, which occurred at around 12:30 p.m., has been traced to an operator error, Schuler said.

Window washer killed in fall; second worker injured

Burlington, VT -- One window washer fell to his death and another was seriously injured last week during an accident at the New England Executive Park.

Jose Camara, 46, of Somerville, was cleaning windows with his co-worker, Carlos Lopez, 33, of Chelsea, when both men fell from a four-story building at 6 New England Executive Park, near the Burlington Mall, at around 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 8, police said.

Both men were rushed to nearby Lahey Clinic Medical Center, where Camara was ronounced dead at around noon. Lopez was treated at the hospital for a broken pelvis, police said.

"We believe one may have fallen three stories, and the other may have fallen from the roof," said Burlington Assistant Fire Chief Steve Yetman. "Apparently, all of the equipment ended up on the ground."

Man killed at construction site identified

WOOD RIVER, NE -- A 41-year-old Grand Island man who died Wednesday after a steel beam landed on him has been identified.

The man killed was Michael A. Benzel, according to a press release from the Hall County Sheriff's Department.

Benzel, an employee of Tri-Valley Builders, was working at a construction site at the Wood River Rural High School when the accident occurred about 1:45 p.m.

The initial investigation indicates that a roof support beam slipped and fell from a lifting device while it was being moved from one location to another. The beam landed on top of Benzel, Watson said, causing severe injuries.

Davidson County briefs: Smyrna worker crushed by machine

Smyrna, TN -- A contract worker from Smyrna was crushed to death yesterday morning while working on the new downtown Metro courthouse, a police official said.

A power rock-drilling machine that Civil Constructors worker James Randal Glover was operating crushed the 58-year-old man against the unfinished building at 1 Public Square.

Miners return to site of fatal accident; production still on hold

Pittsburgh, PA -- Employees at Tracy Lynne Mine were to return to work today but would not start producing coal again until early next week, the mine’s owner said.

J. Clifford “Cliff” Forrest said he stopped production at the mine out of respect for Boyd Alfred Beer Jr., 26, of Kittanning, who was killed Friday evening when a section of the mine roof collapsed.

According to the MSHA report, a section of rock about 20 feet by 25 feet by 5 feet thick fell on Beer.

Landscape worker dies when truck rolls over him

Monterey, CA -- An employee of a Pacific Grove landscaping company was killed Tuesday afternoon when a truck he had been driving rolled over him after being parked on a hill.

The man, whose name was not available, was working for Garden Way Landscaping at a house on the 400 block of Estrella d' Oro in the Pasadera development east of Monterey.

California Highway Patrol officer Justin Morgan said the man, who was in his 40s, was attempting to move the Ford F450 but the parking brake stuck. With the truck in neutral, the man got out and stood alongside the driver's side of the vehicle, using his hands to try to free the brake.

Suddenly, as the brake was freed, the truck rolled in reverse and the man was either knocked down by the driver's side door or he fell and was run over by the truck, Morgan said. The man suffered head and chest injuries, firefighters reported.

2 die in separate construction accidents

WHITE PLAINS, NY — Two men died Monday from injuries suffered in separate construction accidents, one a painter from White Plains who fell from a ladder and the other a Connecticut man who was crushed to death when a 5,000-pound steel piling fell on him.

Herbert Zinck, 55, of 155 Ferris Ave. died from injuries suffered in a June 2 fall, and David Bucnis, 41, of Norwalk, Conn., was pronounced dead at a construction site at a Con Edison substation on New Street.

Both deaths appeared to be accidental, said Capt. Nick Kralik of the White Plains police.

Zinck had gone to a friend's home to paint exterior trim on the second floor when he fell from the ladder, Kralik said, suffering injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening. He was treated at a hospital and released but returned to the hospital several days later, complaining of persistent pain.

According to Kralik's account, the Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office concluded that Zinck developed a blood clot in his leg, which spread to his lungs, and that his death was caused by injuries originally sustained in the fall.

