Sunday, February 27, 2005

Weekly Toll

Brooklyn cabbie found dead

WINDSOR LOCKS, NY-- A Brooklyn cab driver missing since Tuesday has been found dead in Connecticut. Police saitrenchd Mureed Hussain, 34, was found fatally shot and left on the side of the road on Wednesday. Windsor Locks police announced his identity Sunday. The state medical examiner determined he died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Worker Dies At Port Of Charleston

Charleston, SC - A longshoreman operating a shipping container truck ran over and killed a stevedore supervisor at the State Ports Authority's Wando Terminal last night. Charleston County Deputy Coroner Judy Koelpin says 32-year-old William Hughes of Mount Pleasant man died from head trauma, said. Kenneth Riley is president of International Longshoremen's Association Local 1422.

Man killed while dismantling tank

St. Paul,MN- A man in his mid-30s was killed Sunday when he was pinned under an abandoned steel storage tank that he and two other workers attempted to dismantle at a bakery supply company in Golden Valley, police said. The man, whose identity was not released Sunday, was dead when police arrived about 6:30 p.m. at Brechet & Richter, a bakery and food manufacturer, Golden Valley police said. The other two workers were not injured.

Pentagon Police Officer Dies from Injuries

Pentagon police officer James M. Feltis, III died at 12:40 p.m. today from complications resulting from injuries sustained in the line of duty. On Jan. 11, 2005 at approximately 8:27 a.m. a stolen vehicle that was attempting to elude a marked Alexandria police cruiser struck Feltis. The operator of the stolen vehicle turned onto the pentagon reservation and traveled the wrong way on South Rotary Rd., a one-way street, at a high rate of speed. Upon seeing the vehicle approach his location, Feltis attempted to initiate a traffic stop and was struck head on as the vehicle continued traveling at a high rate of speed the wrong way up the Route 27 on-ramp to the pentagon reservation. The 41 year-old officer, a 12-year veteran of the Pentagon Police Department, was flown to INOVA Fairfax Hospital where he was admitted in critical condition. He never regained consciousness.

Firefighter killed while battling blaze

LOS GATOS – A captain with the Santa Clara County Fire Department died early Sunday after being electrocuted by a power line at the scene of a house fire. Capt. Mark McCormack's on-duty death was the first in the department's 58-year history, according to a statement. As McCormack helped fight the blaze, he touched a live electrical wire. He was treated at the scene and pronounced dead a short time later at an area hospital.

Man Killed in Explosion at Thiokol Plant

Salt Lakecity, UT- A fire at a research building killed one lab technician and injured one other, an ATK Thiokol Propulsion official said Tuesday. Steve Watters of Brigham City died in the Monday fire, company spokeswoman Melodie DeGuilbert said. "At about 10:45 p.m., there was an explosion in the research lab where they were working,'' DeGuilbert said, adding that the cause of the blaze and explosion are under investigation.

Worker Electrocuted As Ladder Touches Power Line, Second Worker Hospitalized From Electric Shock

KENSINGTON, Md. -- One of two men whose ladder touched a power line Tuesday morning in Kensington has died. According to Montgomery County police, the 35-year-old victim was pronounced dead at a hospital. His 23-year-old colleague is in critical condition. Police said they believe the men were doing repair work at a garden apartment complex in the 3100 block of University Boulevard. They apparently were placing a ladder onto the side of the building when it touched the high-voltage line just after 9 a.m.

Woman Killed in Elevator Fall Was Immigrants' Guardian Angel

Washington DC - Officials with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry have begun investigating what happened Sunday, when Santa Lucia Mendieta, 44, a housekeeper at the Hilton Hotel in Springfield and a matriarch of sorts in the local Honduran community, fell four floors down a hotel elevator shaft. Details remained sketchy yesterday. According to Fairfax County police and David Melugin, the Hilton's general manager, Mendieta got stuck between floors in a service elevator about 11:30 a.m.

