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Reality Check: The REAL Transportation Safety Problem

Light Rail Progress · Updated November 2004

in their concerted campaign to "Stop Light Rail at Any Cost", pro-highway Road Warriors and some of the more obsessive monorail zealots have started publicizing every light rail mishap they can find – apparently in an effort to fabricate the impression of a "threat" to safety by light rail, one of the safest of all transportation modes. The continually updated sampling of news items on this web page – just a tiny, random selection from the total ocean of evidence, chronicling tragedy after tragedy – should set the record straight as to where the real safety problem in transportation actually lies.

Houston Chronicle
Jan. 16, 2006

Two girls struck, injured by grandmother's vehicle

By Houston Chronicle

Two children are at Memorial Hermann hospital this morning after being hit Sunday afternoon by a vehicle that police say was driven by their grandmother, KHOU is reporting today.
The girls were playing in the yard in the 22800 block of Earlmist in northeast Harris County when the grandmother was backing out of the driveway. Her vehicle did two 360-degree turns in the driveway and then slide into the yard, striking both girls who were playing there, according to the KHOU report.
The girls, ages 7 and 8, were rushed to Memorial Hermann hospital by ambulance, where they are listed in critical condition.
Police are investigating a possible mechanical malfunction with the vehicle.


Houston Chronicle
Jan. 15, 2006

Hit-and-run driver kills Pearland teenager on bike

By Houston Chronicle

Police have identified a Pearland resident killed Saturday in a hit-and-run accident as Randall Lane, 17.
Lane and a friend were riding bicycles about 7:45 p.m. when they were struck by a pickup truck in the 2400 block of Garden.
Lane was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital where he died, Pearland police said.
The other victim was taken to the hospital by ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver fled, but officers found the truck Sunday after receiving a tip from the public.
Police said they were obtaining an arrest warrant for the registered owner, who may be heading to Mexico.


Cable News Network
Wednesday, January 11, 2006

7-year-old leads police on chase
Boy wanted driver's license, took parents' pickup

By Associated Press

SHELBYVILLE, Tennessee – Eager to get his driver's license, a 7-year-old boy put on his seat belt and remembered to use his turn signal, as he took his parent's pickup truck out for a spin, leading police on a slow pursuit around town.
Officers initially thought they were chasing a drunk driver.
"He was weaving and all over the road. He couldn't stay in his lane," Officer Josh Laverette said.
What they found instead Monday evening was a barely 4-foot-tall second-grader.
"He was so short he had to sit up close to the steering wheel," Laverette said. "Whenever he would brake, he would pick himself up with his left foot and stomp on the brake with his right."
The boy, whose name was not released, narrowly avoided several collisions. "It could have been very serious," Laverette told WSMV-TV as he reviewed a videotape shot from one of the pursuing police cars.
The seven-mile chase ended when the boy drove home and parked.
"He said the reason he took the vehicle was because he wanted to get his license," Laverette said.
Nine years too early for the license test, the boy was charged with driving without a license, eluding police and leaving the scene of an accident. He faces a hearing this week in juvenile court.
Witness Susan Daniel described the scene: "There were like probably five city cars and three county cars and a state trooper" all chasing the pickup, she said.
"It blew my mind, because we actually watched him put on his turn signal and turn. And we could see when he went past that he had seat belts on," Daniel said. "Then to come find out it was a child, i was really shocked."


KOMO-TV (Seattle)
January 9, 2006

Suspect Arrested in Hit-And-Run

By Kevin Reece

TACOMA - Monday evening police arrested the suspected hit-and-run driver who left an 11-year-old boy critically injured in a Tacoma Street.
Timmy Plai and his friends were riding their bicycles at about 6 o'clock Saturday night at the intersection of 72nd Street and East 'I' Street. They were crossing at an unmarked crosswalk when a white pickup truck swerved into Timmy.
Witnesses say the driver never looked back and sped away.
Tacoma police say the passenger in the truck that night called them on Monday to say he could lead them to the driver.
He took them to an address in the 1000 block of East 72nd Street, within a half mile of the boy's home, where the driver was waiting to turn himself in.
Police also impounded the truck they believe the man was driving the night of the collision.
The passenger told police that they had been drinking that night and that after hitting the boy they were scared and drove away. Guilt got the better of them 48 hours later.
Meanwhile, as of Monday night, Timmy Plai was still in a coma in critical condition. And, reacting to the arrest, the boy's father says he is still outraged that his son was treated like an animal run down in the street.
"Just if I had a chance I want to say to him on that day 'why do you run and why do you do that to my kid,' "Mok You said he would like to ask the driver. "And all my question is just why, why, why... because I don't know the answer."
The 26-year-old driver was booked into the Pierce County Jail for investigation of felony hit and run. Police say the passenger probably won't face any charges.


Houston Chronicle
Nov. 30, 2004

Dad charged after 14-year-old girl crashes his SUV

By S.K. BARDWELL

A father who authorities say let his unlicensed 14-year-old daughter drive his SUV faces felony charges after she crashed following a visit to a nightclub, injuring herself and two friends.
The prosecutor hopes the case will send a message to other parents.
"A vehicle can be just as deadly as a firearm," Assistant Harris County District Attorney Warren Diepraam said today. "As a parent you've got a responsibility to protect your child."
Charged Sunday with criminal negligence, Barry Martin Holste, 53, was released from jail this morning after he posted a $30,000 bond.
Danielle Holste, 14, was driving her father's SUV on Thanksgiving when she lost control on a Southwest Freeway exit ramp about 10:30 p.m., Diepraam said.
The accident sent Danielle Holste and two friends, both 15, to the hospital. Danielle Holste has since been released with a leg cast, Diepraam said. The other two teens remain in intensive care, one with a broken neck and the other with bleeding in the brain that has caused seizures, he said.


Austin American-Statesman
Monday, November 15, 2004

AUSTIN
Two dead in Braker Lane wreck

Two men died Sunday in North Austin when one of them lost control of his car, which struck a tree, Austin police spokeswoman Toni Chovanetz said.
Chovanetz said the Mustang was heading east in the 1500 block of West Braker Lane about 4:30 p.m. when it began to hydroplane, left the road and split in half after striking the tree.
Both occupants were ejected, she said, and it was not clear whether they were wearing seat belts.
A 21-year-old man died at the scene. A 19-year-old died shortly after arriving at Brackenridge Hospital.
Witnesses said the driver was speeding, Chovanetz said. Investigators also found alcohol at the scene, she added.
The men's names were being withheld pending notification of their relatives. The deaths were Austin's 62nd and 63rd traffic-related fatalities this year.


Austin American-Statesman
Monday, November 15, 2004

Pedestrian killed in East Austin
Man struck by two cars Sunday night

By By Tony Plohetski - AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

A man attempting to cross East Riverside Drive near the intersection of Faro Drive was killed after being struck Sunday night by two vehicles. He died a short time later at Brackenridge Hospital.
Police said both cars had a green light and both drivers stopped at the scene.
The name of the victim is not being released pending family notification.
Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to call 974-8211. This is the 64th traffic fatality of 2004.


New York Times
October 17, 2004

Dozens Are injured in Crashes as Storm Strikes interstate 95

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WHITE MARSH, Md., Oct. 16 (AP) - At least 86 vehicles crashed in 11 separate accidents on interstate 95 on Saturday as a storm blew through a Baltimore suburb, injuring at least 49 people and forcing the authorities to shut down the highway.
Some of the injuries were serious, but no deaths were immediately reported.
Cpl. Rob Moroney of the Maryland State Police said there had been at least four big accidents along an 11-mile stretch of the interstate. The accidents started about 4:30 p.m., when the sky darkened and hail and rain started falling.
Cindy James of Woodbridge, Va., said the road was slippery but the glare was unusually strong from sleet on the road, even though she had been wearing sunglasses.
Her 15-year-old daughter, Veronica, said, "Everybody stopped because of the glare and the sleet."
Susan Whickers of Baltimore said she knew she was in trouble when drivers in all four lanes slammed on their brakes.
"I was thinking, 'Oh God,' because the car in front of us went right under a tractor-trailer," Ms. Whickers said.
Leslie Baker, an emergency medical technician with the Joppa Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company, said she knew of 49 people who had been injured, including 22 in one crash involving a bus with 30 people aboard.
While she was helping at that accident, Ms. Baker said, she saw other crashes happen, one involving a tractor-trailer running over another vehicle.
Five people being treated at a University of Maryland trauma center were in serious condition, a spokeswoman said. Ten people were sent to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, a hospital spokeswoman said.
There also were numerous minor injuries, the state police said, but the total number of people transported to hospitals was not immediately clear.
A section of I-95 was closed in both directions, but the authorities reopened the northbound lanes late Saturday night. They hoped to open the southbound lanes early Sunday morning.


LAS VEGAS SUN
August 31, 2004

Taxicab strikes conventioneer

By AUTHOR

A North Carolina woman was in critical condition at University Medical Center this morning after being struck by a taxi near the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The woman, whose name was not immediately available, was attending the MAGIC convention. She was walking across Convention Center Drive near its intersection with Paradise Road about 8:15 when she was struck by the Ford Crown Victoria headed east, Metro Sgt. Frank Weigand said.
Witnesses told police the taxi driver, who was going around two lanes of stopped traffic toward a left turn lane, accelerated before hitting the woman.
The driver had not been charged as of this morning.


King County Journal - Bellevue, WA
2004-09-02

Teens in truck toss debris at passing vehicles
Boys also smashed car mirrors while traveling along State Route 167

By Jeff Switzer
Journal Reporter

Two teenage boys clubbed car mirrors and threw junk at commuters on State Route 167 Wednesday morning-- all from the back of a moving Nissan pickup truck.
The dangerous behavior comes as the State Patrol is dealing with a skyrocketing increase in reports of road debris on state highways.
State troopers received 337 reports of road debris in February. The number of reports climbed through the summer, reaching 794 for the month of August, said Trooper Kelly Spangler.
''These numbers show the public has a heightened awareness of how dangerous debris can be. We're happy to get it out of the road.''

Havoc on the highway

Wednesday's incident sparked more than a dozen calls to 911 reporting the teens wreaking havoc on the highway.
''These two boys were throwing things at cars, as well as using a 4-foot-long stick to whack people's mirrors as they drive by,'' said Trooper Kelly Spangler.
At one point, one boy threw a tire iron out of the truck, Spangler said. A basketball, a chili dog and wood debris were also thrown from the moving truck, witnesses said, while the boys were standing in the truck traveling at freeway speeds.
Eight vehicles were damaged during the morning spree, ranging from scratched paint to a hole in a driver's door and a cracked windshield. No injuries were reported.

Arrested for mischief

The first complaint reported the boys at 8:39 a.m. at the Kent-Auburn border. The truck traveled more than six miles to the Renton border at Southeast 180th Street before troopers caught them.
in the back of the truck, troopers found the boys dressed in all-black Goth clothes. One wore tennis shoes, a black trench coat and neon green and black striped tights.
A 19-year-old man driving the truck told troopers he didn't know the younger boys were throwing stuff out of his truck or attacking passing vehicles. Troopers don't plan to charge the driver with any crime, Spangler said.
The boys were arrested for first-degree malicious mischief and booked into the King County Juvenile Detention facility, Spangler said.

Reports skyrocketing

Reports of road debris have skyrocketed in recent months after making headlines with serious injury accidents on interstate 405 and State Route 202. An insulation knife also reportedly fell from a truck recently and stabbed into a car bumper on I-405 in Totem Lake
Maria Federici was blinded and seriously injured by a falling piece of an entertainment center on Feb. 22 as she drove on I-405. Babe Watson's face was shattered by a stray metal bar as she drove on SR-202 outside Fall City on Aug. 9.
''Obviously the number of calls have increased greatly,'' Spangler said. ''They're important calls, especially if it's a piece of wood or metal, it is potentially dangerous and it needs to be removed.''
Jeff Switzer can be reached at jeff.switzer@kingcountyjournal.com or 425-453-4234.


Houston Chronicle
Sept. 1, 2004

Fallen stop sign blamed for crash
A dozen children riding in a Salvation Army van suffer minor injuries

By MIKE GLENN

A stop sign that had been pulled from the ground is being blamed for a two-car crash in north Houston that sent a dozen children to the hospital, police said.

A stop sign that had been pulled from the ground is being blamed for a two-car crash in north Houston that sent a dozen children to the hospital, police said.
The children were being driven to a Salvation Army after-school program about 4 p.m. when their van was broadsided at Weiss and Gano.
Police said the van had the right of way but confirmed that a stop sign on Gano had been pulled up and left lying on the ground. The driver of the Mazda likely will not be cited, police said.
Some neighbors said the stop sign has been down for three days and said they had called the city's 311 customer service hot line.
City officials said the first report they received was shortly before 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Frank Michel, the mayor's communications director, said the downed stop sign was added to the repair list about 20 minutes later.
Because the intersection was not considered high-traffic, city policy said work crews had up to 24 hours to fix the sign.
"If it's a major intersection, they are dispatched immediately," Michel said.
Houston firefighters said the children along with the adult drivers of both vehicles were strapped onto backboards as a precaution.
"They had minor cuts and bruises nothing broken," said HFD Capt. Howard Shaw. "They were pretty much scared more than anything else."
The children in the van, ranging in age from about 2 to 10, and the adult driver were taken to LBJ Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital. The driver who struck the van and a child, believed to be about 8, riding with her were taken to Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital, officials said.
The children and driver in the Salvation Army van were treated and sent home Tuesday, said agency spokesman Rolan Chambless.
Police said the van was westbound on Weiss when it was struck in the middle of the intersection by the northbound Mazda sedan on Gano.
Chambless said he believed the students were properly secured before the accident.
"It is our ruling and our procedures that everyone must be in a seat belt in a Salvation Army van," he said.
Both vehicles were heavily damaged.
"The wreck was strong enough that it probably totalled our Salvation Army van," Chambless said.
City workers set up a temporary stop sign at the intersection Tuesday night and would return today to erect a permanent sign, officials said.


Miami Herald
Mon, Jun. 09, 2003


Causeway accident injures 6, and police blame drag racing

BY JENNIFER MALONEY
jmaloney@herald.com

A drag race on the Rickenbacker Causeway came to an abrupt halt Sunday when one of two speeding cars struck a third vehicle carrying two families on an afternoon outing. Four adults and two toddlers were seriously injured, police said.
Sunday evening, as traffic remained backed up in the westbound lanes, a crumpled Toyota SUV sat on the median, surrounded by evidence of a day at the beach: two Coca-Cola bottles, a cooler, towels, a blanket and a watermelon smashed on the pavement.
On the opposite shoulder rested a BMW with a crushed front end.
Just a few hours earlier, drivers of the BMW and a Porsche had been racing at speeds ''in excess of 100 miles an hour,'' said Lt. Bill Schwartz, a Miami police spokesman.
On the spit of land between Virginia Key and the mainland, the BMW collided with the Toyota sport utility vehicle, which then flipped and spun on its roof, Schwartz said.
The driver of the Porsche fled the scene but was found later after a witness followed the vehicle and called Miami police, who caught up with the Porsche in Coconut Grove and detained the driver for questioning.
Inside the Toyota were members of two families -- a couple with their daughter and a woman with her daughter.
All were in serious but stable condition Sunday night, as was the driver of the BMW.
Police said both children, ages 2 and 3, had been in car seats. The 2-year-old, who was unconscious at the scene, had regained consciousness, Schwartz said.
A passenger in the BMW and the driver of the Porsche were not hurt.
Police declined to identify any of the people involved.
The Rickenbacker Causeway links Miami with Key Biscayne east of the mainland across Biscayne Bay. The scenic road provides long stretches of pavement overlooking the bay and the Miami skyline.
On the causeway, witnesses said they could hear the speeding cars approach.
''When they got here, it looked like the Porsche was just flying,'' said Phillip Spencer, 20, a windsurfing instructor who was working on the south shore of the causeway when he heard a crash and turned to see the Porsche driving away. ''We didn't hear it slow down at all.''
Spencer and other bystanders ran to pull the victims out of the Toyota.
One child was in her mother's arms before they pulled the toddler from the car, Spencer said.
Bystanders then flipped the vehicle to extract the mother, he said.


Atlanta Journal-Constitution
6/9/03

COLUMBIA COUNTY
Two Augusta-area teens die in weekend accident

Speed and rainy weather conditions played a factor in a car accident that killed two Evans High School students on Sunday, Columbia County officials said.
A Ford Thunderbird driven by Jennifer L. McElmurray, 16, of Evans, lost control and slid into a grassy knoll before hitting trees and catching on fire.
Brad Thornton, 17, of Evans, and Keith Kroggman, 16, of Martinez, were pronounced dead at the accident site, said Vernon Collins, deputy county coroner. McElmurray was treated at Medical College of Georgia Hospital and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Monday, June 09, 2003

2 die in indiana County accidents
Motorcycle crashes into tractor; fire truck runs down pedestrian

Separate accidents killed two men in indiana County yesterday.
At 12:47 p.m., a 41-year-old Pittsburgh resident died when his motorcycle crashed into a tractor.
State police said the motorcycle operator was traveling at "an extremely high rate of speed on State Route 3002, also known as Saltsburg Road, in Conemaugh Township. He crested a hill and struck a tractor that was pulling onto the road. He died at the scene. The tractor operator was not injured.
Deputy Coroner Michael Baker identified the victim as Mark McKiel of Juliet Street in Oakland, a systems analyst at the University of Pittsburgh.
During last night's storm, a resident of the village of Clune, also known as Coal Run, was killed by a fire truck that was responding to a call. State police said the 61-year-old victim crossed State Route 3029 (Coal Run Road) around 9 p.m. to retrieve a garbage can that had been blown across the road.
The pedestrian then crossed back in front of the fire truck, which had its emergency lights on. A release from police does not indicate that the siren was on.
The victim died at 11:05 p.m. at Latrobe Area Hospital, and today the Westmoreland County Coroner's Office identified him as John G. Bogdanski.


