Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Route 5 crash kills driver

LAKE CITY -- A 77-year-old Lake City man was killed Monday in a two-car accident on Route 5 near the intersection of Nursery Road in Girard Township, state police said.

Otto S. "Luke" Warner was pronounced dead at Hamot Medical Center at 10:53 a.m. He was not wearing a seat belt, police said.

State police at Girard said the accident happened at 9:49 a.m. as Warner's 1995 Buick Century was at a stop sign on Culbertson Drive.

Police said Julie E. Brown, 32, of Lake City, was westbound on Route 5 in a 1995 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight when she swerved to avoid a westbound car that had stopped to turn left onto Nursery Road. Police said Brown lost control of her car and hit Warner's car on the driver's side.

Brown's car struck a tree after hitting Warner's car, police said, adding that Brown was not wearing a seat belt.A Lake City Volunteer Fire Department ambulance drove Brown to Hamot Medical Center, where she was listed in fair condition Monday night.

-GoErie.com, Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Deaf man killed by train

A deaf Erie man was accidentally struck and killed by a train, one day after his 19th birthday.

Police said a train struck and killed Devon Chambers at 2:04 p.m. Friday while he was walking home along CSX and Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks east near 16th and Myrtle streets.

Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook said Chambers, of East 11th Street, was killed instantly by the train that was moving at 30 mph.

Cook said the death was accidental because it appeared Chambers did not hear the train approaching.

He could not hear the train, his family said, because he was deaf."I'm sure he didn't hear the horn from the train. I'm thinking maybe he thought he could cross the tracks without any problem," said Carlotta Freeman, Chambers' cousin and family spokeswoman. "We have busy streets over here. He knows to slow down and pay attention.

"She said Chambers' birthday was Thursday. Because of conflicting events, the birthday party and cookout was rescheduled for Friday afternoon at Chambers' home."We wanted to have all the family together," Freeman said.

She said police notified Chambers' mother, Nicki Chambers, at her place of employment about her son's death. Nicki Chambers declined to comment Friday evening.

Freeman described her cousin as fun-loving, an avid basketball player and a huge fan of hanging out at the Trinity Center, 462 W. 18th St.

She said the Chambers family recently moved to their home on the west side. It was Devon Chambers' nephews who told him about a shortcut over the railroad tracks to the Trinity Center, which is where he was coming from Friday.

Attempts to reach an official at the Trinity Center were unsuccessful.

Freeman said the birthday party was going to be the last major celebration for the family before Chambers returned to the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Pittsburgh later this month.

Erie police detectives are investigating the details of the case.

Driver charged in I-90 crash

A paralyzed Erie man who police say caused a fatal two-vehicle accident on Interstate 90 in July now faces charges that he was drunk at the time.

Paul Staub, 44, faces 10 charges in all, including two drunken-driving charges.

Staub's blood-alcohol content at the time was 0.8 percent, the lowest amount classified as driving under the influence, State Police Trooper Eric McGuire said.

Staub also faces two misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment and six summary charges for traffic violations, including speeding, failing to signal a turn and reckless driving.

Staub, who was paralyzed from the chest down after falling 13 feet at a work site in 1993, was driving with adaptive controls that allowed him to operate the vehicle with his hands alone.

His preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 27. Police charged Staub on Thursday.The two-vehicle accident happened at about 4 p.m. on July 17 just east of the Wesleyville exit in Harborcreek Township.

A passenger in the other vehicle, Larry W. Wood, 60, of Germantown, Tenn., was killed in the accident.The driver, Preston M. Pennybacker, 51, of Lowell, Ind., was seriously injured.

McGuire said Staub was driving to a friend's house in the eastbound lane of I-90 when he swerved his van into the side of Pennybacker's tractor-trailer cab.

Police said both vehicles traveled into the median. Staub's van hit a crossover, police said, became airborne and struck the guide rail on the far side of the westbound lanes. The van rolled down an embankment and came to rest against trees about 40 yards away, police said.

Staub was thrown from the vehicle, McGuire said.Witnesses said that Pennybacker's rig began to jackknife, went into the median, struck an embankment and rolled before stopping. Pennybacker was wearing his seat belt, but Wood was moving from the back of the cabin to the passenger's seat and was standing when the rig was struck, McGuire said.

-GoErie.com, Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Crash kills student

An Erie student on his way to fall classes at Pennsylvania State University died Sunday when the sport utility vehicle in which he was riding — a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by a friend — crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer.

Nicholas P. Caccavo, 19, was pronounced dead at the scene, on Interstate 80 in Clearfield County. His friend, 19-year-old Shawn P. Browne, was taken to Altoona Hospital, where he was in fair condition Monday night. Both teens were 2006 graduates of Northwestern Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy. They were to be sophomores at Penn State.

Caccavo was an engineering major, said Erie schools Superintendent Jim Barker, a close friend of the Caccavo family.