Children on farms face risks-Injury rate in Wis. hasn't declined much in recent years

Marshfield,WI- Child agricultural injuries have remained relatively constant despite advancing safety technology and public education efforts, prompting a continued emphasis on farm safety. A 9-year-old boy died during the weekend on his family's farm east of Medford. Ethan D. Erl of the town of Browning had jumped into a large feed bin because protein mix had become stuck inside, according to the Taylor County Sheriff's Department. The annual number of child agricultural injuries in the United States declined from 32,800 to 22,600 from 1998 to 2001. An injury was any condition resulting in at least four hours of restricted activity. But with fewer Wisconsin farms, the annual rate of injuries declined only from 1.7 per 100 to 1.4 per 100, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Men killed in work accidents from Litchfield, Golden Valley

MINNEAPOLIS - Two laborers who died in separate work accidents in Golden Valley over the weekend were from Litchfield and Apple Valley, authorities said Monday. John C. Lewis, 37, of Litchfield, died Sunday while his demolition crew was cleaning out an industrial building, police said. Lewis was using a cutting torch to dismantle a large steel storage tank when half of it fell on him. He died of head injuries. Nicacio Rivera, 32, of Apple Valley, fell to his death Saturday while working at an apartment building. Police said he fell three stories from a construction lift. He died from blunt force injuries.

Vapors sparked fatal explosion

Council Bluffs, IA- Vapors from an unknown source are believed to have ignited sparks from a grinder, causing an explosion that killed one man and injured three others in the Union Pacific Railcard Tuesday. Union Pacific employee Daniel J. Weinert, 46, of Omaha was killed in the explosion. The names of the three workers who were injured have not yet been released. John Bromley, a spokesman for Union Pacific, said the names of the injured are being withheld pending notification of family members.

Doomed Jet's Final Approach Analyzed, Investigators Hope Cockpit Voice Recorder Will Offer Clues To Crash

DENVER, CO -- Federal authorities investigating the crash of a corporate jet near the Pueblo airport that killed all eight people aboard said the plane's approach appeared normal until less than a minute before the crash. That's when the Cessna Citation C-560 descended 1,364 feet in 30 seconds. The pilot did not radio the control tower to say what happened, according to Frank Hilldrup, the National Transportation Safety Board investigator in charge of the crash investigation.Neither Circuit City nor the Pueblo County coroner has released their names but families confirmed that the victims included pilot Bruce Walton, 53, of Richmond, Va.; co-pilot Jeffrey Wightman, 42, of Tappahannock, Va.; Kyle Jeffrey Harmon, 26, an assistant buyer with Circuit City from Virginia; Aaron Iskowitz, also of Virginia, and Vincent Choe, 32, of New Jersey, The Denver Post reported.

North Georgia Police Officer Dies After Traffic Accident

McDONOUGH, Ga. -- A Henry County police officer driving to assist other officers on a burglary call Wednesday died after his patrol car collided with a pickup truck near McDonough. Police Lt. Jason Bolton said officers reponding to alarm call at a business found an apparent burglary in progress about 5 a.m. He said the suspects attempted to run over the officers, shots were fired and a chase ensued before three suspects were arrested. Bolton says the officer who was killed in the accident was responding to the call for additional help. The patrol car collided with the truck on Georgia 20 just east of Interstate 75. The police cruiser overturned. Police are withholding the officer's name until relatives are notified.

Clifton bakery worker crushed by truck at loading dock

CLIFTON, NJ - A 23-year-old bakery employee was crushed to death Tuesday morning by a truck delivering croissants to a building at Van Houten and Mount Prospect avenues. Eyad Abdelatif, 23, of Clifton, who works for Gourmet Desserts Outlet, was directing a tractor-trailer into a loading dock at 10:36 a.m. Abdelatif was taken to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, where he died.

Executive dies after falling from building roof

MANSFIELD, OH -- It didn't surprise Mark Fisher's friends when they learned he died Wednesday while trying to fix a problem at work. Handling problems always was his specialty. The 47-year-old Fisher, the chief financial officer of Edge Plastics, died after slipping and falling four floors from the roof of his 250 Wayne St. business Wednesday morning.

Lakeville man killed in fall at U

Lakeville, MN- An iron worker died in a fall at a job site at the University of Minnesota. The man died Thursday morning in what appeared to be an accident at Nicholson Hall, a classroom building undergoing renovation, university police Lt. Chuck Miner said. He was identified by the university as Robin Sutter, 52, of Lakeville. He worked for Amerect Inc. of Newport, a subcontractor for McGough Construction of St. Paul, which is overseeing the renovation.

