Entries in Accident (32)


Woman Dies While Riding Rollercoaster at Six Flags Over Texas

Bloomberg News/Mike Fuentes(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- A woman died on a rollercoaster at the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park in Arlington, Texas, apparently after falling out of her seat, a witness told local media.

"She goes up like this, then when it drops to come down, that's when it [the woman's restraint] released and she just tumbled," Carmen Brown told ABC News affiliate WFAA, adding that she had been next in line to ride the coaster at the time.

The death appeared to be an accident, Arlington police told WFAA, and the probe of the incident was not a criminal investigation.

Official details were not immediately available on how the woman died, though the park released a written statement confirming the death.

"We are deeply saddened to share that earlier this evening an adult woman died in the park while on the Texas Giant," wrote Sharon Parker, communications manager for Six Flags Over Texas. "Park medical staff and local paramedics responded immediately. Since the safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority, the ride has been closed pending further investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends during this difficult time."

The Texas Giant rollercoaster debuted as an all-wooden ride in 1990, and reopened in 2011 redesigned with a steel track, WFAA reported.

It rises 14 stories high and boasts "the steepest drop of any wooden coaster at 79 degrees," Six Flags Over Texas said on its website. "The new ride also has a record-breaking bank of 95 degrees, steeper than any other wooden coaster on the planet."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Navy SEAL Killed in Freefall Training Was Member of Seal Team Six

U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Eric S. Logsdon(WASHINGTON) --The Navy SEAL killed in a parachute training accident was identified in a Navy press release Saturday morning.

Navy officials identified the deceased as Brett "Shady" Shadle, 31. Shadle had been a member of SEAL Team Six, the most elite of the SEAL teams and the one tasked with the historic May 2011 raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Shadle was "one of the best," a former colleague in the elite unit told ABC News.

"Both tactically on the battlefield and at home, he was one of the best SEALs I've ever worked with," said an ex-SEAL Team Six member who served with Shadle for years. "His reputation was that of a great operator, a true friend and a nice guy."

Shadle, a 31-year-old Pennsylvania native, was one of two SEAL Team Six members involved in a serious accident during routine freefall training in Arizona Thursday. Both SEALs were taken to a nearby hospital where Shadle succumbed to his injuries, according to officials. The other SEAL is in stable condition, the Navy said.

"[Shadle] should be remembered as a hero, a father, a friend and an American," Shadle's former SEAL colleague said. "He sacrificed everything for his country."

The second SEAL, who was not identified, remained in stable condition according to the Navy press release. The accident is under further investigation.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Skydive Instructor, Student Killed in Florida Jump

ABC News(ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla.) -- Police are investigating how an experienced sky diving instructor and his student fell more than 13,000 feet to their deaths and did not deploy their main parachutes at a popular southwest Florida camp.

Pasco County sheriff’s authorities identified the victims as 41-year-old instructor Orvar Arnarson and 25-year-old student Andrimar Pordarson. The men were part of a group from Iceland, training and vacationing at Skydive City in Zephyrhills, Fla., on Saturday.

T.K. Hayes, general manager and president of Skydive City, said it appears Arnarson and Pordarson didn’t activate their main parachutes.

“There’s a multitude of scenarios. They lost track of altitude, weren’t paying attention for whatever reason if they were distracted, most likely by something else going on. Who knows,” Hayes said Sunday.

Both men had backup automatic activation devices, which deploy if the main parachutes are not opened in time. The backup chutes, the company says, did not fully inflate before they hit the ground.

The two men had successfully completed two other jumps Saturday morning with 20 other people. The men jumped separately, not in tandem. When Arnarson and Pordarson did not return from their third jump, Pasco County sheriff’s department launched a search to look for the two skydivers.

Following a nine-hour search, the pair were finally located in a wooded area near Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, about a mile away from where they were supposed to land.

Authorities hope a camera worn by one of the men may give them some clues into what happened during the jump.

“We’re reviewing the tape. We’re reviewing anything that may have been said, on the camera,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said.

Last year across the U.S., 19 skydivers died out of 3.1 million jumps, according to the United States Parachute Association.

Arnarson was a seasoned veteran of the dare-devilish sport, who reportedly had thousands of successful jumps under his belt. For Pordarson, this was his eighth jump.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Large Airport Sign Falls, Kills 10-Year-Old Boy

ABC News(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- A sign at the Birmingham airport fell on a family on Friday, killing a 10-year-old boy and injuring other family members.

The child, Luke Bresette, was killed Friday afternoon when a large information sign, weighing an estimated 300 to 400 pounds, peeled off of the wall and fell on the child, his mother, and two of his brothers.

According to the Birmingham News, it took six men to lift the sign off the family. Luke's mother was hospitalized with two broken ankles and a fractured pelvis, one of the brothers suffered a broken leg and broken nose, and the other brother was treated for a concussion.

The airport remains open, though the area where the sign fell was cordoned off. Officials are investigating the cause of the accident.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Three Wounded in Accidental Gun Show Shooting

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- Three people were wounded at a gun show in North Carolina on Saturday, when a 12-gauge shotgun accidentally fired as a man was trying to open the case during a security check, local officials said.

A retired sheriff’s deputy and two bystanders were hit by shotgun pellets today at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show, which is held at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

“When he attempted to open the case to be inspected, the shotgun accidentally discharged,” fairgrounds spokesman Brian Long said.

The three suffered minor gunshot wounds.

Because of the shooting, Long said private gun sales will be banned at the show Sunday.