Atlanta Journal-Constitution
6/9/03

Taxi driver found dead in minivan in Marietta

By MIKE MORRIS
Staff Writer


Marietta police today were trying to determine why someone shot and killed a taxi driver early Sunday.
Residents on Phillips Drive called police about 4:30 a.m. after hearing a wreck and a car horn blaring, said Marietta police Officer Brian Marshall.
Police responded and found Abelino M. Juarez slumped over the steering wheel of his Ford Aerostar minivan, which had come to rest against a utility pole. He had been shot in the chest, Marshall said.
He said it appeared that the van, which was not severely damaged, rolled into the utility pole at a "very low speed."


Kansas City Star
Mon, Jun. 09, 2003

KANSAS CITY, KAN.
Woman killed in wreck

A 67-year-old Arkansas woman died after the car she was riding in crashed into a building Sunday morning in Kansas City, Kan., police said.
Jeanne M. Byers of Beebe, Ark., was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The wreck happened about 11:55 a.m. near Mill Street and Osage Avenue.
According to police, the driver of the car, whose name was not released, apparently suffered some sort of medical problem and lost control of the car. The driver was taken to a hospital for treatment, but the driver's condition was not available late Sunday.


Washington Post
Monday, June 9, 2003; Page B03

Anne Arundel Crash Kills Two

Two people were killed in a head-on collision early yesterday in Anne Arundel County after one of the drivers headed in the wrong direction on Route 50, Maryland State Police said.
Jessica M. Armstrong, 22, of Hanover, was driving west in the eastbound lanes of Route 50 near the Severn River Bridge when her 2002 Jeep Wrangler collided about 4:20 a.m. with a Nissan 240 SX driven by David C. Wilson, 28, of Stevensville, police said.
Wilson, of the 100 block of South Carolina Road, was pronounced dead at the scene. Armstrong, of the 1900 block of Annawon Court, died after being transported to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, police said.


Miami Herald
Mon, Jun. 09, 2003


Driver killed on turnpike

A Southwest Miami-Dade man was killed early Sunday when he lost control of his vehicle, which flipped over on Florida's Turnpike.
The motorist, Jimmy Briones, 27, was ejected from his 1999 Ford and landed on the paved shoulder of the road near the Southwest Eighth Street exit of the Homestead extension. Briones was pronounced dead at the scene just after 6 a.m., according to the Florida Highway Patrol.



Atlanta Journal-Constitution
6/9/03

Generator falls off truck, kills 2 in SUV

Two women were killed when a two-ton generator fell from an 18-wheeler and landed on top of their sport utility vehicle, police said. Driver Becky Marie LeGrande, 21, of Rincon, and passenger Amanda Leigh McKinney, 22, of Cordele, died in the Thursday night accident on Ga. 36 near Jackson.The generator came loose and crushed the SUV.


Kansas City Star
Mon, Jun. 09, 2003


Man charged in wreck that killed Overland Park man

By TONY RIZZO
The Kansas City Star

The alleged driver in a traffic collision that killed an Overland Park man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Braden K. Beller turned himself in this morning after Johnson County prosecutors told his lawyers that a warrant had been issued Friday.
Beller, 30, appeared this afternoon in Johnson County District Court, where he is charged in the death of 21-year-old Glenn J. Treakle in February.
Treakle's mother, Roberta Treakle, attended the brief court hearing but did not speak.
"I'm glad the process has started," she said after the hearing. "We've waited long enough."
Beller allegedly was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs on Feb. 19 when his truck missed a curve, struck a tree near 91st Terrace and Hemlock Street, and overturned.
Treakle was a passenger in the truck. Another passenger, Nicholas R. Miller, was injured. Beller is charged with aggravated battery for the injuries suffered by Miller.
Both the charges are felonies, and the judge who signed the warrant set a $25,000 bond.


Houston Chronicle
June 7, 2003

Pickup driver sought in bicyclist's 'deliberate' hit-and-run

By LUCAS WALL

State police are looking for a pickup that struck a bicyclist Saturday morning in Montgomery County.
The incident occurred about 10:35 a.m. on Texas 105 near Montgomery High School. Bill Oswald was riding his bicycle westbound on the shoulder of the four-lane highway when the pickup ran into him and failed to stop.
Oswald and two friends were on a 70-mile bike ride as they passed the school. Oswald said he noticed a vehicle approaching on the left.
"The next thing I knew I got this incredible pain in my back and I was airborne," he said via phone Saturday night from his residence in The Woodlands, where he was recuperating after being taken to Memorial Hermann hospital there.
"I glanced up and the vehicle was back on the road. I didn't see any brake lights -- it just kept maintaining its speed."
Oswald said he suffered a fractured rib, bruised kidney and lungs and "numerous abrasions and contusions."


Oakland Tribune
Saturday, June 7, 2003

Oakland musician dies in bike accident

By Laura Casey
Staff Writer

OAKLAND - Accomplished Oakland musician Matthew Sperry, who most recently played bass for the San Francisco stage production of Hedwig and the Angry inch, was hit by a car and killed Thursday morning while riding his bicycle on the Oakland/Emeryville border.
Oakland police spokeswoman Danielle Ashford said Sperry, 34, was riding his bike north on Vallejo Street at Powell Street about 9 a.m. when a 46-year-old Berkeley resident in a pick-up truck turned left onto Powell Street and hit him.
The impact threw Sperry, who was wearing a helmet, off his bicycle. Paramedics declared him dead at the scene.


Houston Chronicle
June 7, 2003

Police: Suspect sets himself ablaze after chase

By PEGGY O'HARE

A man accused of stabbing his girlfriend, then leading police on a chase apparently set himself on fire after wrecking his car in Baytown early today, authorities said.
The man, whose name was not immediately released, was in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital later this morning, hospital officials said.
Harris County sheriff's deputies were told around 1:20 a.m. that a woman had been stabbed in the 7400 block of Forestay Lane just outside the Baytown city limits. Her attacker was gone when deputies arrived, having fled in a dark-colored Camaro with a purple light beneath the vehicle. Authorities were told the man was possibly on interstate 10 heading toward Beaumont.
About 2:45 a.m., Baytown police found the man's car and tried to stop him, but he would not pull over. Sheriff's deputies joined in the chase. The man then crashed into another vehicle at Wyoming and Missouri streets in Baytown, then set himself ablaze inside his car, sheriff's reports show.


SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
Saturday, June 7, 2003

Police officer injured in crash on way to work

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

FEDERAL WAY - While riding her motorcycle on her way into work yesterday morning, a Federal Way police officer was struck by another vehicle and hospitalized for multiple fractures to her right leg.
After the accident on Pacific Highway South in Federal Way, the officer, Shelly Hamel, was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. She is expected to make a full recovery.


Houston Chronicle
June 7, 2003

Car plunges into river, killing woman and three children; one body still missing

Associated Press

JACKSON, Calif - Rescue workers struggled for hours today to recover the bodies of a woman and three children, ages 1 through 3, who died when their car plunged into a frigid river.
The driver -- the boyfriend of the woman and father of two of the children -- survived and was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter. The man and his brother told authorities they were washed downstream when they opened a door to get out.
The car hurtled into the Mokelumne River about 40 miles southeast of Sacramento on Friday afternoon. After floating about 400 yards downstream, it wedged against a rock as water filled the car and rushed over the top.
After darkness cut short their efforts to retrieve the bodies Friday, rescuers on a boat struggled against rapids for five hours Saturday and removed two of the children's bodies. Later a helicopter hoisted the white sedan out of the 57-degree water, but only the mother was inside.
"it's been a difficult day, but it's not done yet," Amador County Sheriff Mike Trizmich said Saturday afternoon.
Authorities arrested driver Joshua Julin, 20, of nearby Mokelumne Hill. Witnesses described the car speeding on the narrow road that parallels the river, a California Highway Patrol spokeswoman said.
Julin's father, Bret, said the missing woman was Katie Corbett, his son's girlfriend of about a year. He identified the children as Corbett's daughter Kiara, 2, and Julin's daughter Mariah, 3, and son Andrew, 1.


Houston Chronicle
June 7, 2003

Driver leaves scene of fiery fatal crash, police say

By PEGGY O'HARE

A driver fled the scene of a fiery accident that killed one passenger and injured another in northeast Houston early today.
Alcohol may have played a role in the crash, which happened at 5:05 a.m. In the 7300 block of East Hardy Road near Crosstimbers, Houston police reports show.
A 1996 Chrysler was northbound on East Hardy Road when the vehicle left the road, crossed the median into the southbound lanes of traffic and hit the west wall, police reports show. The vehicle then bounced off the wall and rolled over. At some point, one of the passengers was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene, police said. That victim's name was not being released by the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office until later.
The driver and the passenger who survived are believed to have shaken the dead man in a futile attempt to revive him, but the driver was then picked up by someone in a black vehicle and fled the scene, police said. The surviving passenger, a Houston man, was taken to Ben Taub Hospital.
The vehicle burned after the final impact when it crashed into the wall. Houston police are investigating the incident as a hit-and-run fatality.


News 8 Austin
6/3/2003

Driver sentenced for intoxication assault

By: News 8 Austin Staff

A jury sentenced Michael Munson to 20 years in prison for running over a Smithville police officer.
Munson was driving drunk last July and he pleaded guilty to intoxication manslaughter.
Munson was also on parole for at least three other drunk driving convictions at the time of the crash.
Officer Ray Shappa was directing traffic when Munson's car hit him. Shappa was seriously injured and doctors had to amputate his left leg.


Star Tribune - Minneapolis
June 3, 2003

Lake Benton shaken by crash that killed 3

Paul Levy, Star Tribune

Nearly 500 people came to honor Lake Benton's graduating class of 14 Saturday, but that was just the beginning. Since then, well-wishers have flocked by the hundreds to a small-grain farm to honor one graduate who died hours before Saturday's ceremonies.
In this southwestern Minnesota border town of 700, everybody seemed to be talking Monday about Nathan Johnson, 18, the jovial 6-foot-3 farm kid who brought his English teacher lunch every day, and Alicia Vos, 17, also of Lake Benton. Early Saturday their car collided head-on with a truck driven by Lance Oppelt, 25, of Elkton, S.D., killing all three and injuring two others.


The Commercial Appeal - Memphis
June 2, 2003

Driver in deaths of Southwind students pleads guilty, gets 22 years

By Lawrence Buser
buser@gomemphis.com

A young woman charged with killing two boys and critically injuring a third in an alcohol-related car crash pleaded guilty Monday morning and was sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Christina Nicole Morgan, 26, entered her plea in Criminal Court as jury selection was set to begin. The settlement of the high-profile case was approved by family members of the victims and accepted by Judge Arthur Bennett.
Killed in the crash were Malcom Williams and Edgar Akpotu, both students at Southwind Middle School in southeast Shelby County. Another student, Jake Overzet, was injured. The students, all age 12, were walking home from school when Morgan's car jumped the curb and struck them on May 21 last year.
Morgan, whose blood-alcohol content was .12, was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide involving alcohol and with vehicular assault, charges that would have carried up to 28 years in prison.


LAS VEGAS SUN
June 02, 2003

For So. Nevada bicyclists, speed by motorists can kill

By Jen Lawson
<lawson@lasvegassun.com>

George Wheatin, a 61-year-old bicyclist who was killed May 25 along State Route 160 near Mountain Springs, was known as "Speedin' Wheatin" from his racing days.
But Nevada Highway Patrol troopers say a 22-year-old motorcyclist, Jeremiah Carlson, was the one who was speeding when he collided with Wheatin near a summit along a scenic route popular with all types of two-wheelers.
Speeding drivers are a problem that Las Vegas area bicyclists face every day, said Debbie Craig, co-owner of Pro Cyclery at 7034 W. Charleston Blvd. But the danger is particularly high along the stretches of roadway that Wheatin rode in the last hours of his life, S.R. 160 and S.R. 159, authorities said.
State Route 159 is the scenic highway that winds through Red Rock Canyon and it links with S.R. 160.
S.R. 159 -- also known as Charleston Boulevard -- from Summerlin through Red Rock Canyon to S.R. 160 and up to the Mountain Springs summit is the most popular bike route in the valley, several bike enthusiasts said.
It's also popular with motorists, however.
"(Drivers) are speeding and looking at the scenery, looking at the mountains," Craig said. "There are so many distractions, and people aren't paying attention to the roads."
Wheatin was riding alone on S.R. 160 north when the crash occurred at about 9 a.m. May 25. Trooper Wayne Prosser said Wheatin had reached the summit and was turning around in the center turn lane when Carlson, also heading north, allegedly struck him.
The speed limit along the roadways used to be 45 mph but within the last few years it was increased to 60 mph and 65 mph in various stretches, officials said.
Dr. John Davis, 47, a Summerlin resident who has been cycling in the area for years, said the near misses along the roadway increased when the speed limit went up on what some call "Widowmaker Road."
"I stopped riding out there for several months because every time I went out I had too many close calls, too many skids to try to keep from getting hit," he said. "And drivers out there act like the wild burros in the area have dropped in from outer space. They see one and they slam on the brakes. I've seen many near collisions of multiple vehicles because of the burros.
"On the other hand," he added, "people who ride bikes out there do get a little cavalier. I've seen 10 people riding together and two of them will be out in the middle of the road. Everybody just needs to look out for each other because it's getting a heck of a lot more traffic. On weekends it gets to be practically bumper to bumper."
Carlson apparently was going above the speed limit when he hit Wheatin, but his exact speed hasn't been determined yet, Prosser said.
Wheatin and Carlson were wearing helmets. Carlson was riding with a group of other motorcyclists but only one stopped to check for injuries, authorities said. Charges were still pending against Carlson this morning, Trooper Angie Wolff, Nevada Highway Patrol spokeswoman, said.
Bruce Mackey, bicycle and pedestrian safety education officer for the state of Nevada, said Wheatin's death was "very unusual."
"This is the first occurrence that I can think of in the past five years where a motorcycle collided with a bicycle," he said.
But Wheatin was the third bicyclist killed in Clark County this year, and the second bicyclist to die in the S.R 159/S.R. 160 area in the past nine months, Mackey said.
Last August, 39-year-old Timothy Poore of Las Vegas was struck by a car and killed as he pedaled along the paved shoulder where S.R. 159 enters Red Rock Canyon.
Davis said the death hit home for him because it was along his regular cycling route.
"The cycling community is very small," Mackey said. "And when one of us dies, it sends ripples through the whole community."
Mackey said he's gotten e-mails from cyclists who are very upset about Wheatin's death.
"I've heard some wonderful things about this cyclist. He was a former racer, a great guy, very involved in biking locally and all of a sudden we lose him. It's a great tragedy."
Wheatin was a regular customer at Craig's bike shop, she said.
"He came in all the time and said, 'Speedin' Wheatin is here!' " Craig said. "He was a bike racer in Chicago, then about four years ago he got back into it again."
Whenever bicyclists get on a highway, they're facing danger, Trooper Angie Wolff said.
But Mackey said if a bicyclist has proper training, bicycle riding can be one of the safest forms of recreation. After all, he said, 10 times as many pedestrians get struck and killed by vehicles.
But there are generally many more pedestrians than bicyclists on and around the roadways, so that increases the odds that more pedestrians will be killed by traffic.
Craig said minor collisions between bicycles and cars happen more often than people realize. People come into the shop fairly often with bikes damaged from collisions with cars, but because the cyclists weren't hurt, no one ever hears about them, she said.
Her husband, Richard, co-owner of the bike shop said: "Close calls are kind of a daily thing for me. If you ride every day you're bound to run into one or two a day. I'm jaded to the whole experience."
Craig said she'd like to see Clark County build more bike paths to give leisure riders a safe place to ride. Off-road bike paths exist near interstate 215 in Henderson and Summerlin. The plan is for the paths to eventually connect, but that won't happen until the construction of I-215 is complete.


Boston Globe
6/1/2003, page B2

Alcohol cited in fatal accident
Marlborough youth faces many charges

By Steve Eder, Globe Correspondent

Marlborough police say Michael J. Murphy, 18, was intoxicated when the car he was driving crashed early Thursday, leaving a friend dead and himself critically injured.
An investigation into the crash that killed Rhys A. Jenkins, 18, of Northborough, showed Murphy was under the influence of alcohol while driving a Mercury sedan before 2 a.m. on Thursday near the Northborough-Marlborough line, Marlborough Police Sergeant Richard Oldroyd said.
Murphy, of Marlborough, will be charged with homicide by motor vehicle under the influence of liquor, operating recklessly, speeding, failure to keep right, and failure to wear a seat belt, Oldroyd said. None of the passengers wore seat belts, police said.
Murphy was in critical condition yesterday afternoon at University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester. Jenkins was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
Three other passengers were treated for minor injuries after the car crashed into a utility pole and fire hydrant on Robin Hill Road by Pondview Drive.