Shooting death of mayor's aide ruled homicide in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD -- By all accounts, Stephen C. Pegram was the sort of man who could help heal this troubled city: a youth worker dedicated to easing gang violence who had just begun a high-profile job as a mayoral aide. Instead, Pegram's mysterious death from a gunshot wound is adding to Springfield's grief.

Accident victim mourned - Dump truck mishap killed 'loving father'

Nevada City, CA- The family of Phillip G. McCully remembered him Friday as a loving family man and country music devotee. McCully, 65, of Penn Valley, was identified as the man who was killed in an unusual dump truck accident Thursday near Lake Wildwood. Services for McCully are pending. "He was a loving father to many people and loving husband to his wife," said son Ira McCully of Sacramento. The Nevada County Sheriff's Office said an investigator from California Occupational Safety and Health Administration was sent to the scene after McCully looked under the raised bed of the truck and it collapsed on him, crushing his head.

Man is found dead at Webster construction site

Dansville, NY— A man delivering building supplies to a construction site in Webster was killed Thursday morning when the hydraulic tilt box of his delivery truck crushed him. Police and emergency crews were called to the site about 8:30 a.m. by a passer-by who found the man pinned between the frame of the truck and the box, according to Webster Police. The incident occurred at Eastwood Estates, a housing development off Monroe Wayne County Line Road. Webster Police spokesman Lt. Joseph Rieger said Robert J. Schmitz, 56, of Dansville, Livingston County, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was delivering lumber for Matthews and Fields Lumber Co. at the time of the accident, he said.

Two Killed In Week's Second Fatal Train Crash

INDEPENDENCE, La. -- For the second time in four days, the City of New Orleans passenger train -- headed for Jackson -- smashed into a truck at a railroad crossing in Tangipahoa Parish. The latest accident happened Thursday in Independence, La. Two workmen died when the train smashed into their electric utility truck. The train carried 80 passengers and fewer than 10 crewmembers. Emergency workers evacuated the passengers, who were loaded onto buses for the remainder of the trip. Thursday's wreck was less than 10 miles from Roseland, where a man and three girls died Sunday when the City of New Orleans hit their pickup truck. Both crossings had only crossbuck signs and no warning lights.

Suspect in Detroit-area plant shooting held without bond

ROMULUS, Mich. (AP) -- A suburban Detroit paper plant worker charged with shooting the supervisor who had just fired him and a co-worker who was trying to translate for him appeared in court Sunday and was ordered held without bond. Authorities say Vanegas was fired Friday from his job as a contract worker at the International Paper Co. plant in Taylor. In response, he went to his vehicle and got a gun, then returned to the plant to confront his supervisor, Richard Grider, 44, of Wolverine Lake. Because Vanegas, a native of Honduras, spoke little English, co-worker Martha Winarto, 36, of Novi, attempted to translate the conversation between Vanegas and Grider, Sclabassi said.

A 12-year veteran Houston firefighter was killed fighting a house fire early this morning.

Six others were injured in the 6 a.m. fire at a vacant house on Brandon Street, near Texas 288 and Belfort, authorities said. Capt. Grady Burke, 39, died when the roof collapsed on him while inside the house in south Houston, said Assistant Chief Rick Flanagan.

Investigators Say Lift Operator Was Killed When Caught in Machinery

BRIAN HEAD, Utah-- A Brian Head Resort employee killed this weekend while operating a lift at the resort's Snow Tubing Park has been identified as 18-year-old Kathleen Downward. The woman was killed about 8 p.m. Saturday after becoming entangled in the lift machinery she was operating, investigators said Sunday.

Worker Dies From Fall Down Elevator Shaft

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Brevard County deputies said a worker fell more than 100 feet to his death down an elevator shaft in a cement silo. The victim -- whose name wasn't immediately released -- was found on top of an elevator car Saturday. He worked at the Rinker Materials Corp. plant. The silo is on the north side of Port Canaveral and stores cement powder for shipment from the company docks. Additional information was not immediately available.

Corrections cop kills co-worker

CALUMET CITY: Officer old investigators he thought his wife was being carjacked. Police said a Cook County Corrections Department officer killed a fellow corrections officer early Saturday morning when a prank went awry. Arlin McClendon, 36, of the 1600 block of Astor Street, was shot several times in the abdomen by a co-worker who may have mistaken McClendon for a carjacker, police said. The officer who fired the shots, whom police refused to identify Saturday, had not been charged late Saturday. "It appears this was a case of mistaken identity. The shooter believed his wife and small child were the victims of a carjacking," Police Chief Pat O'Meara said.