The accident that killed Bucnis occurred about 3:30 p.m. Monday while workers were unloading 60-foot-long steel pilings 10 inches in diameter from a tractor-trailer, officials said. Bucnis was employed by Loftus Contracting of Yonkers, which is sinking pilings at a substation site for Con Edison, said Michael Clendenin, a spokesman for the utility.

Kralik said Bucnis was standing on a delivery truck, attempting to guide the pilings, while another man operated a payloader, trying to maneuver the pilings from the truck onto the site. In the process, a piling fell from the second vehicle and hit Bucnis.

Indiana Highway Worker Struck, Killed

Siberia, IN -- A southern Indiana state highway worker was killed after being run over by a Department of Transportation pickup truck.

Ronald Ward, 56, of Tell City, was picking up debris near the Perry-Dubois county line when a tractor-trailer rounded a curve, WLKY NewsChannel 32 reported.

Ward and Noel Andry, 41, ran to avoid the tractor-trailer, but Ward fell and was hit by the DOT pickup truck.

Construction worker dies from injuries

Portland, OR -- A construction worker died Sunday afternoon of injuries he sustained in an accident two days before.

David K. Johnston, 40, of Portland was working at a construction site near Southeast Eastridge Court and Tenino Street shortly before 2 p.m. Friday, said Lt. Allen Oswalt, a Portland Fire Bureau spokesman.

Johnston was part of a crew installing sewer lines for a new housing subdivision. A trackhoe was moving a trench shield weighing several tons when the metal hook on the trackhoe failed, and metal rigging fell and hit Johnston in the head, Oswalt said.

Columbia worker killed while repairing utility pole

Columbia, MO -- A Columbia Water and Light employee was killed and another injured this morning while repairing damage in Independence from Wednesday's storms. Steve Ebert, 33, was electrocuted at 8:50 this morning when the boom of an electrical truck he was touching made contact with a 7,600-volt wire overhead, said George Morrow, Independence Power and Light director. Ebert was working with a team of Columbia Water and Light employees to replace a utility pole that was damaged, cutting power to parts of Independence. Columbia Water and Light has not had a worker killed since 1954, when Charles Pollack died from injuries suffered while repairing lights on a baseball field. Ebert worked for Columbia Water and Light since 1993. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Worker dies after being backed over by truck

Roselawn, OH -- A 58-year-old road worker died Thursday
after a dump truck backed over him on Reading Road in Roselawn.

Terry Nickell, of Batavia, died at University Hospital before noon, about two hours after the accident.

Police said Nichol was directing the dump truck when he apparently slipped and fell.

James Howard of Roselawn was sitting at a traffic light at Reading Road and Kenova Street when he said he saw Nichol waving his arms frantically behind the truck as if to signal the driver to stop. The truck knocked Nichol down and then ran over him, Howard said.

Rankin woman died in blast

RANTOUL, IL – Rantoul Fire Chief Ken Waters credits the design and structure of Conair Corp.'s manufacturing plant for preventing further loss of life and minimizing physical damage in Wednesday night's tragedy at the plant.

One woman was killed and another employee injured when a series of drums of denatured alcohol used to manufacture hair spray exploded at Conair's plant at 205 Shelhouse Road. Denatured, or industrial, alcohol is alcohol that has been treated with poisonous or nauseating substances so that it is not fit for human consumption, according to the Columbia Encyclopedia.

The Champaign County coroner's office identified the woman who died as Erna Uden, 52, of Rankin. Coroner Duane Northrup said Thursday that a preliminary autopsy indicated Mrs. Uden died of "thermal injuries," from breathing in the superheated air of the explosion in the alcohol room of the plant.

A 46-year-old Elizabethtown man dies

LANCASTER COUNTY, PA - A 46-year-old Elizabethtown man died Wednesday night when he was crushed under the wheels of the starting gate at Penn National Race Course, where he worked.

William Richard "Rich" Stewart was pronounced dead at Hershey Medical Center about an hour after the 9:10 p.m. accident, according to the Dauphin County coroner.