Indianapolis Star
June 1, 2003

Fairland man is killed after pickup hits tree

A Fairland man died Saturday after the pickup he was driving struck a tree near I-74, just east of Post Road in Marion County.
Robert E. Schumake, 65, was preparing to merge onto I-74 from the Post Road exit. Before hitting the tree, the truck struck several construction barrels, according to indiana State Police reports.
State Police continued to investigate to determine why the truck went out of control.


The Cincinnati Post
05-31-2003

Runaway car crashes after chase

Post staff report

A Cadillac careening out of control down the Harrison Avenue hill in South Fairmount Friday afternoon might have been a case of brake failure. A Cincinnati patrolman noticed the white 1987 Cadillac doing about 45 miles an hour on Harrison near the intersection of McHenry Avenue around 12:45 p.m. The officer turned on his lights and gave chase, but the Cadillac didn't stop.
When the officer used his cruiser's loudspeaker to tell the driver of the Cadillac to pull over, one of its passengers stuck his head out a window and hollered the Cadillac had no brakes. The car continued through several intersections, then crashed into Metro Recycling at 2424 Beekman St. and struck a car parked in the employee lot.
Police arrested the driver of the Cadillac, Antonio Hayes of 3045 Brackenwood Lane, Westwood. He was charged with driving under suspension, seatbelt violations and operating an unsafe vehicle.
Two of Hayes' passengers, Robert Hayes and Carlotta Hayes, were treated and released at University Hospital. The car was impounded to determine whether its brakes had actually failed.


Houston Chronicle
June 1, 2003

Woman tries to run down police; officer opens fire in movie theater parking lot

By MIKE GLENN

A Houston police officer working a part-time security job at a northwest side movie theater opened fire Saturday night when a woman tried to run down other officers at the scene, police officials said.
The shooting occurred about midnight at the AMC theater at Tomball Parkway and FM 1960. Officer James Crawford was checking the parking lot when he smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from a gray Honda Accord. He then called for backup from other HPD officers also working part-time details at the theater, police said.
When police officer J.R. Gratz and another officer arrived to help, the woman behind the wheel suddenly drove away, striking the golf cart they were in. Gratz fired at the late 1980s model sedan when it then moved toward Crawford.


The Cincinnati Post
05-29-2003

Man gets 6 months in road rage episode

By Kimball Perry
Post staff reporter

A road rage incident that involved five people in two cars and left one seriously injured ended Wednesday when the main offender was ordered to prison for six months.
Ryan Lovitt, 20, accepted a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to vehicular assault in exchange for assistant prosecutor David Prem dropping three felonious assault charges.
Lovitt was driving his car April 9 in Colerain Township at about 10 p.m. with his friend Timothy Hatfield in the passenger seat.
When Lovitt's car came to a stop at an intersection, he became enraged when a car behind him got too close, and he believed he was being tailgated.
Lovitt screamed curses out the window at the car - driven by Mark Caldwell and occupied by Gabriel Kapp and Thomas Johnson - and the trio responded in kind.
Prem told Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Patrick Dinkelacker that Lovitt and Hatfield continued the battle after both vehicles left the intersection, with Hatfield leaning out of Lovitt's moving car and hitting Caldwell's moving car with a pool cue.
Prem said Lovitt also tried to use his car to twice ram the other car. Lovitt also was speeding when he smacked into the other car, was forced off the road, hit a telephone pole and injured Hatfield, Prem said.
"(Lovitt's) very, very fortunate that he wasn't killed or seriously injured," Prem told the judge.
After the crash, Prem said, Lovitt threatened the victims in the other car after police arrived.


Houston Chronicle
May 31, 2003

Katy teen dies in crash at creek off Mason Road

A Katy teenager was killed early Saturday when he was ejected from a vehicle that crashed into a creek in far west Harris County.
Harris County sheriff's deputies said Nicholas A. Tapia, 18, of the 300 block of Gentilly in Katy was pronounced dead at the scene.
Tapia was the passenger in an automobile traveling northbound on Mason Road about 3:40 a.m. when the driver lost control and veered off the roadway into Mason Creek in the 800 block of Mason Road. Deputies said the driver briefly fled the scene and alcohol may have been a factor, but charges had not been filed.


Charlotte Observer
Friday, May 30, 2003

CATAWBA COUNTY
Woman charged with assaulting officers with car

Police late Wednesday arrested and charged a Newton woman with assaulting two detectives with a car. Police charged 28-year-old Christy Teague Bright with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer after, police say, she fled an arrest at a store Wednesday. Bright shook one detective, Mike Ford, off the car by accelerating and ran over Lt. Rick Coffey, police said.Bright remained in the Catawba County jail Thursday on $102,000 bond. Coffey was released late Wednesday from Catawba Regional Medical Center.


The Cincinnati Post
05-31-2003

Ohio 747 crash kills 2, injures 3

Two men were killed and the driver taking them to work at a West Chester landscaping company was charged with vehicular homicide after he turned into the path of a car coming in the opposite direction Friday morning.
Cosme Monjuras, 25, of Hamilton, was heading south on Route 747 just past Rialto Road shortly after 8 a.m. Riding with him in his 1994 Mazda Prot!"g!" were four co-workers.
With northbound traffic backed up, Monjuras was waiting to turn left into Blue Chip Lawn and Landscaping when another motorist on the inside lane gestured with a wave. Monjuras took it to mean it was safe for him to proceed with the left turn.
As he crossed the center line, the Mazda was struck by a 2001 Ford Explorer, driven by ina Combs, 62, of Fairfield. The impact killed two of Monjuras' passengers, Miguel Ramos, 17, and Fidel Perez, 20, also of Hamilton. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
Two other passengers -- isiais Ramos, 19, and Eusebio Nicanor, 34 -- were taken to University Hospital. Ramos was listed in critical condition, and Nicanor was satisfactory with a broken hip.
Combs was treated and released at Mercy South in Fairfield.
Monjuras was taken to Bethesda North, where he was listed in fair condition. He was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and driving without a license.


FREE PRESS - Detroit
May 29, 2003

Teen is charged in fatal wreck

BY CECIL ANGEL
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

A baby lies in a hospital bed. Her mother is dead and her father is in critical condition - all because a 13-year-old boy with a criminal record ran a red light in a stolen SUV, police say.
The Detroit teenager, a Butzel Middle School student, was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder as a juvenile the day after 20- year-old Myra Carter died in her hospital bed.
Police say the teen and a group of his friends riding in the red Jeep Cherokee were part of a ring of thieves who'd been stealing Chrysler vehicles -- especially Jeeps -- for the past two months in Grosse Pointe Park and on Detroit's east side.
Police say the teen drove through a stoplight at East Warren and Lakeview on Sunday night and crashed into a blue 1995 Chevy Cavalier, killing Carter. She was declared brain dead and removed from life support at about 11 p.m. Tuesday at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, her family said.
Carter's boyfriend, Demiul Williams, 24, and their daughter, Arianna Carter, 8 months, were seriously injured.


Charlotte Observer
Friday, May 30, 2003

MYRTLE BEACH
Charlottean, 6 others killed during 4-day bikefest

Seven bikers - including one from Charlotte - were killed during a four- day Atlantic Beach Bikefest last weekend. John Edward Davis Jr., 31, of Charlotte died early Sunday, after he wrecked his motorcycle at the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. Police said he was driving at a high rate of speed and lost control.


Houston Chronicle
May 29, 2003

Two police chases in one day end with suspects in custody

By MIKE GLENN
Houston Chronicle

Motorists who regularly endure Houston's traffic-clogged streets endured yet another round of traveling headaches Thursday in the form of two police chases through the city's freeways.
The first began about 11 a.m. near the South Loop and Scott and ended downtown when the 20-year-old driver careened into another car and fled on foot before being captured.
The second pursuit kicked off about 3:45 p.m. and ended about a half- hour later when the driver surrendered to police.
A Houston independent School District police officer on his lunch break triggered the first chase when an Oldsmobile, now believed to have been stolen, roared past him. Houston police joined the chase when they spotted the car weaving through traffic along the West Loop near Bellaire.
HPD officers continued the pursuit onto the Katy Freeway and toward downtown. When the driver moved onto interstate 45 and then took the McKinney exit near the City Hall annex, a police supervisor, fearing possible danger to pedestrians, told the officers to back off and that a helicopter would take up the chase.
The driver and a 17-year-old passenger dumped the car after it crashed into a Toyota at McKinney and Smith. Officers chased them on foot, assisted by a man police are now calling an "unsung hero."
"He 'strong-armed' one of the suspects to keep him from fleeing," said police spokesman Robert Hurst.
Both arrested men face charges of car theft and evading arrest. Officer James Price, with the South Central Patrol Division, was slightly injured in the foot chase and ensuing scuffle. A woman in the Toyota was not seriously hurt, police said.
The second chase began when patrol officers spotted a black pickup driving erratically in the 3300 block of Montrose. The driver clipped several vehicles before pulling over in the 6400 block of Martin Luther King.
"He appeared to be intoxicated - either alcohol or drugs," said HPD spokesman Alvin Wright.


Indianapolis Star
May 28, 2003

Mayor's driver blamed for rush-hour accident

By Tom Spalding and Matthew Tully
tom.spalding@indystar.com

Mayor Bart Peterson's assigned driver was to blame for a two-car accident outside the City-County Building Tuesday night, according to a police report released today.
Officer Arthur Rowley Jr. failed to yield the right of way when he pulled out of an underground parking garage, crossed several lanes, and collided with another vehicle in what was described as "heavy stop-and-go traffic" moving north on Delaware Street, the report says.
Peterson, a passenger in the Ford sedan, was shaken but uninjured. Rowley, 42, was transported to Methodist Hospital after complaining of shoulder pain. He underwent X-rays but is expected to return to duty today, the mayor said.
The 5:29 p.m. accident caused $10,000 to $25,000 in damages to both the mayor's 2001 Ford Crown Victoria and to the 1997 BMW sedan driven by James Harper, 55, of Carmel. The Eli Lilly and Co. employee was not hurt in the collision.


Virginian-Pilot - Norfolk
May 29, 2003

Three charged with obstructing justice in DUI case

By MATTHEW ROY, The Virginian-Pilot

NORFOLK - Three people have been charged with obstructing justice in the investigation of the May 6 crash that killed 16-year-old Landon W. Chambers.
They appeared briefly Thursday in General District Court.

Authorities were mum on what the three told investigators regarding the crash at North Military Highway and Azalea Garden Road. After the collision, 30-year-old Roy Lee Everett was charged with drunken driving and other counts.
But police spokeswoman Valorie Massingill confirmed that the obstruction charges involved the crash. Chambers' parents attended the hearing, along with their lawyer.


SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
Thursday, May 29, 2003

Driver gets 3 1/2 years in teen's death

By M.L. LYKE
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

EVERETT - An angry mother yesterday blasted the driver convicted in the vehicular homicide of her 16-year-old daughter, Georgia Pemberton, calling his remorseful three-page statement "bull."
"He willfully murdered my daughter," Katie Pemberton told Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Larry McKeeman during sentencing for Allison Arnold Jr.
Arnold, a 34-year-old plumber from Bellevue, struggled to control himself as he took the stand. "I grieve for Georgia in my heart and soul, I do," he said, his voice rising. "For people to say I don't -- that just eats me up."
Arnold was convicted last month of vehicular homicide in the April 27, 2002, head-on collision with Georgia and a friend, who were going to a post-prom party in Georgia's mother's '97 Ford Mustang.
Prosecutors described how Arnold, playing a "deadly game" with another driver, dodged in and out past cars in his Ford Explorer, finally crossing over the yellow line on state Route 104 in Edmonds and hitting the Mustang.


Detroit Free Press
May 28, 2003

Driver, 13, faces charges in police chase, crash

BY CECIL ANGEL
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

A 13-year-old boy faces several charges after leading police on a chase in a stolen SUV Sunday night that ended with him crashing into a car and injuring three people, including an infant.
The teen was being held Tuesday in the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Center pending charges. Grosse Pointe Park police, who chased the car Sunday, said the boy was arrested early Tuesday after his family reported him to police.
The boy is from Detroit. His name is being withheld because he is a juvenile and charges against him are still being prepared.
"He admitted to knowing the vehicle was stolen and causing the accident," according to a police statement.
According to police, the chase began at 9:30 p.m. Sunday after patrol officers saw a red Jeep Cherokee without a license plate speeding. Officers were looking for a vehicle fitting that description; it had been seen near a car that had been burglarized.
The SUV, which had five people ages 12-16 inside, fled west into Detroit, with police in pursuit. At Lakeview and Warren, on Detroit's east side, the SUV crashed into a car carrying three people.
The youths fled the stolen vehicle, which had the items taken from the burglarized car inside. The injured people in the other car were taken to St. John Hospital in Detroit.
Tuesday evening, hospital spokeswoman Tina Artiga said Demiul Williams, 24, Myra Carter, 20, and their daughter, Arianna Carter, 8 months, were in critical condition.


Philadelphia inquirer
Wed, May. 28, 2003

Two killed in head-on crash near State College

Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - A State College couple were killed when their car crossed into oncoming traffic and was hit head-on by a sport-utility vehicle east of State College.
Grigoriy Akimov, 72, was pronounced dead at the scene of the Tuesday crash; his wife, Dina Akimova, 73, died after being taken to Centre Community Hospital.
Police said Akimov was driving west on Route 322 when the car veered onto the berm, hit the guard rail, then crossed into the eastbound lane, where it collided with a Ford Explorer.
Both people in the Explorer sustained only minor injuries.
Police were still investigating the cause of the crash.


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Driver sentenced in fatal accident

By The Associated Press

HARRISBURG - A 21-year-old Harrisburg man who admitted driving drunk and causing a crash that killed six people last summer was sentenced yesterday to 26 to 52 years in prison.
Dauphin Common Pleas Judge John F. Cherry imposed the sentence after an emotional hearing at which Boyd C. Knouse's family pleaded for leniency and victims' relatives urged the judge to impose a harsh sentence.
Knouse, who had been free on $100,000 bail, faced a mandatory minimum of 18 years, and prosecutors had calculated the maximum at 114 years.
Last month, Knouse pleaded no contest to an array of charges that included six counts of vehicular homicide while driving drunk, which carries a mandatory minimum of three years in prison.
Prosecutors said Knouse, who was 20 at the time of the July 13 crash on the outskirts of Harrisburg, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.11 percent following the accident -- five times the DUI threshold for minors.
Knouse lost control of his car and it struck an oncoming car driven by Rocky Keller Jr., 24, of Harrisburg. Keller, who was seriously injured, and Knouse, who was not, were the only survivors. Two passengers in Knouse's car and four in Keller's car were killed.


New York Times
May 26, 2003

in Town for Fleet Week, Sailor is Killed by Cab

By ROBERT D. McFADDEN

A 20-year-old sailor on the town for the Navy's Fleet Week observances stumbled off a sidewalk in Lower Manhattan early yesterday and was struck and killed by a livery cab, the police said. He was the first sailor killed in the city in 16 years of Fleet Week celebrations, a Navy official said.
The police said the victim, Petty Officer Third Class Phillip A. Simone, of Garfield, N.J., was fatally injured at Leonard and Church Streets in TriBeCa about 3:25 a.m., and was pronounced dead about 20 minutes later at New York University Downtown Hospital, where he was taken by ambulance.
Investigators questioned some sailors who were with Petty Officer Simone as well as the cabdriver, who stopped at the scene. But the police said tests showed that the driver was not impaired by alcohol or drugs. No arrest was made and the death was listed as an apparent accident.


Charlotte Observer
Monday, May 26, 2003

NORTH CAROLINA - BLADEN COUNTY
Man dies in wreck involving sheriff's deputies

ELIZABETHTOWN - The state Highway Patrol was investigating a two-car accident involving three Brunswick County sheriff's deputies that left one motorist dead. Delano William Bobbett, 63, of Bladenboro, died Friday afternoon when the car he was driving collided with a sport utility vehicle carrying the deputies on N.C. 87 in Bladen County, troopers said.Bobbett was driving north on U.S. 701 when his car pulled forward at a stop light and struck the SUV. Trooper K.L. Starkloff said it was unclear who was at fault.
Another passenger in Bobbett's car, Elexis Singletary, 18, of Bladenboro, was in stable condition at New Hanover Medical Center in Wilmington, officials said.
The deputies who had traveled to Fayetteville to get uniforms, were treated at Bladen County Hospital and released. One of the deputies was driving the SUV when the accident occurred.


Austin American-Statesman
Saturday, May 24, 2003

KILLEEN
Teen dies in car wreck

FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

An 18-year-old high school student died Thursday after another car cut in front of him and caused him to collide with a gravel truck, police said.
Aaron Amparo Gutierrez was driving east on Stan Schlueter Loop just before noon when the driver of a westbound Chevrolet Nova crossed the center lane and collided with Gutierrez's car, causing it to collide with an eastbound 18-wheel gravel truck, police said.
Gutierrez, a student at Shoemaker High School, died at the scene. The driver of the Nova was taken to Darnall Army Community Hospital with injuries described as not life-threatening.
The Nova driver's name was withheld pending charges. The truck driver was not injured.