Calif. Storms Set Off Mudslides; 3 Dead

LOS ANGELES- Storms Pummel Southern California, Forcing Evacuations and Setting Off Mudslides; 3 Dead. Mudslides trapped people in their homes Monday and forced others to flee as Southern California was soaked by yet another of the powerful storms that have pounded the region this winter...At least three deaths were blamed on the weather and part of the area's commuter rail service was halted. In Los Angeles' Sun Valley area, a repair worker died late Sunday when he fell into a 30-foot-deep sinkhole created by the storm, said Fire Department spokesman Melissa Kelley.

Three Paramedics Die After Train Hits Ambulance

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Feb. 20) - A train slammed into an ambulance that apparently tried to get out of its path, but stopped at a rail crossing, killing all three paramedics on board. The patient in the vehicle survived, officials said. Paramedics Jeff Ferrand, 37, and John Rook, 23, died at the scene Saturday after the Union Pacific train hit the front end of the ambulance, spinning it around and ejecting the emergency workers. A third paramedic, Christopher Klingan, also 23, was taken to a hospital but later died, officials said. "Perhaps the driver saw the train coming and tried to get back, because a matter of two or three feet and there would not be an accident," Arkansas State Police Cpl. Darren Neal said. Neal said the driver apparently decided he couldn't make it across the county road crossing in rural Fulton, backed up and came only a few feet from getting out of the train's path. The ambulance was carrying a woman, Charlene Gayton, who had suffered a heart attack or a stroke. She was not hurt in the wreck, and remained in stable condition late Saturday.

Worker killed at transportation company's loading dock

GIBSONIA, Pa. - A truck driver died when he was pinned between a loading dock and a vehicle, officials said. Shawn Keast, 33, of West View, died around 11 p.m. Monday at the scene of the accident at PJAX Freight System in Richland Township, police said.

Store Clerk Shot, Killed During Robbery, Police Release Surveillance Tape

KENDALL, Fla. -- Police are searching for two people who shot and killed a convenience store clerk overnight during a robbery. Gurdeet Salujah, 42, was killed at about 11:30 p.m. Monday while working at the Marathon Gas Station on Southwest 124th Street in Kendall.

La Monte farmer dies in accident

La Monte- A La Monte man died Monday from injuries he received in a farming accident, said Pettis County Corner Skip Smith. The man was flown by Research Eagle helicopter to Research Medical Center in Kansas City, where he died at 6:10 p.m. His name was unavailable at press time. Mr. Smith said nobody else was around when the accident happened, and he is trying to sort out the details. He said he thinks a cow might have kicked the man in the head, due to the nature of the injuries and the animals found around him. Mr. Smith said the man could have fallen off his tractor, since it was still running when he was found.

Worker dies at Oakland plant

OAKLAND, CA — An employee of a West Oakland recycling plant died Tuesday afternoon when he was caught inside a piece of equipment, according to police. Douglas Espinoza, 32, was trapped inside a trash bailer, union leader Efren Alarcon said. Alarcon and the victim's brother, Rafael Roque, stood outside California Waste Solutions on Tuesday for hours after police had taken Espinoza's body away.

Trapped worker dies after rescue from tank

Houston, TX- A worker at a northeast Houston plant that recovers methane gas from landfill waste died Tuesday after he fell inside a storage container and his air mask came loose, officials said. The victim, whose identity was not released, was trapped about 3 p.m. while scrubbing a tank at the McCarty Road Landfill Gas Recovery Project in the 9600 block of Ley.

Rig investigation continues

Gillette, WI- An investigation is continuing into Monday's accident that killed a Gillette man at a soil testing rig southwest of town near Savageton officials said. Two Occupational Safety & Health Administration investigators were sent to Gillette after the accident that killed Joseph K. Laster, 26, a driller's helper for Tyvo LLC, of Gillette. "We do have people that are investigating," said Johnnie Hall, Wyoming OSHA compliance program supervisor. He could not comment on additional details of the investigation. Laster was pronounced dead at the scene after he became entangled in a driveline shaft at the site on Christensen Road about 6 miles west of Highway 50, officials said.