Stewart, who worked 24 years as a starting gate attendant, fell off the 17-ton apparatus as it moved around the track following the fourth race.

Worker at National Pinned Under Jet, Killed

A US Airways baggage handler was killed yesterday at Reagan National Airport when the baggage loading vehicle she was driving failed to stop and she was pinned under a 72-seat regional jet parked at a gate, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The employee, Yolanda Corbett, 32, of the District, joined Mid Atlantic Airways, a regional carrier owned by US Airways, in May, according to the NTSB report.

Union officials have complained that National was understaffed as a result of the job cuts. In February, the airline was short 95 baggage handlers and ordered many of its employees to work overtime. Last summer, US Airways had 162 baggage handlers at National, down from 230 in November 2001, according to Tiberi.

Worker electrocuted at Verizon building

Commack, NY -- A Shirley power installer was electrocuted yesterday morning at a Verizon power facility in Commack, Suffolk police said.

David Cutler, who worked for Current Communications, a Verizon subcontractor in Massapequa, was about halfway into a two-hour project working on a cabinet of high-powered electrical lines that supply Verizon phone service.

"It appears that he accidentally touches one of the lines and he was electrocuted," Suffolk homicide Detective Sgt. Paul Dodorico said. "It appears that his hand is probably what made contact."

OSHA probes trench collapse that killed 1

Investigators are trying to determine whether construction crews in a trench in Wheaton were working without required safety equipment, leading to a collapse Monday that killed one man and injured his son.

The men worked for Chicago-based Hamilton Construction, which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited 10 times in the last eight years, including three citations for trench protection-related violations.

OSHA is investigating reports that the two men, Herman Calloway Sr., who was killed, and Herman Jr., were working without a "trench box," a cage-like structure used to protect workers from potential collapses. Agency spokeswoman Kathy O'Connell said witnesses told investigators that workers removed a trench box from the 15-foot-deep hole to dig around some power lines, and then failed to put the box back before continuing to try to lay pipe.

O'Connell, area director for OSHA's North Aurora office, said the agency has six months to determine if Hamilton Construction, the subcontractor, or the other two companies on the project, DuPage Topsoil and Bovis Lend Lease, violated any safety laws.

Hamilton Construction was cited in 1997, 1999 and 2002 for 10 worker safety violations, including three for failing to protect against trench cave-ins, O'Connell said. The company paid more than $21,000 in fines.

Wall Collapses on Construction Worker, Killing Him

Bowie, Md. (AP) - A construction worker is dead after part of a wall fell on his head. It happened this afternoon at Fairview Vista Drive in Bowie.

According to Prince George's County Fire spokesman Mark Brady, the 29-year-old victim was building an interior wall on a new home when it collapsed.

Man killed in cave-in on Pikeville project

PIKEVILLE, NC — A construction worker was killed Tuesday afternoon in Pikeville when a trench in which he was working collapsed on him.

Reginald Hough, 53, of Mount Pleasant, died when the sides of the trench along Tina Avenue gave way. A second worker, James Mintz, 39, was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital and later transferred by helicopter to Pitt Memorial Hospital. Mintz was listed in serious condition today, a hospital spokesman said.

The two men were employed by Eudy Pipe Service of Concord. Eudy is a sub-contractor of L-J Inc. of Columbia, S.C., which is the general contractor for a project the town has undertaken to improve its sewer system.

Nevada Fire Crew Leader Killed

BATTLE MOUNTAIN, NV - A Nevada Division of Forestry firefighter crew supervisor died in an all-terrain vehicle wreck Friday afternoon.

Audie Lee Cross, 44, of Carlin died from blunt force trauma after the four-wheeler he was driving flipped on top of him, said Lander County Sheriff Ron Unger.

Cross was working with his 12-man Carlin Conservation Camp fire crew about 10 miles south of Battle Mountain on a fence-building project, said NDF Regional Forester William Wolf.

Cross is survived by his wife, Lori, and their seven children.