Houston Chronicle
May 25, 2003

Couple killed in motorcycle-truck collision

By MIKE GLENN
Houston Chronicle

A man and a woman were killed early this morning on the northwest side when the motorcycle they were riding collided with a pickup, Houston police said.
The accident occurred shortly before 2 a.m. In the 1700 block of the West Loop North. Both vehicles were northbound and the motorcycle apparently struck the rear of the pickup.
The man driving the motorcycle, who has not been identified, was killed at the scene. The passenger was taken to Ben Taub General Hospital where she later died.
Police have not identified the driver but said the woman was Tijana Daggs, age unknown -- a call-taker with the Houston Police Department's emergency communications section.
The man driving the pickup was taken into custody after officers at the scene determined he was intoxicated, police said.


The Austin American-Statesman
Saturday, May 24, 2003

AUSTIN
Motorcyclist dies in wreck

FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

The driver of a motorcycle was killed early Friday near downtown Austin.
Police said the man was driving a 2002 Suzuki west in the 1800 block of West Sixth Street when he lost control. He died at the scene.
investigators said the man was wearing a helmet. His name has not been released pending notification of his family.


Boston Globe
5/22/2003, page B2

Route 60 crash kills teen, injures 2

By Globe Staff and Wires

A teenager was killed last night in a three-vehicle crash on Route 60 in Malden, authorities said. The teenager had been traveling east on Eastern Avenue in Malden at about 7:20 p.m. when the vehicle he was driving crossed a median strip and hit two other vehicles, police said. All three drivers were taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. One victim was in critical condition last night while the other sustained minor injuries, police said. Police did not immediately release the victims' names.


The Cincinnati Enquirer
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Alcohol called factor in fatal crash
1 died, 9 injured; but I-75 cables may have saved others

By Janice Morse

MONROE - Authorities say alcohol was a factor in a weekend crash that killed a Mason man and injured nine others. But authorities also say recently installed cable barriers possibly prevented more deaths in the three-vehicle pileup on interstate 75.
Timothy C. Strait, 25, of Liberty Township, was charged Monday with aggravated vehicular homicide, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failure to control and failure to wear a seat belt. He is scheduled to appear Wednesday in Butler County Area II Court, Hamilton.
His Ohio driving record shows three previous convictions, all in Mason Municipal Court: a 1995 DUI , a 2000 reckless operation and a 2002 improper turn.
Just before 3 a.m. Sunday, Strait was driving a 1992 Mazda MX-3 that went out of control on I-75 near the Monroe rest area. The Mazda struck the barriers, flipped and slid on the rain-slicked roadway back into the northbound lanes, causing two other vehicles to crash, said Sgt. Bob Potter of the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Hamilton post.
Monroe and Liberty Township emergency crews took Strait and eight others for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries at Middletown Regional Hospital; Strait's passenger, Chad Geiger, 25, of Mason, was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy Monday showed Geiger died from a crushed chest, the Butler County Coroner's Office said. Shorten & Ryan Funeral Home, Mason, is handling arrangements.
Potter said cable barriers, installed this year after a series of deadly median-crossover crashes, performed as expected. "They held the car back from going across the median. ... It definitely could have been worse if the cable barriers hadn't been there," he said.
if Strait's Mazda had crossed into oncoming, southbound traffic, "We definitely could have had more of a tragedy," Potter said.
in an unrelated I-75 traffic fatality Sunday evening, a pedestrian was killed when he tried to cross the northbound lanes at Ohio 123 in Franklin, said Trooper Kevin Bryant of the Patrol's Lebanon post.
Russell Braden, 60, of Dayton, Ohio, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 6 p.m. He had just been cited by a trooper for driving under suspension; the trooper had dropped him off at a restaurant to call for a ride minutes before he was struck by a 1998 Dodge Neon, Bryant said.
The fatality remains under investigation, but Bryant said he didn't expect any charges against the Neon's driver, Jeffrey Pierce, 42, of Grove City, Ohio.


Indianapolis Star
May 20, 2003

i-69 wreck injures 2, fouls commute

By Fred Kelly
fred.kelly@indystar.com

A fiery collision between two semitrailer trucks hospitalized two people and slowed I-69 traffic to a crawl this morning.
Marvin J. Randolph, 38, of Louisiana and Leonard E. Springfield, 32, of Kentucky were hurt when their trucks collided about 4:30 a.m. on I-69 near the 116th Street exit in Fishers, said Sgt. Gerry Hepp of the Fishers Police Department.
The crash caused an explosion, a fire and a gas leak, Hepp said.
Officials from the Hamilton Emergency Management office were investigating and assisting in the cleanup.
Springfield told police that he pulled over to the right shoulder of northbound I-69 to read a map. When he started to drive back onto the highway, his vehicle was struck from behind, Hepp said.
Emergency workers took Springfield to Community Hospital North in indianapolis while Randolph was taken to Methodist Hospital in indianapolis. Their conditions were not immediately available.
Randolph could not recall what happened, Hepp said.
The crash caused heavy damage to both vehicles, lifting Springfield's truck off its rear axle and dislodging the motor from the other truck, he said.
Meanwhile, the wreck shut I-69 for a time and backed up traffic for more than two hours.


Dallas Morning News
05/20/2003

Man held in accident that killed 2 teens

By TANYA EISERER
The Dallas Morning News

A Dallas man faces charges in a fatal weekend accident that killed two high school students and injured a small child.
Elmer Palmer Jr., 35, was being held in the Dallas County jail on two counts of intoxication manslaughter and one count of intoxication assault in connection with the accident. His bail totaled $25,000.
Two Samuell High School students  Ginger Ruiz, 16, and Ana Saldana, 19  died at the scene of the accident about 11 p.m. Saturday in the 7600 block of Military Parkway, police said.
A 10-month-old girl in the car was taken to Children's Medical Center of Dallas, where she had surgery to remove glass from her lungs.
The child ingested the glass when the vehicles collided, a police report said.
The child was listed in fair condition, a police report said.
According to police reports, the teens were traveling north on McNeil Street in Ms. Saldana's car and had halted for a stop sign at Military Parkway before pulling into the intersection.
They were struck by Mr. Palmer, a warehouse worker, who was speeding eastbound on Military in a pickup, the report said.


The Cincinnati Enquirer
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Ky. officer dies in I-75/71 wreck

By Jim Hannah

FORT MITCHELL - A Kentucky wildlife and boating officer was killed Monday afternoon when his vehicle overturned on interstate 75/71, state officials in Frankfort confirmed.
An investigator prepares to photograph the SUV driven by a Kentucky wildlife and boating officer killed in an accident on I-75/71.
The northbound lanes of the interstate at the Buttermilk Pike exit were closed for hours. Traffic was detoured to interstate 275 to interstate 471 until about 7 p.m., said ARTIMIS officials. Southbound lanes remained open, but traffic was slow-moving as it approached the Buttermilk Pike interchange through the evening.
The officer's sport utility vehicle overturned in the fast lane of the interstate northbound shortly before 2 p.m., its emergency lights flashing. The officer was ejected, rescue workers at the scene said. A red sedan, which appeared to have been sideswiped during the collision, was stopped in the slow lane.
Fort Mitchell police were handling the investigation, but had released no details as of late Monday night.


Star-Telegram - Ft. Worth
Tue, May. 20, 2003

Unidentified woman killed trying to cross I-30

An unidentified woman was killed late Saturday when she was struck by an 18-wheeler while trying to cross interstate 30 in Fort Worth.
Police said the woman was crossing the eastbound traffic lanes of the 5400 block of East interstate 30 when the accident occurred about 11:16 p.m.
The driver of an eastbound 18-wheeler traveling on the interstate's middle lane spotted the woman and swerved into the right lane in an attempt to avoid her but the woman was struck and thrown into the guardrail, police said.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.


Chicago Tribune
May 20, 2003

Man struck and killed after walking on highway

CHICAGO - A man walking in the middle of the Eisenhower Expressway near Western Avenue was struck and killed by oncoming traffic early Monday.
The unidentified man was hit at 12:40 a.m. while walking in the eastbound lanes of the expressway a few hundred feet from Western, said State Trooper Michelle Tufenkjian.
The driver who struck him slammed on his brakes and tried to swerve away from the man, but there wasn't time to avoid him, Tufenkjian said.
The victim suffered severe trauma and was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:10 a.m.


Los Angeles Times
May 19, 2003

CALIFORNIA
Santa Ana Man, 21, is Freeway Fatality

By Jennifer Mena, Times Staff Writer

Authorities have identified the man killed Friday on interstate 5 in San Clemente when a piece of a brake drum crashed through the windshield of a sport-utility vehicle as Ruben Serrano Jaramillo, 21, of Santa Ana.
Serrano Jaramillo was a passenger in the SUV driven by his brother, Orange County supervising deputy coroner Joseph Luckey said Sunday.
Serrano Jaramillo was talking to his brother Friday evening when he was hit in the head by an object investigators identified as a part of a brake drum. The brother was pelted by glass shards from the impact, but he survived. Authorities did not release the brother's name.
The accident occurred in the southbound lanes near Avenida Vista Hermosa in San Clemente about 8:50 p.m. A spokesman for the California Highway Patrol said the brothers' vehicle was traveling about 70 mph.
So far, officers have been unable to find the big-rig that lost its brake drum, the spokesman said.


Denver Post
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Driver dies in creek

A 48-year-old Lyons woman died overnight after her car ran off Colorado 7 and landed upside down in St. Vrain Creek. The State Patrol found Brenda Befus's Dodge intrepid almost completely submerged in the water at around 5:45 a.m. Investigators say she was traveling southbound on Colorado 7 when she lost control on a right-hand curve. Her car ran off the right side of the road, rolled down a 40-foot embankment and landed on its top in the creek. Befus was the only person in her car. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators did not know when the crash happened, but say it was likely late Monday night or early this morning. Befus was wearing her seat belt.


Miami Herald
Tue, May. 13, 2003

Two Miami-Dade officers, motorist injured in crash

BY LUISA YANEZ
lyanez@herald.com

Two Miami-Dade police officers were slightly injured Tuesday morning in a car accident in downtown Miami that sent both to the hospital.
Police said the two were in a marked cruiser westbound on Northwest Sixth Street when they collided with a northbound station wagon on Second Avenue. The station wagon may have failed to stop at a red light, police said. The incident happened at 11:50 a.m.


Star Tribune - Minneapolis
May 13, 2003

Rush hour closes with 2 accidents, lighter levels

Brad Stokman

Accidents continued to plague the morning rush hour as it concluded with moderate to light traffic levels today in the Twin Cities.
The higher than normal number of accident during today's morning rush included two, according to MnDOT.


Charlotte Observer
Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Wreck of 5 cars kills motorist

JACKIE MAH
Staff Writer

One man died and three others were hospitalized in a five-car wreck on interstate 85 near the Brookshire Freeway just before rush hour on Monday.
The accident occurred at 4:27 p.m. Three people were taken to Carolinas Medical Center in serious but not life-threatening condition, a Medic spokesman said.
Three of four lanes of southbound I-85 were closed for more than two hours, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol.
The driver of a white Ford van was merging into the right lane on I-85 when he braked suddenly due to heavy traffic at the Brookshire Freeway exit, said Trooper Ben Miller, who investigated the incident. The van struck a silver Chrysler Sebring and then rolled onto its side. The Sebring caught fire after rear-ending a Ford Explorer, and the male driver of the Sebring was killed, Miller said. The Explorer also struck two vehicles, but no one was injured in either of those two cars, said fire department Capt. Rob Brisley.


The Virginian-Pilot - Norfolk
May 8, 2003

Man involved in death was driving illegally

NORFOLK - The man accused of driving under the influence and running a red light, causing an accident Tuesday that killed a city high school student, shouldn't have been behind the wheel.
Roy Lee Everett's license had been suspended, according to authorities, who charged him with third-offense driving under the influence. He already faced a court date from an April 14 drunken-driving arrest.
Everett drove through a red light Tuesday afternoon at Military Highway and Azalea Garden Road, police said. His pickup collided with a 1991 Honda Civic, fatally injuring Landon Chambers and injuring Chambers' older brother, Barney.
Landon, 16, died early Wednesday at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. He was a baseball lover and an honor student at Lake Taylor High School.


Houston Chronicle
Section: Front page

May 10, 2003

Girl killed, 10 injured in blowout
Hearne group returning from Astroworld outing

By Robert Crowe
Houston Chronicle

A Hearne school district van transporting students and teachers home from Astroworld suffered a tire blowout Friday and flipped over in northwest Harris County, killing 17-year-old Jennifer Marie Rocha and injuring 10 passengers.


Dallas Morning News
05/03/2003

Wylie cyclist hit by bus, badly injured
Endurance rider Schwartz fighting for life in Dallas hospital

By Roy Appleton
The Dallas Morning News

Larry Schwartz was on the road again early Thursday, living his passion, riding his bicycle north of McKinney.
By midmorning the Wylie man was flown by helicopter to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, where he was fighting for his life Friday night.
Mr. Schwartz, 42, was pedaling east on FM1461 about 8:05 a.m. Thursday when the mirror of a passing eastbound school bus struck his head, knocking him to the ground, said Senior Cpl. Kent Paluga of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The nationally known marathon cyclist was unconscious when flown to the hospital, Cpl. Paluga said.


New York Times
May 2, 2003

Off-Duty Officer's Car Jumps Divider, Killing Him and Five More

By RONALD SMOTHERS

LINDEN, N.J., May 1 An off-duty police officer from Union County and five employees from a restaurant in Holmdel were killed early this morning when the officer's car jumped a median along Routes 1 and 9 and collided head-on with the employees' car, the authorities said.

car wreck



The Virginian-Pilot - Norfolk
April 17, 2003

Police seek hit-and-run driver who killed motorcyclist

NORFOLK - Police are looking for the driver who fled the scene of a collision Tuesday night that took the life of a motorcyclist.
Robert Quartey, 25, of the 800 block of Chalk Court in Virginia Beach died late Wednesday afternoon of injuries he sustained in the crash.


Houston Chronicle
Section: Local & State
April 20, 2003

Driver dies after hitting pole

A Houston man died Sunday morning after losing control of his car and hitting a utility pole, officials said. israel Martinez, 18, of the 6300 block of Chippewa Blvd., was pronounced dead at the scene of the 12:30 a.m. accident in the 23800 block of Texas 249, according to the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office. Martinez and a passenger were both ejected from the two- door car, which was torn in half after hitting a utility pool on its driver's side, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Office. The passenger, whose name was not released, was taken to Ben Taub Hospital and was listed in critical condition, the sheriff's office said.


Dallas Morning News
04/17/2003

Man dies in hit-run on I-30
Good Samaritan had stopped fellow driver to warn of tire problem

By CHERIE BELL
The Dallas Morning News

MESQUITE  One moment, Thomas Caverly was shaking hands with a Good Samaritan who had waved him over on the interstate to warn of a tire hazard.
The next, what he later said seemed like an explosion left him with a sharp pain in his right arm. His hand was empty.
"The man was lying there on the ground," said Mr. Caverly, recalling the hit-and-run accident that left Audie Ray Hughes mortally injured. "Everything happened in a split second."


Houston Chronicle
Section: Local & State
Feb. 18, 2003

Texas' traffic deaths increase as national figures show decline
Report: Speed, alcohol fuel fatalities

By MICHAEL GRACZYK
Associated Press

COLLEGE STATION - The Texas traffic death toll, soaring even as comparable national figures show a decline, is being fueled by drivers who speed and especially drivers who are drunk, according to research at the Texas Transportation institute.
"Obviously, something bad is going on here in Texas," Dave Willis, director of transportation safety for the institute based at Texas A&M University, said Tuesday.
Statistics show 3,724 people were killed on Texas highways in 2001, more than 10 per day.
"it's like crashing a fully loaded Boeing 737 every two weeks," he said. "it's a big number. And if we crashed a fully loaded Boeing 737 every two weeks in Texas, the Legislature, the governor and everyone else would be up in arms.
"Unfortunately, that is not the case about the traffic safety problem we have currently."



Houston Chronicle
Jan. 15, 2006

HPD officer injured as patrol car hits house

By Houston Chronicle

A Houston police officer remained hospitalized today after crashing his patrol car into a home in the Heights area, authorities said.
The officer, whose identity was not released, lost control of the vehicle about 12:20 a.m. today, striking the house on West 11th near Nicholson.
The people inside the home were not injured.
Witnesses told investigators the officer was not speeding at the time. The officer was taken in stable condition to Memorial Hermann Hospital and remains under observation.
Police said the officer may have experienced a medical problem just before losing control of the patrol car, but he could not be specific.