Truck driver killed in crash near Myrtle Point

MYRTLE POINT, Ore. -- A commercial driver from Keizer was killed early Friday morning after losing control of his truck and crashing into a bridge railing on Highway 42 near Myrtle Point, police said. The crash happened at 1:30 a.m., about three miles east of Myrtle Point at the Powers Junction. A Freightliner truck towing two trailers loaded with wood chips was traveling westbound on Highway 42 near milepost 23.5 when the trailers and cab rolled onto its side, according to Gregg Hastings with Oregon State Police. He said the vehicle slid across the eastbound lane into the highway guardrail and the cab slammed into the bridge railing. The driver, Terence Dale Little, 54, of Keizer, died at the scene.

Local businesswoman killed, Police arrest victim's brother after high-speed chase
Punta Garda, FL- Jan Deanna O'Rourke, a prominent business owner and Democratic Party organizer, was stabbed to death in her combination office and home in Punta Gorda Thursday -- and her own brother is being charged with the murder. Punta Gorda police detectives apprehended Chris J. Utermark, 44, after fleeing the home he shared with O'Rourke -- at 308 E. Virginia Ave. -- and leading police on a high-speed chase in heavy traffic along U.S. 41, according to police and witness reports. Officers found the 46-year-old woman murdered in a bedroom of their home.

N.Y. Cianbro worker killed on bridge

PITTSFIELD, NY -- A 53-year-old Cianbro Corp. employee died Thursday while building a bridge in Plainville, N.Y. The accident occurred at 10:15 a.m. as the man disassembled a temporary platform that had aided in the construction of the Plainville Road Bridge. The platform spanned the river and was being removed in sections. A second worker fell into the water, but was not injured.

Worker killed in Wise County rig accident

BOYD, Texas — The Wise County sheriff's department says a drilling site accident Thursday near Boyd left one worker dead. Authorities say Thomas Christopher Davis of Bowie was dead at the scene. Investigators say Davis and another employee apparently were working on the rig in the area of the draw works when Davis slipped and his foot was caught in a cable. Officials say Davis suffered severe injuries and died.

OSHA investigates man's forklift death

Iowa- The Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of a Colesburg man who died in an accident with a forklift he was operating at All American Homes. Steve W. Bailey, 32, was pronounced dead at the scene Monday. Employees of the local home-building facility referred questions about the incident to the plant's parent company, Coachmen Industries, headquartered in Elkhart, Ind. Declining to elaborate, a company official said that Bailey died of injuries sustained while operating a forklift at the plant.

Police: L.A. city worker shot boss over coming to work late

LOS ANGELES – The city maintenance worker accused of shooting to death two fellow employees with an assault rifle had been arguing with his supervisor after coming to work late, police said Friday. Ricardo Garris, 49, of Inglewood was one of two employees of the city Bureau of Street Services shot Thursday, said Officer April Harding of the Los Angeles Police Department. She said the other victim was a 54-year-old Sunland man whose identity will be released once his family has been notified. It's believed he was not involved in the dispute but was in the line of fire.

Douglas deputy killed in shootout

A Douglas County sheriff's deputy was killed Thursday night in a shootout at a Douglasville home that also left the homeowner dead. Deputy Blake Gammill was part of a team that had gone to the house on Ga. 5 near Amber Drive about 10:30 p.m. to arrest Jimmy Bilbo, a former county deputy who was free on bond awaiting trial on child molestation charges, authorities said.

Worker Dies In Trench Collapse

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. -- A worker (48-year-old John Mefford) died Friday when a 15-foot trench collapsed on him, police said. It happened on a city sewer project behind Dearborn County Hospital.

The victim was working for an outside contractor, Lawrenceburg Fire Chief Randy Ebner said. His name was not released.

Co-workers dug frantically but couldn't reach the victim. Emergency crews are now working to recover his body.

More here.

Worker Dies In Fall From Cell Phone Tower When Antenna Breaks

WILSON, N.C. -- A worker died after he fell about 100 feet from a cell phone tower in Wilson County early Friday morning. Authorities said Paul Regan was working on a cell phone tower for Excel Tower Service of Wilson when he fell. Regan, 24, of the Roxboro area, was working with another man to make repairs on the tower when Regan hooked his cable belt to an antenna that snapped, causing him to fall. The standard procedure is for workers to attach their cables to the tower itself, not to antennas, officials said. Regan's co-worker saw the fall and called 911. The accident was at 5816 Lamm Road in Wilson County.