Caccavo and Browne were driving to University Park. Classes begin Aug. 27.

At about 3:05 p.m. Sunday, in Graham Township, Clearfield County, a tractor-trailer slowed for traffic, state police said. Browne did not notice, police said. His Jeep struck the back of the rig and then rolled.

Both teens were wearing seat belts, police said. The truck’s driver, Robert Murphy, of Iowa, was not injured.

-GoErie.com, Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Doctor sued in autistic boy's chelation death

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The parents of a 5-year-old autistic boy who died after receiving a chemical treatment sued the doctor who administered it for wrongful death.

Mawra and Rufai Nadama, who live in Great Britain, accused Dr. Roy Kerry of causing their son, Tariq, to die of cardiac arrest at Kerry's office immediately after the boy received chelation therapy on Aug. 23, 2005.

Chelation removes heavy metals from the body and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration only for acute heavy-metal poisoning that has been confirmed by blood tests.

Some people who believe autism is caused by a mercury-containing preservative once used in vaccines say chelation may also help autistic children.

Kerry, of Greenville, did not immediately return a message left at his office Monday.

The Nadamas are also suing ApotheCure Inc., of Dallas, which they contend supplied the chelation solution but allegedly did not provide appropriate warnings and instructions about its use.

-GoErie.com, Monday, July 9th, 2007

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Van rolls into Conn. pond, killing 3

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A woman chased her minivan as it rolled down a steep hill and jumped in before it sank into a pond Wednesday, killing her and two children inside and leaving a third child in critical condition, authorities said.

The woman, who was the mother of at least one of the children, had gotten out of the van, then noticed it was rolling away and jumped back in before it went into the water, Police Chief Bryan Norwood said.

The van rolled about 60 or 70 yards into Bunnell's Pond at Beardsley Park, where many people had gathered to celebrate the holiday.

The victims were trapped inside in 15 to 20 feet of water for 20 to 25 minutes before members of the Bridgeport police scuba team were able to pull them out. Rescuers tried to revive them before they were taken to local hospitals.

Fire Battalion Chief Ismael Pomales said the woman apparently got out of the van to ask directions to a Fourth of July barbecue, but police would not confirm that Wednesday night.

"It's horrible," Pomales said. "We've had children die before. That's probably one of the toughest things for any rescue person to deal with."

Their names were not immediately released because officials were notifying relatives.
All three children were under 7 years old, officials said. Bridgeport Hospital spokesman John Cappiello confirmed that two of the children died.

A third was sent to Yale-New Haven Hospital. Hospital officials said the surviving child, a 6-year-old boy, was in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

The woman was taken to St. Vincent's Medical Center, where she also died, Pomales said.
People nearby tried unsuccessfully to stop the van, Pomales said. Fire personnel could not reach the people inside the vehicle. The Bridgeport Police Department's scuba team arrived a few minutes later and removed the victims from the van.

Beardsley Park was closed while emergency crews worked but later reopened.

-USAtoday.com, Thursday, July 5th, 2007

Monday, July 2, 2007

Female worker killed on N.Y. park ride

RYE, N.Y. (AP) — A safety precaution put in place for a thrill ride after a fatal accident five years ago wasn't being followed when a worker was killed on the same ride, an amusement park official acknowledged Saturday.

Gabriela Garin, 21, died Friday night after she was thrown from the Mind Scrambler at Rye Playland, a National Historic Landmark on Long Island Sound about 25 miles north of midtown Manhattan.

The single mother had made her first visit to the park when she was a youngster and spent the last seven years working there.

"She grew up in this place, and this place took her away from us," said her weeping sister, Ruby Garin. "She used to come here when she was 3 years old. It wasn't her fault."

The ride was immediately shut down for the rest of the summer. Two other rides at the park — Power Surge and Go-Karts — that are owned by the same company also will close indefinitely while its safety procedures are inspected, said park spokesman Peter Tartaglia.

In 2004, a 7-year-old girl wiggled free of the restraining bar on one of the Mind Scrambler's cars, knelt on the seat and fell to her death soon after the ride started, according to investigators.

The park was not cited for any violations or required to make improvements to the ride after the child's death, although officials announced plans to add seat belts, more lighting and a second attendant at the Mind Scrambler.

No second attendant was on duty in the booth when Garin died, Tartaglia said.

Her sisters described Garin as a responsible, hard-working mother who was devoted to her child and careful on the job.

"This is a savvy young lady, bright, who was working here since she was 14 years old," Spano said. "She knows this ride like the back of her hand."

She was employed by S & L Amusements, the company that owned the Mind Scrambler.

Company officials did not respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment Saturday.

It was the fourth death in as many years at the county-owned Playland, which opened in 1928 and was the amusement park featured in the 1988 Tom Hanks film "Big."

-USAtoday.com, Saturday, June 30th, 2007