Las Vegas Review-Journal
Jan. 12, 2006

Driver gets prison term in hit-and-run crash that killed 11-year-old

By GLENN PUIT

Eleven-year-old Amanda Aragon was the type of child who enjoyed teaching her little brother the alphabet and how to count. She made sure she was at the front door to greet her father each day when he came home from work.
But on Oct. 17, a man whose driver's license had been suspended 15 times struck and killed Amanda in a marked crosswalk as she walked to school.
in court Wednesday, Amanda's father asked District Judge Lee Gates to give the driver, Barry Fehler, the maximum prison sentence of six to 15 years. After listening to the parents talk about how the child's death had crushed their family, Gates did.
"Without Amanda, we are lost," Amanda's mother, Anne Aragon, said through tears. "I'm lost."
Amanda was walking to Sawyer Middle School when she entered the crosswalk on Hacienda Avenue at Redwood Street.
Police said two vehicles stopped for her, but Fehler's Geo Metro did not. There were no skid marks before or after the accident site.
"(The impact) scattered her lunch money on the street," prosecutor L.J. O'Neale said. "Some people tried to help. Some others could not bear to."
At least one witness said that just prior to the collision, Fehler had been driving erratically and had even driven onto the sidewalk.
O'Neale said Fehler's view of the crosswalk was not blocked, and after the crash, Fehler fled the scene and took the plates off his car. He was tracked down with the help of witnesses.
A subsequent check of Fehler's driving record showed the multiple suspensions. He had more than a dozen prior traffic citations dating back two decades. He'd previously been cited for running red lights, driving the wrong way on a one-way street and ignoring stop signs. Then, he often failed to show up in court, causing his license to be suspended.
Police said Fehler was driving without a license in an unregistered vehicle at the time of Amanda's death. He was also driving with California plates at the time.
"His whole life has been pointing to a moment like this," O'Neale said. "He has 12 prior traffic offenses. His license has been suspended 15 times."
O'Neale at times fought back emotion in court Wednesday as he told the judge the details of the tragedy and how the child's 12th birthday fell on the same day as Fehler's preliminary hearing.
"She was 11," O'Neale said. "She won't be 12."
Fehler worked as an independent contractor, delivering newspapers for the Review-Journal. The location where Amanda was run over, however, is not in the area for which he was contracted to deliver newspapers, and the time of the collision, 7:30 a.m., was 90 minutes past the end time for deliveries.
in court Wednesday, Fehler apologized to his victim's parents.
"I'm very sorry and somber," Fehler said. "Your loss cannot be measured.
"I will feel self-loathing for my very existence from this day to the end. ... It is not my intention or will to set foot or hand in any car again," Fehler said.
He pleaded guilty to a felony charge of leaving the scene of a traffic collision and asked for probation.
But Gates told him: "If I were to grant your wish of probation, it's like saying this is not important. ... It's good you are contrite, but it's too late now. You have to be punished.
"Parents have to work, and they can't take their children to school ... so we rely on people to do their duty," Gates said. "To follow the law, watch out for children and yield to them in crosswalks -- especially the children.
"Yet people don't follow the law and they drive with complete disregard for the children," Gates said.
Amanda's father, Amado Aragon, offered emotional testimony during the hearing about a promising and talented girl who dreamed of being a teacher or writer.
On the morning of her death, she told her father not to worry if it rained as she walked to school.
He recalled her saying, "Hey daddy, don't worry. I have a hood on my sweater. I can pull it up."
Amado Aragon then cried as he added: "I know raindrops did fall on her face as she (was) on the pavement."
Eleven-year-old Amanda Aragon was the type of child who enjoyed teaching her little brother the alphabet and how to count. She made sure she was at the front door to greet her father each day when he came home from work.
But on Oct. 17, a man whose driver's license had been suspended 15 times struck and killed Amanda in a marked crosswalk as she walked to school.
in court Wednesday, Amanda's father asked District Judge Lee Gates to give the driver, Barry Fehler, the maximum prison sentence of six to 15 years. After listening to the parents talk about how the child's death had crushed their family, Gates did.
"Without Amanda, we are lost," Amanda's mother, Anne Aragon, said through tears. "I'm lost."
Amanda was walking to Sawyer Middle School when she entered the crosswalk on Hacienda Avenue at Redwood Street.
Police said two vehicles stopped for her, but Fehler's Geo Metro did not. There were no skid marks before or after the accident site.
"(The impact) scattered her lunch money on the street," prosecutor L.J. O'Neale said. "Some people tried to help. Some others could not bear to."
At least one witness said that just prior to the collision, Fehler had been driving erratically and had even driven onto the sidewalk.
O'Neale said Fehler's view of the crosswalk was not blocked, and after the crash, Fehler fled the scene and took the plates off his car. He was tracked down with the help of witnesses.
A subsequent check of Fehler's driving record showed the multiple suspensions. He had more than a dozen prior traffic citations dating back two decades. He'd previously been cited for running red lights, driving the wrong way on a one-way street and ignoring stop signs. Then, he often failed to show up in court, causing his license to be suspended.
Police said Fehler was driving without a license in an unregistered vehicle at the time of Amanda's death. He was also driving with California plates at the time.
"His whole life has been pointing to a moment like this," O'Neale said. "He has 12 prior traffic offenses. His license has been suspended 15 times."
O'Neale at times fought back emotion in court Wednesday as he told the judge the details of the tragedy and how the child's 12th birthday fell on the same day as Fehler's preliminary hearing.
"She was 11," O'Neale said. "She won't be 12."
Fehler worked as an independent contractor, delivering newspapers for the Review-Journal. The location where Amanda was run over, however, is not in the area for which he was contracted to deliver newspapers, and the time of the collision, 7:30 a.m., was 90 minutes past the end time for deliveries.
in court Wednesday, Fehler apologized to his victim's parents.
"I'm very sorry and somber," Fehler said. "Your loss cannot be measured.
"I will feel self-loathing for my very existence from this day to the end. ... It is not my intention or will to set foot or hand in any car again," Fehler said.
He pleaded guilty to a felony charge of leaving the scene of a traffic collision and asked for probation.
But Gates told him: "If I were to grant your wish of probation, it's like saying this is not important. ... It's good you are contrite, but it's too late now. You have to be punished.
"Parents have to work, and they can't take their children to school ... so we rely on people to do their duty," Gates said. "To follow the law, watch out for children and yield to them in crosswalks -- especially the children.
"Yet people don't follow the law and they drive with complete disregard for the children," Gates said.
Amanda's father, Amado Aragon, offered emotional testimony during the hearing about a promising and talented girl who dreamed of being a teacher or writer.
On the morning of her death, she told her father not to worry if it rained as she walked to school.
He recalled her saying, "Hey daddy, don't worry. I have a hood on my sweater. I can pull it up."
Amado Aragon then cried as he added: "I know raindrops did fall on her face as she (was) on the pavement."


KIRO-TV Seattle
December 28, 2005

Car Hits Bus, Killing Car Passenger

By KIROTV.com

SEATTLE -- A car crashed into the rear of a parked bus at a transit center in Burien overnight, killing a passenger in the car.
The woman driving the car was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with serious injuries.
Police said the bus had parked after letting off its last passenger and the driver was in a restroom at the time it was hit by the car.
Police said alcohol may have been a factor.
The man who had just gotten off the bus returned and helped pull the injured people from the car but a man died at the scene.


LAS VEGAS SUN
November 17, 2004

Biker killed passing between trucks

A motorcyclist trying to pass between a tractor-trailer and a pickup truck was killed Tuesday when he fell under the wheels of the 18-wheeler, the Nevada Highway Patrol said.
The man was identified this morning by the coroner's office as 52-year-old Rudy Aragon Sanchez of Las Vegas.
Trooper Angie Chavera said Sanchez was riding his Harley-Davidson Road King west on Craig Road toward interstate 15 about 1:30 p.m.
"He comes up on the truck in front of him, realizes he can't get around him, so he tries to go between the two, the truck and the semi," Chavera said.
She said Sanchez hit the rear corner of the pickup, lost control of his bike and fell beneath the tractor-trailer, which was carrying 43,000 pounds of candy bars to Utah.
It is against state law for motorcyclists to pass between moving or stationary vehicles that are in adjacent lanes, but it's a risk many motorcyclists take, Chavera said.
"We're not saying all motorcyclists do it, but the ones that do are risking their lives," she said.


LAS VEGAS SUN
November 12, 2004

Car with teens fleeing police crashes

By Dan Kulin

A stolen car with three teenage girls fleeing from police ran into a minivan on Charleston Boulevard at the end of an interstate 15 off-ramp Thursday night, Metro Police said.
The three girls and driver of the minivan, who was alone in that vehicle, were taken to University Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, Sgt. Chris Jones said.
A police officer, whose name was not released, spotted the Saturn station wagon the girls were in near Palace Station driving recklessly and tried to pull the car over. But the car went onto the I-15 on-ramp at Sahara Avenue, fleeing the officer at speeds reaching 60 to 80 mph, Jones said.
The officer stopped chasing the car once on the highway, he said.
The car then got off the highway at Charleston, an exit about a mile north of Sahara.
At the bottom of the off-ramp, which directs traffic onto East Charleston, the car struck the side of the minivan, causing it to roll onto its roof.
The names of the girls and the woman were not released by police.
Jones said the driver of the Saturn will probably be charged with felony evading police, felony reckless driving and possession of a stolen vehicle.
Police did not realize the car was stolen until after the crash because the car had not been reported stolen, he said.
The collision prompted the police to close off Charleston between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Grand Central Parkway.
Jones said the pursuit will be reviewed, as they all are.
This is at least the second incident that started with a police chase to end in an accident so far this month.
On Nov. 2 a mother and daughter died when a suspect fleeing police ran a red light at Valley View Boulevard and Bonanza Road, hitting the car the two were in.


Houston Chronicle
Oct. 17, 2004

2 children in carjacked van found unharmed

By Associated Press

DALLAS -- Two children were found unharmed early today after the van they were in was stolen from a gas station, authorities said.
The children, 6-month-old Edgar Alonzo and David Alonzo, 3, were waiting in the running van while their mother, Areceli Salazar, 29, went inside the gas station to pay for fuel Saturday night.
While she was paying, a man entered her gray Plymouth Voyager van and drove off with her two sons inside, police said.
The children were found several hours after an Amber Alert was issued for them, the Texas Department of Public Safety said. It was unclear where the van was found.
Dallas police said they were still looking for the suspect, described as a black male in his 30s. Police planned to review videotaped surveillance from the gas station to help in their investigation.
Authorities said the man could face vehicle theft and kidnapping charges.


KOMO 4 NEWS
September 1, 2004

2 Teens Arrested For Hurtling Debris At Passing Cars
Troopers say the teens were throwing everything from a tire iron to a basketball at other cars during the morning commute

By Molly Shen

KING COUNTY - it could've been lethal.
That's how the Washington State Patrol describes the actions of two teenagers on the highway Wednesday.
Troopers say the teens were throwing everything from a tire iron to a basketball at other cars during the morning commute.
And they reached out to hit several cars with a 4-foot long stick.
Witnesses flooded 911, saying the boys were standing in the back of a pickup truck, taking swings at passing cars.
The truck made it down about a 6-mile stretch of Highway 167 before a trooper pulled them over. During that time they hit a total of eight cars.
The tire iron impaled a driver's door then fell onto the road. Amazingly, the driver wasn't hurt.
"it's lethal. It could've been lethal," says Washington State Patrol trooper Kelly Spangler. "Especially if that tire iron had gone through a windshield or hit somebody. Fortunately nobody was hurt in this situation. It seems they would've thrown anything that was in the back of that truck out."
And they did. Drivers were hit with wood debris, a basketball, even a chili dog.
The stick did serious damage, knocking a woman's side mirror off and cracking another driver's windshield.
The prank brings to mind other recent accidents, including the chunk of metal road debris that smashed through Babe Watson's windshield, the unsecured particle board that blinded Maria Federici, and most recently, the long knife that flew off a truck and stuck in a woman's bumper.
What's different and so unbelievable about Wednesday's case -- it was no accident.
"The difference of having someone intentionally try to damage or do harm to you," says Spangler. "It doesn't make any sense."
The boys are 14 and 15-years old. They were arrested and booked into juvenile hall to face malicious mischief charges. The driver of the truck was released.


Austin American-Statesman
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Woman killed in traffic accident with semi truck
Authorities said she apparently lost control, crossed into oncoming traffic

By Tony Plohetski

A Florence woman was killed late Tuesday when her vehicle was struck head-on by a semi truck on U.S. 183 in Williamson County, authorities said.
The accident happened one mile north of County Road 236. Department of Public Safety officials said a 1987 Peterbilt truck was traveling south on U.S. 183 when Melissa Taylor, 27, apparently lost control of her 1995 Lincoln, overcorrected and crossed into oncoming traffic.
Taylor died at the scene. The driver of the semi was not injured.


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Monday, June 09, 2003

2 killed in Turnpike crash in Somerset

By Tom Gibb
Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Two men died early today when the car in which they riding crashed and rolled over in a Pennsylvania Turnpike construction zone nine miles east of Somerset.
The driver of the car may have fallen sleep before the accident, Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller said.
Miller and state police said this morning they were trying to confirm the details of the accident and had not confirmed the names of the victims.
The accident happened at about 3 a.m. as the car was traveling west, two miles west of the turnpike's Allegheny Tunnel. The car veered up an embankment and then flipped over, Miller said.


Virginian-Pilot - Norfolk
June 6, 2003

Man charged in obstructing justice in wreck freed on bond

By MICHELLE WASHINGTON
The Virginian-Pilot

NORFOLK -- A judge set a $10,000 bond on Thursday for a man charged with obstructing justice in the May 6 wreck that killed a high school student.
Jim Martin Browne was released from jail Thursday night.
As conditions of Browne's release, General District Court Judge Ray W. Dezern Jr. ordered him to submit to drug and alcohol testing five times a week and obey a curfew from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. each night. Browne is 32 and lives on Norview Avenue in Norfolk.
Last week, Dezern delayed a bond hearing for Browne when he disrupted the courtroom by whooping on his way out.
Browne was one of three people charged with obstruction of justice in the crash that killed 16-year-old Landon W. Chambers, who was an honor student at Lake Taylor High School. The wreck happened at North Military Highway and Azalea Garden Road.
Police say Roy Lee Everett, 30, ran a red light in his Dodge pickup and hit the Honda Civic that Chambers was riding in. Police said Everett tried to flee, but was chased and caught by witnesses. Everett was charged with felony driving under the influence and other counts.


Atlanta Journal-Constitution
6/9/03

Two killed in Cobb accident

Two people were killed in a Saturday evening wreck on Johnson Ferry Road in Cobb County, police said. Camilo Pachon, 20, of Marietta, was southbound on Johnson Ferry Road near Oak Lane shortly before 6:30 p.m. when his vehicle crossed into the northbound lanes and struck a Ford pickup truck and an infiniti sport utility vehicle, according to Cobb County police spokesman Brody Staud. The passenger in Pachon's vehicle, 19-year-old Hayden Vann of Marietta, was taken to North Fulton Regional Hospital, where she died from her injuries, Staud said. He said Pachon died a short time later at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital. The drivers and passengers in the pickup truck and SUV were not seriously injured, Staud said.


Austin American-Statesman
Monday, June 9, 2003

VALLEY MILLS
Woman dies in wreck

A former Austin woman died Saturday in a wreck near Valley Mills, 20 miles west of Waco.
Tanya Holden, 29, of Valley Mills was driving north on Texas 6 about 11:35 a.m. when her vehicle crossed the center stripe and collided with a Ford F-250 driven by Roy Lee Heugatter, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety said.


Charlotte Observer
Friday, Jun 06, 2003

Perilous 2-lane U.S. 601 claims life of S.C. driver
New safety measures in place; beach route is due to be widened

KYTJA WEIR
Staff Writer

MONROE - An S.C. man died Thursday in the first fatal wreck since officials began new safety measures on an 11-mile stretch of road that has been called the most dangerous route in the Charlotte region.
John Weldon Rivers III, 38, of Chesterfield, S.C., was killed when his car hit a truck on U.S. 601, a popular route to the beach that runs south from U.S. 74 in Monroe to the state line.
In the past 13 years, at least 26 people have died on the hilly two lanes of U.S. 601.
After four teenagers and an adult were killed in two separate wrecks in May 2002, officials increased patrols, installed bigger warning signs and added other safety measures. They also speeded up a project to begin widening the road as early as next year instead of in 2008.
For some, however, widening U.S. 601 can't come soon enough.
"it's got to be four lanes," said Demetri Allison, the truck driver involved in Thursday's wreck. "I don't know when they are going to do it."
N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Mike Crawley said Rivers was killed when his car crossed the centerline and crashed into the back axle of Allison's semi. Crawley said Rivers, who was not wearing a seat belt, died at the scene. Allison was not hurt.
Allison, 42, travels the road daily to deliver Pepsi and has seen many wrecks. He said he delays his deliveries until daylight on wet mornings, when the road is most dangerous.
But on sunny Thursday afternoon, the Charlotte resident was cruising up a hill on his way south to Cheraw.
A few minutes after 2 p.m., he said, he saw a Buick Park Avenue rise over the hill's bluff heading toward him, veering into his lane. He said he moved to the edge of the shoulder to try to dodge the car.
"I felt I had got over far enough for him to turn it back, but it never happened," he said. "He just kept coming. Next thing I know, I felt a boom."
The car ran into Allison's back axle, peeling off a metal strip of the trailer and blowing off an outside tire from the truck. The impact crushed the driver's side of the Buick so the front wheel sat beneath the steering wheel and spun the car 180 degrees.


Dallas Morning News
06/03/2003

Man arrested in Mesquite traffic fatality

From Staff Reports

The man suspected of leaving the scene of a fatal traffic accident Friday night in Mesquite was released from jail Monday after posting $6,000 bail.
Mesquite police said Frank Dorsett, 41, of Mesquite faces three charges of failure to stop and render aid.
Investigators said Mr. Dorsett and another driver were speeding south on interstate 635 near Military Parkway when their pickups collided. Police said Mr. Dorsett fled the scene and the other pickup crossed into northbound lanes and hit a car head-on.
"We're not looking at a guy just driving down the road," said Mesquite police Officer Joe Smith, a traffic investigator. "From what we've gathered, they were going in and out, passing each other."
The car's driver, Rachel Blasingame, 16, and passenger, Tabitha Leonard, 16, were taken to Baylor University Medical Center, where Rachel died.
The second pickup driver, whom police have not identified, was taken to Baylor with unknown injuries.


SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
Friday, June 6, 2003

Woman who was hit by City Light truck dies

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER STAFF

Denyse Carollee, 43, of Seattle died yesterday, three days after being hit by a Seattle City Light truck on the 8900 block of Aurora Avenue North.
Witnesses reported Carollee staggering along the street -- crying, then stepping out onto the roadway from between a parked truck and a motorcycle -- apparently not paying attention to the oncoming traffic.
The city truck passed a car that had stopped suddenly to avoid Carollee, who stepped forward into the rear passenger side of the truck, according to a police report.
The 36-year-old driver of the truck left the scene but was arrested a short time later. Seattle police released him without booking him.


Kansas City Star

Thu, Jun. 05, 2003

Boy, 17, gets five years for hit-and-run death

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A teenage boy who ran over and killed a woman after she confronted him for hot-rodding on a city street has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Frederico Cantu, 17, pleaded guilty in March to involuntary manslaughter and fleeing the scene of a June accident in the death of Bee Etta Harkins, 49. Jackson County Circuit Judge Charles E. Atwell sentenced Cantu Wednesday to five years on the manslaughter charge and three years for fleeing the scene. The sentences will run concurrently.
At the sentencing hearing, Cantu said he panicked and fled the scene without trying to help Harkins.
"It just happened real fast," he said. "I was scared and panicked and I didn't know what to do."
Harkins had been visiting at the home of her son and his family when she saw a car hot-rodding around the block. When she confronted the driver, she ended up on the hood of the car and was run over. She later died at a hospital.
Cantu, who was 16 at the time of the accident, originally had been charged as a juvenile with first-degree murder. He was later certified to be tried as an adult.


KVUE News - Austin
06/04/2003

Man killed in accident on MoPac flyover

One man is dead after an accident on MoPac Wednesday afternoon.
He went off the southbound MoPac/U.S. 183 flyover and crashed into traffic on northbound MoPac.
The victim's name has not yet been released.
Investigators do not believe another vehicle forced him off the roadway. They think the accident was caused by excessive speed.


Los Angeles Times
June 3, 2003

THE VALLEY
Driver Faces Charges in Traffic Death
Woman was allegedly intoxicated when she rear-ended the car of a Westlake High student.

An Agoura Hills woman was arrested Monday on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in connection with the death of a Westlake High School student, who died last month after her vehicle was struck while idling at a red light.
Diana Shakov, 31, was arrested at her home by Ventura County sheriff's deputies after a month-long investigation. Shakov was booked on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of both, said Sgt. Patti Salas.
Investigators determined that Shakov failed to stop for the red light and slammed into the rear of 17-year-old Nicole Johnson's Volkswagen Jetta, Salas said.
Both women were treated for their injuries at Los Robles Regional Medical Center. Johnson died a short time later.
Shakov was driving between 60 and 67 mph at the time of the May 1 accident at the intersection of Thousand Oaks Boulevard and Lakeview Canyon Road, authorities said. The posted speed limit is 45 mph.


Charlotte Observer
Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003

Truck driver goes to court in death of trooper

WAYNESVILLE - The truck driver charged in a wreck that killed a state trooper has made his first court appearance in Haywood County.
A court date for Bradford Thomas Layton's probable cause hearing was set for June 10.
Layton told the court he would hire his own defense attorney.
"We are going to treat this as seriously as we can," Assistant District Attorney Bob Clark said.
Layton, 35, was driving a tractor-trailer that struck Trooper Anthony Cogdill's patrol car Friday. Cogdill was in the car, which was parked for a traffic stop on the shoulder of interstate 40 just west of Waynesville.
Authorities charged Layton with involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving, damage to personal property and possession of drug paraphernalia.


The Kansas City Star
Thu, Jun. 05, 2003

KCK man flees police, dies in late-night crash

By ROBERT A. CRONKLETON

A 23-year-old Kansas City, Kan., man died late Wednesday after taking police on a high-speed chase and crashing into a vacant building.
Kansas City, Kan., police today identified the man as Jamaz Epps. His body was taken to Topeka for an autopsy to determine if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Kansas City, Kan., Michael Kobe said that an officer attempted to stop Epps for improper passing, improper stopping and reckless driving about 11 p.m. Wednesday near 18th Street and Wilson Boulevard, a block south of Central Avenue.
Epps allegedly sped away east on Central, and the officer pursued. When Epps reached 15th Street and Central, the officer terminated the chase because it had become unsafe.
Epps continued eastbound on Central at a high speed. Near Central and interstate 670, Epps turned around in the roadway and sped back.
Kobe said Epps headed westbound on Central, still at high speed. At Pyle Street, just west of Seventh Street, Epps' vehicle jumped a curb on Central and went into a small park. He then crashed into the wall of a vacant business building.
Kobe said Epps died of injuries he suffered in the crash. Kobe would not comment on how fast Epps was going. Police and the Kansas Highway Patrol were investigating.


NBC 10 - Philadelphia
June 4, 2003

One Person Dies in Single-Vehicle Crash
identity Of Victim Not Released

LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP, Pa. - One person is dead after a single-vehicle crash on a busy suburban road.
The accident happened near the Lower Merion High School at the intersection of Montgomery Avenue and Church Road in Lower Merion Township, Pa.
According to authorities, a sport utility vehicle missed a turn and slammed into a tree shortly before 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.


Charlotte Observer
Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003

Truck plummets from I-277, driver OK
Fuel spills after 50-foot fall that tore apart cab and 950-gallon tank

HOWIE PAUL HARTNETT
Staff Writer

A construction fuel truck dumped nearly 1,000 gallons of fuel into Little Sugar Creek after falling off an interstate 277 overpass around noon Tuesday.
Driver Antawan Sanders, 27, told Charlotte-Mecklenburg police he was traveling westbound on 277 just past independence Boulevard when the rear of his truck began to slip. He overcorrected, sending the truck into the left guard rail. The Ferebee Corp. truck slammed into the eastbound overpass, then fell 50 feet onto 10th Street.
"He landed nose first then landed on his (passenger) side," said Brian Wilson, a Charlotte fire equipment technician who witnessed the fall. "The driver was real lucky."
Sanders was treated and released Tuesday night for a minor injury to his right shoulder.
The crash ruptured the 950-gallon tank Sanders was hauling. He told police he had just filled it before getting on the interstate.
Diesel fuel flowed into storm drains then into the creek. Charlotte firefighters stretched flotation devices across the creek at three different locations to contain the fuel.
Hazardous materials crews recovered more than 500 gallons, Charlotte Fire Capt. Rob Brisley said.
The rest, officials hope, will be diluted by the heavy rainstorm that swept through the area Tuesday afternoon.
The spill likely won't affect humans, but aquatic life may suffer, said Rusty Rozzelle, Mecklenburg County water quality program manager.
"There's no drinking water intakes immediately downstream, (but) there are potential impacts to wildlife."
Water quality officials watched Tuesday's cleanup and will monitor the creek closely for the next few days.
Each year, at least 50 transportation accidents cause fuel to spill into county water bodies, Rozzelle said.
Most involve less than 100 gallons of fuel.


K-EYE NEWS - Austin
Wed. Jun 4

Big Rig Accident Closes I-35 For Hours

After Several hours of being shut down, the northbound lanes of interstate 35 opened back up Wednesday morning. They are back up to speed after a big rig accident. Two 18-wheelers collided on the wet pavement about 3 Wednesday morning. One of the big rigs was sheared almost in half, amazingly, only minor injuries were reported. Emergency crews cleared the accident and opened the road back up to commuters around 8 am Wednesday morning.


Daily Herald - Everett, Wash.
Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Road rage no accident; it's intentional, deadly

Anyone who sat in Monday evening's traffic headed south on I-405 knew something was terribly wrong ahead of them. Long before drivers checked their odometers and their watches only to confirm they were moving in inches, not miles, it was clear this was no fender-bender. The parade of emergency vehicles, troopers and a state Department of Transportation vehicle made that obvious.
It was disheartening to learn the fatal crash appears to be another case of road rage and aggressive driving.
The Washington State Patrol said the driver of a Chevrolet Blazer was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic before pulling in front of another car and slamming on the brakes. The Blazer was struck from behind, sent rolling over the roadway and the driver died.
As much as we sometimes feel like teaching another driver a lesson, it's never worth sacrificing your own life or that of someone else. Whatever point we're trying to make will never matter long enough to make such a tragedy worthwhile.
It has been a little more than a year since 16-year-old Georgia Pemberton was killed on her way home from her prom. The Lake Stevens girl was traveling along Highway 104 when Allison Arnold, who was playing a cat-and-mouse game with another driver, crossed the centerline and struck her Ford Mustang. Arnold was convicted of vehicular homicide and sentenced to more than three years in prison. At his sentencing, he apologized but insisted the crash was an accident.
In news articles and reports, crashes are often synonymous with "accidents." The words are used interchangeably. But they are not the same.
Road rage isn't an accident.
Missing a car in your blind spot and moving into a lane could be considered an accident. Being the fifth car in a 12-car pile-up could be considered an accident. Swerving to miss an animal is an accident. A tree falling on your car during a windstorm is an accident.
Acting on your anger is no accident. It is intentional and it is the height of irresponsibility and arrogance when you're operating a vehicle. Just because you don't intend to kill anyone when you drive dangerously doesn't make your crime an accident.
Traffic was backed up for hours Monday night as troopers conducted their investigation. Each and every driver on that stretch of road had somewhere to go. Most, if not all, were late. But they didn't act out. They waited. And they made it to their destinations late, but alive.


KXAN-TV News 36 <> 06/04/03

i-35 Wreck
Northbound I-35 Lanes Back Open

The northbound lanes of I-35 are back open again Wednesday morning in South Austin after a messy morning commute. Two 18-wheelers were involved in an accident just after 3 a.m. Wednesday, near the Riverside and Woodland exits.
Fortunately, no one was injured, but it did take crews about four hours to clear out the mess.
Traffic was backed up along the interstate and frontage roads for several miles in the area


Daily Herald - Everett, Wash.
Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Bad drivers, bad crash
Two with suspended licenses collide, only one survives

By Katherine Schiffner
Herald Writer

A man who died in what police say was a road-rage incident Monday night shouldn't even have been behind the wheel. A second man injured in the crash shouldn't have been driving, either.
The licenses of both drivers had been suspended, and they each have a history of bad driving, court records say.
The crash, which happened shortly before 7 p.m. Monday on I-405, was caused by "a classic case of road rage and aggressive driving," State Patrol trooper Lance Ramsay said Tuesday.
David A. Burelison, 40, of Mill Creek, died and a 22-year-old Woodinville man suffered minor injuries.
Troopers are investigating the incident as a possible vehicular homicide, Ramsay said. The second driver's name is not being used because he has not been charged.
The two men apparently never crossed paths before the deadly crash, but court records show both have been convicted of a long list of traffic violations, including reckless driving.
In unrelated cases, police pulled over each man in the same week -- stopping Burelison in Mill Creek on May 24 and the other driver in the Kirkland area on May 22. Both were cited for driving with a suspended license.
Burelison had at least 22 traffic-related violations, plus convictions for second-degree burglary, fourth-degree assault and other misdemeanors, court records show.
The driver from Woodinville has been cited for 10 traffic violations. He was ordered to attend traffic safety school after pleading guilty to reckless driving and third-degree driving with a suspended license in November 2001.
The two drivers encountered each other Monday night on a busy stretch of southbound I-405 north of the Highway 527 interchange, Ramsay said.
Witnesses already had called police to report that Burelison was driving erratically, speeding and weaving in and out of traffic, Ramsay said.
When his Blazer got behind the Woodinville man's Saturn, Ramsay said the Saturn driver reportedly tapped his brakes.
"That's something you never want to do (if someone is tailgating). What you want to do is move over and let the vehicle go by," Ramsay said.
The Blazer then pulled up next to the Saturn. The Saturn driver told troopers Burelison made an obscene gesture, then pulled in front of him and hit the brakes.
In an attempt to avoid hitting the Blazer, the Saturn driver yanked the car left into the carpool lane, Ramsay said, but lost control and came back into the Blazer's lane.
The Saturn struck the Blazer, causing the Blazer to roll over four or five times, Ramsay said. Burelison died at the scene.
The other driver was treated for minor injuries at a Kirkland hospital and released. Neither car was carrying passengers.
Police and prosecutors say there's little they can do to keep bad drivers from getting behind the wheel, even when they have suspended licenses.
"You can take their license. You can take their car. You can put them in jail for short periods of time, medium periods of time, long periods of time. When they get out, the likelihood is they're going to get behind the wheel of the car and do the same things again," said Mark Roe, Snohomish County's chief criminal deputy prosecutor.
Even so, Ramsay said the State Patrol is working to stop aggressive driving, including using undercover cars to catch drivers. Statewide, troopers wrote 5,849 tickets for negligent driving from January 2002 to March 2003 -- a 20 percent increase from the previous year and a half.
That's just one of the citations troopers can issue to drivers who break two or more traffic laws, such as speeding and following too closely.
"We're doing everything we can to target this," Ramsay said. "Some people have to realize (the problem) themselves before they can understand that somebody can be seriously injured or killed."
Still, he said, there's plenty of evidence road rage can be deadly.
Last year, Georgia Pemberton, 16, of Lake Stevens was killed on her way home from her prom near Edmonds in a crash prosecutors say was caused by road rage.
One of the drivers involved, Allison Arnold Jr., 34, of Bellevue was convicted of vehicular homicide and sentenced last week to nearly 3 1/2years in prison. A second driver, Lukasz Pawel Kutek, 21, of Shoreline also has been charged with vehicular homicide and is scheduled for trial beginning June 23.
Traffic jams and bad drivers can trigger anger, Roe said, but drivers need to remember the risk when they let that anger affect their behavior on the road.
"I hate traffic and aggressive driving and getting cut off as much as anybody. You have to ask yourself before you react to it, 'How much do I have to lose?'" he said.
"Balance that out with being one minute later to your destination. Try and think about taking that minute instead of hurting and killing someone."


ASSOCIATED PRESS
Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Charges filed after child left in hot van

By Anita Chang

LANCASTER, Texas - Two day-care workers were charged Tuesday in connection with the death of a 2-year-old boy who was left in a sweltering van for more than two hours after a trip to a pizza restaurant.
"We believe things were not done that should have been done to provide for the safety of the children," Sgt. Joe Hall said at a news conference Tuesday in Lancaster.
Jimmie Smith, 47, and Onetha Conners, 42, both of Lancaster, were charged with injury to a child, a second-degree felony.
Workers at the Little Dudes and Daisies Daycare and Learning Center in Lancaster said that Alan Brown Jr. was inadvertently left in the van Friday afternoon after he and 11 other children returned from an outing to a pizza restaurant. He died early Tuesday at a Dallas hospital.
"We don't have any reason to believe anyone intentionally left the boy in the van," Hall said.
The workers realized Alan was missing about two hours later, after the other children napped and were woken up for snacktime, authorities said. Day-care workers found the boy unconscious in the van and emergency help was called. He died early Tuesday morning at Children's Medical Center in Dallas.
Hall said Smith and Conners are the two day-care workers who went on the trip to the restaurant with the children.
"They returned from a trip and one of the children spent two hours in a locked van," Hall said. "There's some culpability there."
"The temperature was over 100 degrees Friday and he was suffering from heat-related injuries," Hall said.


New York Times
June 3, 2003

High Speed Cited in Crash That Left 4 Dead

By SHAILA K. DEWAN

A car that veered off the Jackie Robinson Parkway in Queens just before midnight Sunday, killing four of the six friends inside and critically injuring the others, had been traveling at high speed, the police said.
The family of one victim said investigators told them that the car, a Toyota Camry, was traveling at 80 to 90 miles per hour when it bounced off a wall and rammed into a tree. A small fire broke out, said Firefighter Paul iannizzotto, a spokesman for the Fire Department, and a passing driver tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher until fire trucks arrived. The six passengers were pinned inside the car, he said.
The crash took place near Metropolitan Avenue in Kew Gardens, one of the straighter stretches of a winding road linking Brooklyn and Queens.
Yesterday evening, the city medical examiner's office had not yet determined whether the driver of the car had been drinking or using drugs, a spokeswoman for the office said.
The victims, Alilexis Guzman, 28, Mayra del Rosario, 23, Diony Richez, 20, and the 25-year-old driver, whose name the police withheld until his family was notified, died of blunt-impact injuries, said the spokeswoman, Ellen Borakove.
Another passenger, Lenny Castro, 23, who was raised in the same household as Mr. Richez, was in the intensive care unit at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center yesterday. He was not aware that Mr. Richez, whose father has been in a long-term relationship with Mr. Castro's mother, was dead, relatives said.
A cousin riding in the car, Engels Caro, 24, was also in intensive care. Both were in grave condition, the authorities said, with multiple fractures and head injuries.


Mercury News - San Jose
Posted on Mon, Jun. 02, 2003

News in brief from California's North Coast

Associated Press

SANTA ROSA, Calif. - An elderly Sonoma woman was arrested after her involvement in a fatal wreck in eastern Sonoma County, authorities said.
Virginia Casella, 75, was booked for investigation of drunken driving after the wreck Sunday that claimed the life of a 31-year-old Sonoma man.
The victim was in a car that was westbound on Napa Road, driving partially in the eastbound lane, when she collided with a car driven by Eduardo Laguanas, 45, of Sonoma.
Laguanas suffered major injuries and was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for treatment. The dead man, whose name wasn't released, was a passenger in Laguanas's car.
Casella was taken to Queen of the Valley Hospital with major injuries, officers said.