Tow employee crushed to death when truck bed falls

A man was killed Monday morning when the tow truck he was working on crushed him.

The accident happened about 7:34 a.m. at Budget Towing on Homer Street in St. Paul, said St. Paul police spokesman Paul Schnell. The victim's identity was not released Monday pending notification of relatives.

The man was working on the hydraulics elevating a flatbed truck when the bed of the truck fell and crushed him, Schnell said.

A co-worker found the man, who was alone at the time. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Schnell said.

Trucker killed after hot asphalt buries him

WHITLEY CITY, Ky. (AP) -- A trucker who stopped to help a fellow truck driver died after a load of hot asphalt broke through the back of a truck he was inspecting.

About eight tons of asphalt fell on Jimmy Tucker, 55, while he was under the truck early Monday looking for a problem, said McCreary County Chief Deputy Sheriff Tom Smith. Tucker stopped about 7:15 a.m. EDT to help Wiley Spradlin Jr., whose truck had broken down.

Several motorists and another trucker eventually dug Tucker out with shovels, but he was severely burned, Smith said. Tucker was pronounced dead later that morning by McCreary County Coroner Teddy Coffey.

Worker electrocuted at Brazoria County drilling site

A 20-year-old Louisiana man was electrocuted early today while operating a pressure washer at a drilling site at Dow Chemical's Stratton Ridge facility in Brazoria County.

Adam Dirk McDaniel, of Ville Platte, died about 3:10 a.m., the Brazoria County Sheriff's Department reported. He was employed by Gray Wolf Drilling Co. L.P. of Houston.

A preliminary report said McDaniel was electrocuted while handling the wand area of the electric high-pressure washer as he prepared to clean some equipment.

A Veteran Firefighter Dies After a Blaze on Long Island

New York, NY -- A retired New York City fire lieutenant who, in a 30-year career, was cited repeatedly for bravery and who tirelessly searched for survivors after the 9/11 attack, died apparently of a heart attack on Tuesday night after putting out a blaze with a volunteer department on Long Island, the authorities said yesterday.

The firefighter, Lt. Peter B. Lund, 54, collapsed about 10 p.m. outside a home in Woodmere where he and his fellow volunteers, including his son, had extinguished an electrical fire. He was pronounced dead at St. John's Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway shortly before midnight.

Sheriff's deputy, man killed in shootout

LEDBETTER, Ky. -- A sheriff's deputy and a second man were killed in a shootout after the deputy responded to a domestic violence complaint at the man's home, authorities said.

Deputy Roger Lynch, 51, and Joseph Calender were found dead Thursday night by a Kentucky State Police trooper who arrived at the home after the shootout.

Lynch, who is from nearby Tiline, was responding to a 911 call from Calender's daughter, 18-year-old Candice Calender, who reported around 11:30 p.m. CDT that her parents were fighting, state police said.
Calender, 48, was armed with a loaded semiautomatic assault rifle, a loaded handgun and three additional clips of ammunition when Lynch arrived, state police said. The two exchanged shots in the stairwell of the modest brick home in Ledbetter, about 10 miles southeast of Paducah

Clerk Killed

BELLFLOWER, CA -- Detectives released a security videotape today in hopes of finding three robbers responsible for the death of a Bellflower convenience store clerk who begged for his life as he endured the beating that killed him. Muhammed Lakhani, 52, was attacked about 2:20 p.m. on May 9 inside Clark's Liquor, in the 13000 block of Clark Avenue, the sheriff's department reported. The Paramount resident died at a hospital of head injuries. On the security video, the victim could be heard pleading, as he was being pistol-whipped: "Don't shoot me ... I have a family."

Circle K clerk killed in apparent robbery attempt

Baton Rouge, LA -- Baton Rouge Police are investigation a murder that occurred early Friday morning at a local convenience store.

The incident happened at a Circle K store on the corner of Old Hammond Highway and Flannery Road. Police said a clerk there was shot and killed, and they believe it all began as an attempted robbery.