Construction worker falls to his death in Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- A construction worker helping to build a movie theater fell 30 to 35 feet to his death while working on the building's highest steel beam, police said.

The 24-year-old man, who was not initially identified, was pronounced dead by paramedics, police spokeswoman Liza Thomas said.

Thomas said it was possible he might have slipped, but investigators had not determined Wednesday night exactly what happened.

Man dies of injuries from fuel tank explosion

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- A mid-Missouri truck driver has died from injuries he sustained when a fuel storage tank exploded.

Arcie Sapp, 64, of Ashland, died Wednesday night at University Hospital, the Boone County coroner's office said.

The tank explosion occurred Jan. 7 at an MFA Oil Co. bulk storage facility in Marshall as crews were unloading fuel from a tanker truck into one of the aboveground storage tanks. The cause remains under investigation.

Sapp was burned over 90 percent of his body.

Planes collide in air ; Crop duster's pilot dies;

HOLLISTER, OK --An Air Force training jet and a crop-dusting plane collided in midair Tuesday in southwestern Oklahoma, killing the crop duster pilot, authorities said.

Two military pilots survived the crash at about 5,000 feet when they ejected and parachuted from the T-37 military training plane, authorities said. Two ranch hands who helped the survivors said the crop duster burst into a fireball after the crash and the jet spiraled down as the pilots parachuted.

Killed in the crash was Dierk Nash, 43, who owned a flying service in Wheatley, Ark. He had picked up a new plane at the Air Tractor factory in Olney, Texas, to fly it to a customer in South Dakota, said Kristin Edwards, vice president of sales for Air Tractor Inc. The crash occurred about an hour after Nash left the factory.

Two dead, no others injured in turnpike crash near Quakertown

QUAKERTOWN, Pa. -- Two truck drivers were killed in a fiery crash on the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, state police said Tuesday.

The crash happened about 11 p.m. Monday in the northbound lanes in Lehigh County's Upper Milford Township, just over the Bucks County line from Quakertown.

Authorities said one truck was pulled over to the side of the road, but not completely off the highway, when the second truck struck it. One of the trucks began leaking diesel fuel, and a large fire broke out.

Both truck drivers were pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

Lehigh County Chief Deputy Coroner Paul Zondlo identified one of the victims as Lyle E. Durham, 67, of Fulton, N.Y. The coroner's office had not identified the second victim as of Tuesday morning.


A store clerk died after being stabbed last night during a robbery attempt on the North Side, Columbus police said.

Abraham Conteh, 21, died at Grant Medical Center at 8:33 p.m., said Sgt. Eric Pilya of the police homicide squad.

A suspect found with minor injuries in a nearby apartment complex is charged in the death, investigators said. Conteh was working at General Merchandise Clothing, 2557 Morse Rd., when a man tried to rob the store shortly after 7 p.m., Pilya said. Police officers found Conteh, who had been stabbed, inside.

Carbon monoxide poisoning killed horse trainer, cops say

Maywood, IL -- A horse trainer from Wisconsin was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning Wednesday in his trailer at Maywood Park racetrack, officials said.

Robert Nevel, 71, of Richland Center was pronounced dead at 11:40 a.m. Wednesday in Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
His death was ruled an accident.

Nevel drove to Maywood on Tuesday to watch his horse Big Spiel compete in a harness race, according to his longtime partner, Charm Klebesadel. When Nevel didn't return home as scheduled, his relatives called authorities. Nevel was found inside his trailer by a racetrack security guard Wednesday.

Relatives think a propane tank, used for heating, may have leaked or malfunctioned, Klebesadel said.

Truck driver killed in crash on turnpike

Toledo, OH -- A Pennsylvania truck driver was killed yesterday when his tractor-trailer rig crossed a median of the Ohio Turnpike near Toledo Express Airport and crashed, troopers at the Swanton post of the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

Daniel R. Parrish, 53, of Midland, Pa., was pronounced dead at the scene. There were no other injuries.

Troopers said Mr. Parrish was westbound on the turnpike at 3:55 p.m. yesterday carrying four coils of steel when he apparently lost control and crossed a grassy median and the eastbound lanes of the turnpike.

The rig continued a southward path, slammed through highway fencing, and came to rest among trees and brush. Troopers said the Lucas County coroner will determine the cause of death.