Mercury News - San Jose
Mon, Jun. 02, 2003

News in brief from the San Joaquin Valley

Associated Press

PIEDRA, Calif. - Two children died Sunday and their father was being held on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after their sport utility vehicle plunged off an embankment into the Kings River, police said.
Jess Ledesma, 37, of Fresno, swam free from the Ford Bronco. Rescuers found his 7-year-old daughter still buckled in her seat belt inside the car. The man's 8-year-old son was found a short distance downstream. Both children drowned.
The crash occurred shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday.
The children's mother witnessed the accident from a vehicle she was following in and called police.
"There were toys in the middle of the road, and the mom was crying," said Heath Gravatt, 24, of West Clovis, who came upon the scene shortly after the crash.
The family had been on a picnic at a nearby park and was heading home to Fresno when Ledesma lost control of his vehicle on a curve and ran off the road just before a bridge


Austin American-Statesman
Monday, June 2, 2003

SAN ANTONIO
Woman, 3 children die in wreck

Compiled from staff and wire reports

A pregnant woman and three children died in a wreck Saturday night when a sport-utility vehicle struck a minivan carrying nine people, police said Sunday.
Oscar Vaquera, 24, the driver of the SUV, was being held Sunday on four counts of intoxication manslaughter, two counts of intoxication assault and six counts of failure to stop and render aid, said San Antonio police spokesman Richard Solis.
Rosemary Sintas, 43, and a 3-year-old boy were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident just before 7 p.m. Saturday. Two 8-year-old boys died at University Hospital shortly after they arrived there.
The names of the children were not immediately released pending notification of relatives. Witnesses to the crash told police that they saw the SUV run a stop sign and hit the minivan broadside.


Houston Chronicle
May 30, 2003

Driver in deadly bus crash will face criminal charges

Associated Press

WACO - A charter bus driver has been charged with criminally negligent homicide in connection with a deadly crash on rain-slick interstate 35 in February.
Johnny M. Cummings, 59, planned to surrender at the McLennan County Jail on Friday, two days after the charges were filed in connection with seven deaths, authorities said.
The bus, operated by Central Texas Trails of Waco and chartered by a Temple church group, was south of Waco on Feb. 14 when it crossed the median and collided with a Chevrolet Suburban. Five bus passengers and two in the sport utility vehicle died, and dozens more were injured.


Mercury News - San Jose
Fri, May. 30, 2003

Plea deal sought in fatal accident
P.A. TEEN EXPECTED TO ADMIT GUILT, TRY TO AVOID PRISON

By Jessie Seyfer

A roadside memorial was set-up on Miranda Avenue, the site of a deadly hit and run accident where six-year-old Amy Malzbender was killed, in February.
A Palo Alto teen accused of driving a station wagon into two girls in January, killing one, is expected to plead guilty to a vehicular manslaughter charge Monday as part of a deal to keep her out of state prison, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.
Under the agreement, which must be approved by a judge, Megan Coughran, 18, would also plead no contest to one count of felony hit-and- run. She still would face up to a year in county jail, probation and potential fines, sources said.
The deal would bring legal resolution to a case that rocked a close-knit Palo Alto neighborhood. Coughran lives just a few blocks from the victims' families and had babysat one of them.


King County Journal - Seattle
2003-05-30

Roads worker killed

by Jeff Switzer
Journal Reporter

She was a mother with long brown hair and bouncing brown eyes. A petite softball player. Her laugh sounded like Woody Woodpecker, but with an unforgettable snort as a finale.
North Bend and Snoqualmie Valley residents shared memories of Tonya Riexinger, 40, who died in a work accident Thursday morning when a county dump truck backed over her.
The accident happened on a secluded, twisting back road overshadowed by mossy trees and within earshot of the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River.
Riexinger was part of a nine-member work crew repairing a shoulder on Southeast Middle Fork Road.
At about 8:30 a.m., the crew's dump truck -- filled with dirt and branches -- struck and backed over Riexinger.
At some point during the accident, the driver slammed on his brakes with considerable force, an investigating state trooper said.
Paramedics declared Riexinger dead at the scene, just a few miles away from her mother's house.


The Cincinnati Post
05-30-2003

Woman sentenced in DUi

By Kimball Perry
Post staff reporter

Danielle White admits she was drunk Dec. 6, when the car she was driving ran a red light, causing a wreck that killed Paul "PJ" Jackson. Her attorney, though, blamed the dead man for at least part of what happened.
"(Jackson) had a higher level of alcohol in his system than (White) did," attorney Leslie i. Gaines Jr. told Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Fred Nelson during a sentencing hearing Thursday.
White's blood-alcohol content after the crash was .12 percent, above Ohio's legal limit of .10 percent. Jackson also had cocaine in his system, Gaines added, and witnesses to the crash almost broke out into a fist fight when they disagreed on who ran the red light, White or Jackson.


Houston Chronicle
May 31, 2003

18-year-old from Spring dies in two-vehicle crash

A Spring man was killed in a two-car crash in Montgomery County, state police said.
Michael Eugene Scott, 18, of the 3400 block of Longshadows died at the scene of the crash, which happened around 1:30 a.m. Friday on Rogers Road, north of Willis, said Texas Department of Public Safety officials.
Scott was a passenger in a vehicle that was speeding before it went off the road, then was overcorrected, which caused it to skid sideways, DPS officials said. The vehicle then struck an oncoming car, DPS officials said. Three other people were injured, but survived, reports show.


The Cincinnati Post
05-29-2003

Motorist is jailed in fatal accident

By Kimball Perry
Post staff reporter

Joshua Montgomery and Scott Carpenter had birthdays just three days apart and were inseparable growing up. That's one reason it was so difficult for Debbie Geiger, Montgomery's mother, to watch Carpenter go to jail Wednesday for his role in the death of her son.
"Joshua and Scott had been like brothers for years, and I treated them like such," Geiger wrote in a letter read Wednesday by Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Melba Marsh.
Marsh was presiding over the sentencing of Carpenter, who was convicted last month of aggravated vehicular homicide in Montgomery's death.
Carpenter admitted he was driving drunk, with Montgomery as a passenger, north on interstate 75 near Paddock Road in the early morning hours of Feb. 8.
The Ohio Department of Transportation had the high-speed lane blocked while a crane was being used to repair overhead lines.
The car driven by Carpenter smashed into the crane, killing Montgomery.
"It was an accident waiting to happen," Geiger wrote.
Carpenter's blood-alcohol content of .23 percent was more than twice the legal limit, according to police.
He also had marijuana in his system, police said.


SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
Friday, May 30, 2003

Woman dies after being hit by truck

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER STAFF

A 40-year-old North Bend woman was struck by a dump truck and killed early yesterday. The incident occurred at a work site on the Lake Dorothy Road five miles east of North Bend. Tonya Reixinger was a temporary utility worker and was hit about 8:30 a.m., the King County Sheriff's Office said.
investigators from the state Department of Labor and industries, who look into workplace accidents, were on the scene.


LAS VEGAS SUN
News briefs for May 28, 2003

Bicyclist killed in collision is ID'd

A bicyclist who was killed Sunday morning while riding along State Route 160 near Blue Diamond has been identified by the Clark County coroner's office as George Wheatin, 61, of Henderson.
The Nevada Highway Patrol said Wheatin and a man on a motorcycle collided while heading east on the highway. Wheatin was pronounced dead at the scene, and the motorcyclist was taken to University Medical Center with serious injuries.


San Francisco Chronicle
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Drunken driving arrests jump over holiday

Charlie Goodyear, Chronicle Staff Writer

Bay Area traffic deaths, accidents and arrests involving drunken driving increased over the Memorial Day holiday from the same period a year ago, the California Highway Patrol said Tuesday.
Police arrested 493 motorists on suspicion of driving under the influence in the nine Bay Area counties between Friday and Monday, up from 313 last year.
in addition, 25 injury crashes, including one that killed a San Jose man, were blamed on alcohol, up from 17 last year.
There were no drunken driving fatalities in the Bay Area over the same weekend in 2002, authorities said.
The increase in arrests was a result of better enforcement of drunken driving laws and beefed-up patrols, including 12-hour shifts, that are part of the nation's heightened security, authorities said.
"it's encouraging that we can take so many people off the road," CHP Sgt. Wayne Ziese said. "But it's discouraging to see that the message hasn't reached so many people who don't decide to use a designated driver."
investigators said Tuesday that drunken driving was the likely cause of a crash Sunday on interstate 580 in Dublin that killed Abelavdo Sanchez- Escamilla, 24, of San Jose, a passenger who was hurled through the rear window of a car when it flipped off the freeway.
The CHP has not determined whether alcohol played a role in an accident that killed three people and injured five others when two cars collided near Livermore on Monday afternoon.


The Courier-Journal - Louisville
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Wreck halts traffic on I-64 entrance ramp

Traffic was halted for about an hour on the Second Street entrance ramp to eastbound interstate 64 after a car rear-ended a sport-utility vehicle during the afternoon rush hour, said Alicia Smiley, a Louisville Metro police spokeswoman.


Austin American-Statesman
Wednesday, May 28, 2003

PASADENA
Truck crashes into restaurant

Compiled from staff and wire reports

A man who drove a tow truck into the front wall of a restaurant, injuring a patron, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on Tuesday.
Stefan Ray, 47, remained jailed without bail a day after his former girlfriend called police to the restaurant where she worked, complaining that Ray was harassing her.
The woman reported "the suspect called her at work and threatened to kill himself by driving his truck through the wall of the restaurant," Pasadena police spokesman Al Garcia said. Within minutes of police arriving and beginning to talk with the woman, "the suspect drove a wrecker into the front wall of the restaurant," Garcia said.


New York Times
May 28, 2003

Man Runs Over and Kills Wife in Queens Driveway Accident

By COREY KILGANNON

Bungling a daily parking routine he had carried out for decades, a Queens man ran over his wife in their driveway yesterday, killing her.
As they arrived at their house in Maspeth about 12:20 p.m. yesterday, the man, Walter Yackel, 83, a retired machinist, left his wife, Mary, 82, at the entrance to the driveway so he could park their powder-blue Dodge Shadow sedan farther along in the driveway.
Mr. Yackel said that as he waited for his wife to clear the front of the car, the car suddenly accelerated and ran her down. Mrs. Yackel was dragged under the vehicle about 30 yards, the police and neighbors of the couple said.
"He came to me shaking like a leaf," said Dr. Jeff Ahing, 55, a neighbor. "He said: 'I can't believe it. I made a mistake and couldn't get the car to stop. I ran her over.' "
"It sounds like he mashed down on the gas pedal instead of the brake," Dr. Ahing said last night.
Mr. Yackel immediately dialed 911, neighbors said. Emergency medical technicians responded and pronounced Mrs. Yackel dead at the scene. Police officials said that they were treating the death as an accident and would not file charges against Mr. Yackel. Neighbors said he was visibly shaken.
For some time afterward, Mr. Yackel sat on his front porch. As police officers strung yellow crime scene tape across the driveway and house, he stared blankly at the budding flower garden Mrs. Yackel had painstakingly maintained.
Neighbors estimated that the Yackels had been married for more than 50 years and had spent most of that time at their three-story home on Jay Street, a block from the Long island Expressway.
One neighbor, Gale Emig, 62, called them a loving couple, "always at each other's side."
"They were so close," she said. "Wherever one went, the other went. He was a mild-mannered guy who'd never hurt a fly. He just looked so devastated afterward."
The narrow single-family homes are close together, with the space between houses serving as a narrow driveway to a garage in the rear.
"You have to have a system," Mrs. Emig said. "My husband, Al, and i have a whole process to make sure I'm all the way in the side door before he pulls in. You know how many side-view mirrors people break off on this block?"
Neighbors said the Yackels stuck to the same parking ritual like clockwork: Mr. Yackel would nose into the driveway, let Mrs. Yackel out, and then wait for her to walk down the driveway to the side door before pulling to the end of the driveway.
Neighbors described Mr. Yackel as a quiet man who was driven to his dialysis sessions three times a week and had a heart valve installed in recent years.
"I told him three weeks ago to stop driving," Dr. Ahing said. "How do they give a license to an 83-year-old man with health problems without checking his driving?"
Mrs. Yackel, neighbors said, was a spunky woman who kept an extensive doll collection and took pride in her garden.


Washington Post
Monday, May 26, 2003; Page B03

Arundel Officer Killed in Crash

An Anne Arundel County police narcotics officer died Saturday night when the 1949 Ford pickup truck he was driving ran off the road near Mechanicsville and struck an embankment, police said.
John J. Heidenberg, 35, died at the scene, said Cpl. John Payne of the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office. Heidenberg was not on duty at the time, Payne said. No other vehicles were involved in the crash, and the cause of the accident is under investigation, he said. A passenger in the truck suffered minor injuries.
Heidenberg was southbound on Yowaiski Mill Road about 8:30 p.m. when he tried to slow down and turn around, according to an accident report. The truck spun out of control, hit an embankment and partially ejected Heidenberg, who was pinned by the truck.


New York Times
May 28, 2003

Bus Driver is Sentenced to Prison for Accident That Killed Five

By THE NEW YORK TIMES

A bus driver who dozed off at the wheel after near-sleepless nights of gambling and killed five passengers on a church fund-raising mission must serve at least three years and four months in prison, a term a prosecutor called too brief.
The driver, William Hovan, 60, of Trumbull, Conn., pleaded guilty on March 6 to manslaughter and assault. He was sentenced yesterday in Ontario County Court in Canandaigua, N.Y., to a minimum of 3 years and 4 months and a maximum of 10 years in prison. The accident also injured 46 other passengers and devastated three poor and working-class congregations in Waterbury, Conn., that were hubs for Puerto Rican and Dominican immigrants.
R. Michael Tantillo, the Ontario County district attorney, said victims' family members, several of whom attended the sentencing, were unhappy with Mr. Hovan's sentence. Under state law, people convicted of multiple deaths resulting from a single act are sentenced to concurrent prison terms. If Mr. Hovan's sentences had been consecutive, they would have totaled 20 to 25 years, Mr. Tantillo said.
"That was really galling to family members," Mr. Tantillo said. "it's not really fair to the victim."
The crash occurred on the New York State Thruway in Victor, near Rochester, on June 23 when the bus left the highway, crossed an entrance ramp and careered through a guardrail and down an embankment. The five people killed were members of iglesia de Dios (Church of God), a Pentecostal church that operates out of a former movie theater in Waterbury. The passengers also included members of iglesia de Dios Nuevo Renacer (Church of God Reborn) and Primera iglesia Retorno a Pentecost!"s (First Church of the Return to Pentecost), both storefront churches in Waterbury.
The passengers were returning from Niagara Falls, where they had met with members of another church to raise money for summer youth programs.
Mr. Hovan, who was driving an Arrow Line Coach USA tour bus, said he had spent two days and two nights at a Niagara Falls casino before the crash, with just four or five hours of sleep, Mr. Tantillo said.


Austin American-Statesman
Tuesday, May 27, 2003

UT professor, student killed in wreck

Compiled from staff and wire reports

A University of Texas professor and a student were killed Monday when the van in which they were riding flipped over.
The Department of Public Safety identified the victims as professor Robert Goldhammer and student Raquel Desavariego. Three other students - Kevin Burns, Timothy Gibbons and Usiza Mohdsufian - were in the vehicle and were injured in the wreck on interstate 10 between Balmorhea and Fort Stockton.
The van was part of a caravan of geology students, officials said.


The Austin American-Statesman
Friday, May 23, 2003

ROUND ROCK
Teen dies in RM 620 wreck

Compiled from staff and wire reports

A 17-year-old died and two others were seriously injured Thursday in a head-on collision. Allan Simmons-Ochoa, a junior at Round Rock High School, was driving east on RM 620 just west of interstate 35 when he crossed into the westbound lanes shortly before 1 p.m., police said. Simmons- Ochoa's car struck a Ford Taurus driven by David Woodrow North Jr., 37, of Austin. Simmons-Ochoa was killed; Steven William Mizer, a 17-year-old passenger in Simmons-Ochoa's car, and North were flown to Brackenridge Hospital.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch
05/22/2003

Missouri trooper is killed as he writes ticket on I-70

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ODESSA, Mo. - Trooper Micheal L. Newton of the Missouri Highway Patrol was killed about 7 a.m. Thursday when a truck struck his stopped Ford Crown Victoria cruiser and it burst into flames.
At least a dozen other U.S. officers have died in fiery crashes of Crown Victoria sedans since 1983. The patrol said Newton's was a 2003 model that had gas tank modifications intended to make it safer.
Newton, 25, assigned to Troop A in the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit, leaves a wife and two young sons. He was with the patrol about two years.
Police said Newton was parked on the eastbound shoulder of interstate 70 near Odessa, writing a traffic ticket, when a pickup towing a trailer hit the patrol car from behind. The scene is about 30 miles east of Kansas City.
The traffic violator, Michael Nolte, 48, of Overland Park, Kan., was seated in the patrol car and rescued through a window by witnesses, officials said. Nolte was flown to a hospital in Columbia, Mo., with third-degree burns over 40 percent of his body.
The pickup's driver, Paul Daniel, 30, of New Hampton, Mo., was hospitalized, officials said.