A customer walked in just before 3 a.m. and found 22-year-old Herschel Owens lying behind the counter. Owens was brought to a local hospital where he died from gunshot wounds.


GREENSBORO, NC -- A tractor-trailer carrying steel beams ran off Interstate 40 on Thursday afternoon, though investigators don't know whether it was the wreck that killed the driver or natural causes.

The Highway Patrol identified the driver as Larry Wayne Jones, 43, of Mebane. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the site of the 2:54 p.m. accident.

The eastbound truck appeared to have veered off the right shoulder about a quarter-mile east of the I-40 and East Lee Street interchange.

Deputy killed in wreck wasn't wearing seat belt

MAMOU, La. -- An Evangeline Parish sheriff's deputy who died in a car accident while he was on his way to answer a call was not wearing his seat belt, according to Louisiana State Police.

Deputy Maurice Brignac was responding to an accident near his hometown of Reddell in Evangeline Parish. Sheriff's Chief Investigator Joe Demourelle said the accident report first came in as a crash with injuries, then escalated to the vehicle possibly being on fire. Brignac, who was hired to serve legal papers for the Sheriff's Office and respond to some calls, was in nearby Mamou when he started toward the accident.With his lights flashing, Brignac approached an intersection and tried to go around a slower-moving truck driven by 24-year-old James Jones. As he did, the truck made a left-hand turn, slamming into Brignac's vehicle.

Search launched for suspect in three slayings; racial slurs made as shop workers gunned down

RICHMOND, Va. -- Three people were shot and killed, including two shopkeepers who were gunned down in front of horrified customers by a man who yelled racist comments, authorities said.

About 6:50 p.m, police said, they received a call that a gunman had shot someone at the public housing complex. Authorities found Derrick Conner, 29, lying dead on the street.

Ten minutes later, the gunman entered the James Food Store, a convenience store about three miles from the housing complex. After shouting racist comments at employee Abdulrahman Aldhabhani, 43, the man shot and killed him in front of customers, police said.

Police said the gunman took cash and other items before walking next door to Poly Cleaners, where he yelled racist comments at the owner, Jong Doh, 39, before shooting him in front of witnesses.

Police investigate two slayings in garage

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Two men were found slain Thursday in a tow-truck garage, police said.

Police canvassed the Denbigh neighborhood around Ace's Towing and Recovery where the bodies of John Drees, 30, and Robert Gowing, 34, were found, said police spokesman Harold Eley.

Eley said police received a report of a shooting at the garage at 3:20 a.m., but he would not say how Drees and Gowing were killed.

The men were working late Wednesday night, Eley said. Drees' wife became worried about him and checked the garage, where she found the bodies and called police.

Drees is involved in ownership of the towing company, Eley said.


Syracuse, NY -- A self-employed theater worker died in an accident Tuesday afternoon while working on the lighting in a Chenango County school auditorium, troopers said.

Martin W. Kappel, 51, of 125 N. Broad St., Norwich, was rigging the lighting system at Afton Central School, according to state police in Sidney. He had scaled a catwalk, troopers said, when the pulley system's counterweights dropped and he was catapulted 20 feet into the air, striking a steel girder. He then fell to the concrete catwalk, striking his head.

Farmer killed in tractor rollover

HAVRE, MT -- A 59-year-old Havre-area farmer was killed Memorial Day when his tractor tipped into a coulee and rolled several times, Hill County officials said Tuesday.

He was identified as Dean Clayborn, who died at the Northern Montana Hospital Monday afternoon.

Sheriff Greg Szudera said the rollover occurred on the Clayborn Farm, south of town, when the victim's small loader tractor got too close to the coulee and tipped. He said the tractor's front-end bucked was loaded with dirt and extended, making the tractor unstable.

Farmer dies when soybeans spill from bin

WATERLOO, Ind. -- A 75-year-old farmer was killed when soybeans from a grain bin spilled out, burying him under up to 8 feet of beans, police said.