National experts to investigate prison guard's slaying in Chino

SACRAMENTO, CA -- The state Board of Corrections has unanimously decided to ask a national panel of experts to investigate the fatal stabbing of a prison guard earlier this month.

43-year-old Manuel Gonzalez Junior was killed on January 10th at the California Institution for Men in Chino. He was the first corrections officer to die in an inmate assault in nearly ten years.

The experts won't begin their work until the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office decides whether to file criminal charges.

Corrections officials have named Jon Blaylock, a 35-year-old inmate serving time for attempted murder, as the prime suspect in Gonzalez's death. But two other inmates believed to be from the same gang were in the area and were transferred to different prisons after the stabbing.

Dump truck driver dies after tire blows on I-275

TAMPA -- A dump truck accident on Interstate 275 Wednesday afternoon killed the truck's driver and backed up rush-hour traffic.

Alexis Monteagudo, 36, was driving south about 3:15 p.m. when his vehicle blew a tire south of Bearss Avenue, a Florida Highway Patrol official said. The accident forced him into the concrete median, crushing him inside the cabin and spewing sand into the southbound and northbound lanes. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Some of the sand caused minor front-end damage to a northbound car driven by Maria Mejia of Wesley Chapel. Neither Mejia, 31, nor her nine-month old baby, Silvana, were injured.

Train conductor struck, killed

CAMDEN, Ark. -- A Union Pacific conductor was struck and killed by a train, officials said.

The accident in Ouachita County occurred Monday morning when Floyd T. Evans Jr. of Redfield stepped from between two train cars and was hit by a train on an adjacent track, Chief Deputy Joe Strickland said.

Authorities said Evans was disconnecting the cars at the time of the accident and apparently did not hear or see the second train.

Man killed, fuel contaminates Sugar Creek

BENTONVILLE, Ark.-- A truck driver was killed and gasoline spilled into Sugar Creek when the truck he was driving left Arkansas 72 and entered a ravine a mile east of Bentonville.

Brent Lee Farrar of Barling, who would have turned 45 on Wednesday, was killed, state police said. His truck spilled gasoline into the creek and shut down the highway for most of the day Tuesday.

"It was the scariest thing I have ever witnessed," said Jennifer Dubert, who saw the accident. "I think I saw him slide a little, and then he just flew off the road."

Bentonville Fire Department crews set up three containment dams on the nearby Sugar Creek to keep fuel from contaminating the Elk River. The trailer itself was not ruptured; the fuel leaked from a seal on the truck.


LEESBURG, FL -- A 41-year-old DeLand man died early Tuesday after the tractor-trailer he was driving overturned on County Road 33 near the intersection with U.S. Highway 27, authorities said.

Jerry A. Trent was hauling limerock from Sumterville at the time of the 5 a.m. accident, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

As the 1991 tractor-trailer neared the U.S. 27 intersection, it hit a curb and overturned on its left side, the FHP said. Trent was taken by ambulance to Leesburg Regional Medical Center, where he died about 7:30 a.m., according to the FHP.

Investigators said dense fog may have contributed to the accident. Trent was talking on a cell phone at the time of the accident, the FHP said.

Florence liquor store clerk shot to death in robbery

FLORENCE, Ala. -- A liquor store clerk was shot in the head and killed by a man whose image was captured by a surveillance camera before he fled with a sack of money and a bottle of liquor.

Deputy Police Chief Pete Williford identified the slain clerk as Scott Kirtley, who was in his mid-30s, of Happy Hollow in Lauderdale County.

Williford said Kirtley was shot in the head at close range shortly before 7:30 p.m. Monday at Dandy's Number Two Package Store. A suspect has been questioned, but no charges were filed immediately. More here.

Wreck kills trucker on I-85;

Atlanta, GA -- A tow truck driver was killed Monday morning in a wreck on I-85 that blocked all the northbound lanes for three hours, police said.

The incident occurred about 7:45 a.m. on I-85 north between Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Indian Trail Road.

According to police, the tow truck driver, identified as Xavion Wilson, 43, of East Point, swerved to avoid a Honda Accord driven by Clayton Mattison, 20, of Decatur.

Wilson lost control of his truck when the Honda changed lanes into his path, said police spokesman Cpl. Dan Huggins. The tow truck then hit the median wall, bounced off and struck the Honda before overturning. Wilson died at the scene, Huggins said.