Boston Globe
5/22/2003, page B2

READING
Truck rollover closes highway ramp

By Globe Staff and Wires

The driver of a garbage truck that rolled over last night on a ramp connecting interstate 93 north and Route 128 south may face charges for speeding, police said. The truck, owned by the Land Bridge Express Co., rolled over around 8 p.m. State Police and the Massachusetts Highway Department closed the ramp to clean up debris, and the ramp was expected to reopen at midnight, with no impact on the morning commute, said State Police Sergeant David Paine. The driver, whose name was not released last night, was taken to Melrose/Wakefield Hospital with minor injuries.


Dallas Morning News
05/21/2003

Just beginning, two lives ended suddenly
Teen classmates die in crash; other driver faces alcohol charges

By TAWNELL D. HOBBS
The Dallas Morning News

After a two-year break from school to take care of a daughter born three months premature, Ana Saldana looked forward to graduating this month from Samuell High School.
But about a week shy of reaching that milestone, the 19-year-old student and a 16-year-old Samuell classmate, Ginger Ruiz, were killed Saturday night when a suspected drunken driver plowed into their car.
The tragedy was still sinking in Tuesday at Ana's home in Pleasant Grove, where family members sat on a couch flipping through a family album filled with pictures of Ana and her daughter, Wendy, and husband, Homero Vizcaino. The child, nearly 2 years old, was also in the crash but escaped serious injury.
Ana's brother, Victor, could barely stand to be in the house because of the memories. Ana's graduation robe is in her bedroom, along with the dress she was to have worn.
Victor also was supposed to graduate from Samuell this month, but now he's debating whether to make the walk without Ana.
"We were going to graduate together," said Victor, 17. "We were going to go to Eastfield College."
Elmer Palmer Jr., 35, of Dallas faces two counts of intoxication manslaughter and one count of intoxication assault. Police expect to file the cases with the district attorney's office this week.
Mr. Palmer was released Monday evening without posting bond, pending toxicology reports, said Lt. John Branton, head of the traffic unit. Preliminary toxicology results indicate that Mr. Palmer was over the state's blood-alcohol legal limit of 0.08, Lt. Branton said.
The two students died at the scene of the accident about 11 p.m. In the 7600 block of Military Parkway. According to police reports, the teens were in a small car and halted for a stop sign at Military Parkway before pulling into the intersection. They were struck by Mr. Palmer, who was traveling east on Military in a pickup, the report said. The pickup appeared to be speeding, police said.
Family members said there will be a joint viewing for the students Wednesday. A funeral will be Thursday, but details were not available Tuesday.
Ginger's father did not want to speak about his daughter's death.


Dallas Morning News
05/19/2003

Three die in fiery I-35 collision
Fatal crash closes highway near Dallas-Ellis border

By JAIME JORDAN and CONNIE PILOTO
The Dallas Morning News

Three people died and a toddler was sent to the hospital Sunday after a fiery wreck involving a tractor-trailer and car on interstate 35 about 20 miles south of Dallas, near the Ellis County border.
Authorities shut down both north- and southbound lanes of I-35 for nearly eight hours, backing up traffic at one point for up to nine miles to the north.
Police said a Toyota Camry with four people inside collided with another car as traffic was merging onto the highway from the Ovilla Road entry about 2 p.m. The Camry crossed into the median and into the path of an oncoming semi, which slammed into the driver's side, killing everyone but a 2-year-old boy in a car seat in the rear.
Ellis County DPS Sgt. Larry Adams said officials had not been able to identify the victims but had found insurance documents in the wreckage. Dallas Police were asked to check the address. "If things match we'll take them to the hospital to see if they [neighbors] recognize the baby," he said. "All the identifications were incinerated."
Police said two adults and one person thought to be either an adult or teenager died on impact. Shortly after impact, the car burst into flames. Sgt. Adams said the vehicle was carrying a family.
Rick Sherrin, a truck driver from Lamar, Mo., said he was headed south on I-35 behind the tractor-trailer on his way to Laredo. He stopped his rig in the middle of the highway and ran to the accident site with his fire extinguisher as others rushed to rescue the toddler.
"I was trying to put the fire out so the other people could get the baby," he said. "The fire was spreading on the grass where they were working."
The truck involved in the accident was carrying herbicide and had tried to stop before the collision, officials said.
The blaze charred both vehicles, but the driver of the truck and the driver of the second car involved in the original collision were not seriously injured.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch
05/19/2003

Crash kills teacher, injures 5 passengers

One teen left the hospital, and three others remained in doctors' care Monday after a single-vehicle accident that left a high school teacher dead and several passengers injured.
The Missouri Highway Patrol says Michael Dennis, 24, crashed his minivan into a rock bluff on Highway A in central Jefferson County about 11:30 p.m. Friday. Dennis died at the scene. All five passengers, ranging in age from 17 to 24, were taken to hospitals.
Dennis was a first-year art teacher at De Soto High School.
De Soto High student Patrick L. Henry, 17, was treated and released Monday; James K. Lambert, 18, of De Soto, is in satisfactory condition at St. John's Mercy Medical Center; Angela M. Valle, 19, of Richwoods, Mo., and David J. Trunk, 18, of De Soto, were in satisfactory condition at Barnes-Jewish Hospital; and the condition of a fifth passenger was not known.


Dallas Morning News
05/19/2003

Rockwall officer hurt in traffic accident

From Staff Reports

A Rockwall motorcycle officer was hurt in a traffic accident early Monday afternoon.
The officer, whose name has not been released, was taken to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Rockwall Police Chief Mark Moeller said that he did not know the extent of the officer's injuries but said that they are not believed to be life threatening.
The officer was driving northbound on Ridge Road about 1 p.m. A woman turned in front of him at the White Hills Drive intersection, and he hit the side of her car. The woman was not hurt, Chief Moeller said, and police are continuing to investigate.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch
05/19/2003

Barnhart man dies in motorcycle crash

A man from Barnhart was killed Monday afternoon when he lost control of his motorcycle on West Outer Road near Arnold, authorities said.
The Highway Patrol identified the victim as Randy Fritz, 21. He was taken to St. Anthony's Medical Center in south St. Louis County where he was pronounced dead.
Fritz was headed north on West Outer Road about 4 p.m. when he lost control of his Honda 600, the patrol said. The vehicle traveled off the right side of the road and struck a fence.


Star Tribune - Minneapolis
May 19, 2003

Pregnant woman, fetus, child and man die in 2-vehicle collision in Isanti County

Kavita Kumar, Star Tribune

Matthew Utecht was playing catch with his son in the back yard of his home in isanti, Minn., Sunday afternoon when he heard the sound of squealing brakes and a horrific crash "like nothing I've ever heard before."
He screamed for his wife to call 911, got in his car and drove down his driveway to the road, where he found a mangled pickup truck and a minivan and most of the vehicles' five occupants motionless -- save for two blond-haired boys with bloody faces trying to get out of the pickup, the youngest crying for his mother.
The man driving the pickup that had crossed the center line on Hwy. 47, died, as did the driver of the minivan, a woman who was nine months pregnant and her 3-year-old daughter riding with her. The woman's fetus also died in the head-on collision in Isanti County shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday.
No names were available by midevening.
The woman was driving a minivan north on the two-lane road, three- fourths of a mile from County Rd. 277. The woman and her fetus died at the scene. The girl died on the way to Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Minnesota State Patrol spokesman Kevin Smith said.
Two boys, ages 4 and 11, were riding with the man who died. The boys were flown to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Smith said.
He was unable to provide identities, relationships or conditions of the victims.
"We're trying to find witnesses who might know what led up to the crash," Smith said. "We don't know why the guy crossed the center line."
Neighbors said the accident happened on a hill where it is often difficult to see a car coming from the opposite direction.
The crash comes on the heels of several high-profile fatal traffic accidents. Two people died Thursday when their sport-utility vehicle was struck by a car fleeing police on Hwy. 100 in Robbinsdale. And six people died as the result of a May 3 crash on Hwy. 61 in Cottage Grove.
A sad sight
When Utecht, 43, reached the scene of the crash, he found the pickup truck on its roof and knew immediately that the driver was "gone." But on the passenger side, "It was like looking through an aquarium," as two boys with bleeding heads looked out at him.
He thought gasoline might be leaking from the pickup, so he worked to pry open the door for fear the truck would explode.
"I don't know how I opened it," he said. "The door was jammed. You're looking at these little faces and trying to figure out, how do you open it? it wouldn't open, and then it did."
The 4-year-old boy was crying, "I want my mommy" and the 11-year-old was confused and didn't know where he was, Utecht said.
But they never asked about the man who died, who Utecht said he figured was their father.
"I don't know who they are or what their names are," Utecht said. "I'm still thinking about how those little guys survived, but they did. How could their dad have been so demolished, but then, there they were."
The boys' injuries didn't appear to be life-threatening, so Utecht carried them to the side of the road, and asked some women standing by to comfort them.
Utecht then went to the minivan and saw the pregnant woman in the driver's seat. She was pale and not moving. The 3-year-old girl was strapped in a seat belt, folded over.
"The moment I saw her, I was scared to death," he said. "She was motionless."
She was about the same size as his 5-year-old daughter, he said.
Another bystander climbed through the back window of the minivan after breaking it with a tire iron because the doors were jammed, Utecht said. The man tried to open the door from the inside, but couldn't.
Utecht tried to pry open the door from the outside. He was able to barely reach the girl through the window, and rubbed her back and tried to console her until rescuers came and opened the door.
"I could reach in there, and you just want to hold them," he said. "You just want to let them know that someone is there and they're not alone."
He kept looking at his watch -- 5 minutes to 5, then 10 past, then 15 past - - and wondering where the ambulances were. After what he said was 15 to 20 minutes, they began to arrive.
When rescuers cut the girl's seat belt, she sat up and took a breath, Utecht said, and one rescuer yelled, "She's alive!"
But the girl died on the way to the hospital.
"I just really wish that 3-year-old made it," he said. "I don't know; I don't feel good. If that little girl had just lived. . . . I've got little kids, and that's what kills you."


St. Louis Post-Dispatch
05/19/2003

Police identify man shot, killed in car

A passenger in a car who was shot to death near Fairground Park on Sunday was identified as Carlton Darden-Bey, 23, of the 6100 block of Huntsville Avenue in Pine Lawn. Police were searching for a man who shot Darden-Bey as the rented Ford Taurus he was riding in idled in traffic on North Grand Boulevard after the Annie Malone Parade.


Houston Chronicle
May 18, 2003

Three killed, toddler hurt when car hits truck

Associated Press

DALLAS - A vehicle clipped by another vehicle spun out of control, collided with a semitrailer truck and burst into flames on interstate 35 in Red Oak on Sunday, killing three people and injuring another, authorities said.
The fiery collision occurred about 3 p.m. on a stretch of interstate 35 in Ellis County, about 20 miles south of Dallas.
Two adults and a child were killed in the crash. An 18-month-old was taken by helicopter to Children's Medical Center in Dallas, Texas Department of Public Safety officials said.


Automotive Occupant Restraints Council
PRNewswire in Washington
9th May 2003

Traffic causing 40% of US teen deaths
Advertising Blitz underway to cut death toll

The Automotive Occupant Restraints Council (AORC) has announced its support of a nationwide seat belt campaign which aims to protect teens and young adults from the leading risk they face -- death and serious injury from traffic crashes. During the national "Click it Or Ticket" event more than 12,000 law enforcement agencies in all 50 states will step-up enforcement of safety belt laws.
The two-week enforcement push, which runs from May 19 will be supported by more than $20 million in targeted state and national advertising by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Automotive Occupant Restraints Council is an international organization representing over 90% of all the vehicle safety restraint systems manufacturers, their suppliers and consultants. it is their mission to save lives and reduce injuries by encouraging greater use of safety belts and understanding of safety restraint technologies through public information and education programs; and to support enactment and enforcement of primary seat belt use laws.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,214 teens, ages 16-19, died and thousands more were injured in traffic crashes in 2001. Fatality rates for teens are twice that of older drivers and the risk of crashes for teens is four times that of older drivers. Two out of five deaths among teens are the result of a traffic crash. in 2000, the estimated economic impact of police-reported crashes involving drivers between 15 and 20 years old was $32.8 billion.


Seattle Times
Thursday, May 08, 2003

Hit, run driver talking on cell phone, witnesses say

By Seattle Times staff

SEATTLE — Witnesses have told police that a young man in a pickup was talking on a cell phone and driving erratically before he plowed into an 84-year-old man who was pulling weeds on a Northgate sidewalk yesterday afternoon, then drove away. The man, Ray Olason, was in serious condition this morning at Harborview Medical Center.. He suffered a cut on his head and went into surgery for repair of a broken shoulder and a broken leg.


Dallas Morning News
05/03/2003

Girl, 11, was driving when semi crashed
Her dad, brother were also killed

By JENNIFER EMILY
The Dallas Morning News

HOWE, Texas  Police say they may never know why an 11-year-old Oklahoma girl was behind the wheel of a tractor- trailer when it crashed on U.S. Highway 75 in Grayson County, killing the girl, her 3-year-old brother and their father.


Houston Chronicle
Section: Front page
April 24, 2003

Teens' drag race ends in tragedy
Speeding car crashes into tree, killing 2 on their way to school

By PEGGY O'HARE Houston Chronicle

Two Nimitz students were killed and a third was seriously injured in a high-speed crash while drag-racing fellow students on their way to school early Thursday.
The tragedy, which occurred just a mile away from the school campuses, highlighted a danger law enforcement officials have long tried to curb -- racing on busy roads in north Harris County.
The violent collision at 7:02 a.m. Instantly killed driver Catalino Antonio Garcia, 18, and passenger Augustine Salazar, 15, who was not wearing a seat belt and was catapulted out of the car's back window, accident investigators said.


Houston Chronicle
April 21, 2003

Bicyclist hit and killed on Texas 249

By S.K. BARDWELL
Houston Chronicle

A 28-year-old man was struck and killed as he rode his bicycle on Texas 249 late Sunday, said Harris County Sheriff's deputies.
Desiderio Rincon Sanjuan, of the 7600 block of Fallbrook, was riding west in the middle of a lane in the 11500 block of the highway when he was struck by a westbound Toyota 4-Runner about 10:40 p.m., said investigators.
The driver of the Toyota, who is not expected to be charged, told investigators he swerved to the right when he saw the bicyclist, but that the bike also veered right.


Houston Chronicle
April 17, 2003

Channelview teen dies after minivan lands in ditch

By PEGGY O'HARE
Houston Chronicle

A Channelview teen died late Wednesday after the speeding minivan in which she was riding crashed into a ditch in east Harris County.
Lacey R. Howard was not wearing a seat belt as she sat in the back seat of a Plymouth minivan that was weaving in and out of traffic in the 15500 block of Woodforest around 8 p.m., Harris County sheriff's deputies said. When the driver of the minivan swerved to miss another vehicle, the van went off the road and sailed head-first into a large drainage ditch, deputies said.


Dallas Morning News
04/17/2003

Bus crash suit adds firms, church
1 company says it's not affiliated with Green's Transportation

By TERRI LANGFORD
The Dallas Morning News

The bus company hired to transport Metro Church of Garland teenagers to summer camp last year was part of a bigger enterprise that included five other bus companies, according to legal filings by the family of a child injured in the deadly crash near Terrell.
The parents of Nick Stout, a 14-year-old who suffered a severe brain injury and lost six inches of his leg to infection in the June 24 incident, say the six bus firms were part of "Green's Transportation Enterprise" and should share liability in the crash that killed four children and the bus driver.


Las Vegas Review-Journal
Wednesday, April 16, 2003

TRAFFIC RAMPAGE: Dad killed, son hurt
Man charged with DUi, hit and run after four crashes

By FRANK CURRERI and MICHAEL SQUIRES
REVIEW-JOURNAL

A drunken driver careened Tuesday afternoon through the streets of northwest Las Vegas, leaving in his wake one body and several damaged vehicles, police said.
Police said a 1988 Chevrolet pickup was involved in at least four separate crashes, including a fatal accident in which a father and son were struck as they rode their bicycles in a designated bike lane on Torrey Pines Drive.


New York Times
February 15, 2003

Seven Killed as a Church Bus Overturns in Texas

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

TEMPLE, Tex., Feb. 14 Their journey did not end. Their destination just changed.
That was how church members today absorbed the news that a bus full of older parishioners headed to a Valentine's Day gospel concert overturned on a rain-slicked highway south of Dallas, killing seven people.
The accident left the bus in a ditch, a Chevrolet Tahoe crumpled like tissue and a little congregation in Central Texas numb and nearly speechless.


New York Times
February 6, 2003

Brooklyn Hit-and-Run Kills 2 Young Women and infant

By THOMAS J. LUECK

A hit-and-run driver speeding on a major thoroughfare in Brooklyn yesterday struck and killed a baby and two young mothers before smashing his Jeep into a tractor-trailer 10 blocks away, the authorities said. He and a second child who was struck were in critical condition last night.
The driver, whom the police identified as John V. Zappulla, 25, of Wantagh, N.Y., was charged last night with leaving the scene of an accident and driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a police official said. Three police officials said he had needle tracks on one arm, and one said tests had detected heroin in his system.
Another law enforcement official said last night that murder charges were pending against Mr. Zappulla.
The police and witnesses described a chain of collisions beginning at 2:30 p.m. that left a trail of bodies, clothing and mangled vehicles along the six lanes of Atlantic Avenue in Cypress Hills, near the border of Brooklyn and Queens.




Updated 2006/01/16




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