Robert E. Kline was pronounced dead Monday on his farm near Waterloo, about 25 miles north of Fort Wayne, after rescue workers tried unsuccessfully to revive him.

Kline's wife had called DeKalb County Police about 5:30 p.m. Monday to report that her husband was missing and might be trapped under grain.

It took firefighters only about three minutes to find Kline's body, which was in front of a door to the bin and buried under soybeans that were up to 8 feet deep, said DeKalb County Police Cpl. Roger Watson.

Investigators did not know if Kline opened the door to the grain bin or whether it burst. Watson said he could not examine the door until the grain was removed.

Collision involving school bus kills a driver, injures children

GALION, Ohio -- A utility truck slammed into the back of a school bus on a rural road on Monday, killing the truck's driver and injuring two schoolchildren and the bus driver, authorities said.

Chad Clay, 26, of Mansfield, wasn't able to slow down the utility truck he was driving in time to avoid hitting the bus that was slowing down to drop off a student, the State Highway Patrol said in a news release. Both vehicles were traveling eastbound in this community about 52 miles northeast of Columbus.

5 teens charged in beating death

Birmingham, AL -- Five Birmingham teenagers - four of them 17 years old and one 15 years old - were charged Saturday with capital murder in connection with the beating death and robbery of a Tarrant used car dealer.

Kavinderpal Banga, 44, of Hoover, was pronounced dead at Carraway Methodist Medical Center at 9 p.m. Friday, said Tarrant Police Detective John Jones.
Police found Banga unconscious Wednesday evening at Banga Auto Sales at 1840 Pinson Valley Parkway.

Banga, a native of India, was an American citizen who had lived in Birmingham for about 10 years, said his sister, Manpreet Manda, of London, England, who arrived Friday to be with Banga's wife, Karamjit. The victim is also survived by two sons, Prince Preet Banga, 4, and Amit Preet Banga, 5 months.

Police search for co-worker in death of horse farm employee

BORDEN, Ind. -- The search continued Friday for an employee of a southern Indiana horse farm whom detectives want to question in the beating death of a co-worker.
Ronald L. Miller, 36, of Pekin, suffered head wounds and died shortly after police officers arrived Wednesday at the farm near the Hoosier Hills Golf Course, police said.

Miller was beaten so badly that authorities were not able to identify him until Thursday when co-workers at a horse farm in neighboring Floyd County became suspicious when he failed to show up for work for a second day, Clark County sheriff's Lt. Racheal Lee said.

Contract employee at Tuskegee University electrocuted

TUSKEGEE, Ala. -- A contract employee was electrocuted Friday at the main power plant on the Tuskegee University campus, authorities said.

Derrike A. Carter, 45, died around 8:30 a.m., university officials said. He was a staff member of Sodexho Inc, the facilities management contractor for Tuskegee.

Utica cab driver killed

UTICA, NY - Police in Utica are investigating the shooting death of a taxi cab driver.

Police say officers responding to a 9-1-1 call of shots fired late last night found 41-year-old Craig Van Horn lying next to his cab. Van Horn, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, was taken to St. Elizabeth Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Authorities say the incident occurred during an apparent robbery. Van Horn worked for City Cab Company.

Firefighter Mysteriously Dies After Training Exercise

Seminole County, Fla. -- A 24-year veteran firefighter in Seminole County, Fla., mysteriously died Friday after a routine training exercise, according to Local 6 News.

Officials said Lt. Frank Kucera had just returned to station 12 in Altamonte Springs after a training exercise when he suddenly felt ill and died a short time later at a hospital.

The cause of his death remains a mystery Saturday.

Market worker killed in apparent holdup

Oakland, CA -- An employee of a West Oakland market was shot and killed Thursday during an apparent robbery attempt, authorities said.

Hassan Elhaj, 75, was at Campbell Market at 1539 Campbell St. at about 10:30 a.m. He died about a half-hour later at Highland Hospital in Oakland. Elhaj was originally from Yemen.