Gas station clerk slain during holdup attempt; Victim was working to support family back in Pakistan

El Cerrito, CA -- A gas station clerk who was working the graveyard shift to help support his family in Pakistan was shot and killed during a robbery attempt shortly after midnight Sunday in El Cerrito, police said.

The slaying of Khalid Mohmood, 40, of San Pablo was captured by the gas station's security camera, police said.

Mohmood, who was also known by the name of Sharma, was shot at least twice in the upper torso while he was behind the counter of the Super Stop Gas Station at 11687 San Pablo Ave. about 12:30 a.m., El Cerrito police Sgt. Shawn Maples said.

Mohmood, a two-year employee, worked the graveyard shift and sent the money he earned at the gas station to his family in Pakistan, Maples said. The victim also worked a second job elsewhere, authorities said.

The gas station had been robbed before and is a target because it is the only 24-hour gas station in the city, Maples said. Customers can enter the food mart in the middle of the night and interact directly with employees, he noted.

"We are very scared. We're nervous," said a gas station employee who declined to give his name.

Fuel-oil truck driver killed when Army vehicle crashes

A worker for a fuel-oil company died yesterday morning when an Army Reserve private lost control of the tractor-truck he was driving on Route 12 in Westmoreland, crossed the median and struck two vehicles, state police said.

Authorities closed Route 12 near the Keene line for hours after the accident. It took place less than a mile from where two drivers died on Dec. 27.

Sol Plante, 31, of Walpole died from injuries sustained during the collision, according to state police. He was driving a Webber Energy Fuels service truck south on the highway when it was struck by the Army reserve tractor-truck, state police said.

The Army truck was bobcating, meaning the driver was piloting the tractor portion of a normal 18-wheel rig without a trailer.

Man dies in first fishing incident of year; Authorities think death accidental

Folks who knew longtime shrimper Henry "Happy" Hendricks rarely saw him without a smile.

On Friday, Hendricks become the first commercial fisherman to die on the job this year. There were no such deaths reported to the U.S. Coast during 2003 and 2004, according to the Coast Guard station in Charleston. Hendricks died in what authorities think was a mechanical boating accident.

A shrimper for more than 20 years, Hendricks was working in Murrells Inlet when he was killed. The official cause of death, according to a preliminary autopsy performed Saturday afternoon by Georgetown County Coroner Kenny Johnson, was multiple trauma and loss of blood.

His wife, Hendricks' love for 21 years, said it is thought that somehow he became caught in the cables, which pulled his body into the wench of his shrimping boat.

Postal delivery worker killed in collision is identified

LINCOLN, Ca -- A postal delivery worker killed in a two-vehicle collision Thursday has been identified as Beverly Joyce Wilson, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Wilson, 65, of Lincoln had slowed her 1978 Jeep in the course of delivering mail along Nicolaus Road, east of Dowd Road, shortly after 4 p.m. when her vehicle was rear-ended by a Nissan Altima, said CHP Officer Kelly Baraga.

The Jeep spun 180 degrees, overturned into a ditch and landed on its top, Baraga said. Wilson was pronounced dead at the scene, she said.

Railroad contractor dies after being struck by train

Amarillo, TX -- An Amarillo man died Wednesday night after a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway train hit him.

Gene Blackburn Harrison, 42, was pronounced dead at the scene, said Scott Sutton, chief deputy for the Carson County Sheriff's Office.

Harrison managed Centergas Inc.'s Amarillo facility, said Mark Allsup, president of the company. Centergas supplies propane gas to BNSF.

About 7 p.m., Harrison was with another Centergas employee and a tow-truck driver just west of Farm-to-Market Road 2373 and U.S. Highway 60, where they were trying to free a truck that was hung up on the north side of the tracks, Sutton said.

Skokie cab driver killed by passengers, police say

Chicago police were questioning two men Monday in connection with the fatal shooting of a Skokie cab driver who was found dead Saturday on the South Side.

Karim Ally, 57, of the 8300 block of South Kimball Avenue in the north suburb died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to a spokeswoman with the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Ally's body was found in the 6300 block of South Calumet Avenue about 11:10 p.m. Saturday, said Carlos Herrera, a Chicago police spokesman.

Ally took two people to the address where his body was found, and once he arrived there, he was shot and robbed, Herrera said.