“We are not going to allow any what you would call private person-to-person gun sales,” he said. “They will not be allowed to bring a gun with them. They will only be able to come in and buy from the vendors that are selling at the show.”

Long said thousands of people turned out to attend the annual show.

“The advance ticket sales for the show were higher than usual, so we do believe that we have an adequate number of officers and security personnel on sight,” he said.

There were two other incidents at other gun shows around the country Saturday.

A man shot himself in the hand when he was unloading his .45-caliber semi-automatic at the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show in Indianapolis. And gun dealer checking a semi-automatic handgun he’d bought accidentally pulled the trigger, and the bullet ricocheted off the floor and hit a friend in the arm and leg. The gun’s magazine had been removed, but one round was still in the chamber, police said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Jet Skier Who Killed 16-Year-Old in Hawaii Crash to Be Released

Comstock/Thinkstock(HONOLULU) -- A 20-year-old man who crashed his jet ski into a 16-year-old girl and killed her is set to be released from jail in Hawaii Wednesday.

Tyler Dagley, an Australian citizen who was vacationing in Hawaii when he crashed his jet ski into Kristen Fonseca on Aug. 5, was sentenced Wednesday to time served, according to ABC News affiliate KITV. He was also ordered to pay a restitution fee of $78,000.

According to police, Dagley was speeding on his rented jet ski and posing for pictures for his girlfriend at Keehi Lagoon when he slammed into Fonseca, 16, of Vacaville, Calif. She died the next day.

Dagley pleaded no contest to negligent homicide charges in August and was held in Oahu county jail.

Fonseca's family appeared at the sentencing hearing in Honolulu Wednesday, where her mother, Evangelina Canton, read a poem that her daughter had written. According to the report, the poem focused on whether Fonseca would grow up to have children and become a doctor.

Dagley appeared to be crying in court during the reading of the poem, according to KITV.

Mario Canton, Fonseca's stepfather, also addressed the court.

"Our family's life is turned upside-down. We are unable to function at home. We go to sleep crying, wake up crying," he said.

Her mother told the court, "I cry in the morning, I cry before I go to sleep, I cry randomly during the day looking for justice."

"I mean I'm not trying to make this guy suffer, but I need for him to understand that there's a consequence to every decision we make. That's the kind of daughter my daughter was, a very forgiving child, and so I know that it's what she would want me to do," Mrs. Canton said.

Dagley is now set to be released, KITV reported.

Monique Sanchez told ABC News that she witnessed the crash that killed her sister.

"He was just speeding really fast and then just came up and just slammed right into her," Sanchez told ABC News after the crash.

Kristen's mother and stepfather were also present when the accident happened.

As part of the investigation, police examined a digital camera belonging to Fonseca's girlfriend, Natasha Ryan, to look for scenes of the crash. Ryan said she was driving straight ahead on her jet ski and did not see the accident, but police investigators recovered deleted videos on her camera that showed Dagley standing and someone yelling, "Watch out."

Ryan was arrested and charged with obstructing justice. She is due in court on Friday.

Fonseca's parents have filed suit against Dagley and the jet ski rental company, Aloha Jet Ski Tours, seeking money for damages.

Dagley's father, Alan, told ABC News he feels for Kristen's family, but added that what happened was a tragic accident.

"He's a great kid, doesn't do anything wrong," Dagley's father said in August, speaking of his son.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cop Shoots Man After Running Down Daughter

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- An off-duty Chicago police officer shot and killed a man late Saturday night after a deadly confrontation ensued when the cop struck the man’s daughter with his motorcycle.

The officer was heading home Saturday through the town of Maywood when his bike hit 4-year old Taniyah Middleton. When the girl’s father Christopher, 26, confronted the officer over the incident, the officer shot and killed him.

Friends of the late father remembered him Sunday as a “helpful” and “happy” man.

“Chris was a great father,” Middleton’s cousin Mathis Hoskin told ABC’s Chicago affiliate WLS. “He was always helpful, never mad -- always happy with a smile on his face.”

But the events that transpired Saturday night are unclear. Pat Camden, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, paints a very different picture of the incident than Middleton’s friends.

The 43-year old officer, an eight-year veteran of the force, was driving back from work when the girl suddenly sprinted into the street, Camden said.

“He was on his way home and a 4-year-old ran out into traffic,” said Camden. “He had a choice of hitting her head-on or dumping his bike and taking the personal injury to avoid hitting the 4-year old -- which he did. But as he dumped the bike, it slid across the road. She wound up getting nicked by the bike. He wound up with a broken ankle, a dislocated shoulder.”

“After the accident he gets up and the girl’s father became irate with him and comes over to him,” Camden continued. “The officer tells him, ‘I’m the police. Take it easy.’ The guy says, ‘I don’t give a [bleep] who you are’ and hits him in the face. Another man hits him from behind. The officer goes to the ground. They’re beating him and he’s about to lose consciousness. He pulls his weapon to defend himself at that point, fires one shot, and kills one of the individuals who happens to be the father of the 4-year-old.”

“Had the father simply stood there instead of attacking a police officer he might be alive today,” Camden stated.

Middleton’s relatives said it was understandable that the girl’s father was distressed by the incident.

“Of course a father would be upset at the initial reaction of seeing the child in this condition and he confronted the guy and they got into a confrontation,” Middleton’s uncle Darrell Davis told WLS.

But they claim the officer never identified himself as a cop before firing at Middleton.

“He never let anyone know he was a police officer until after he shot him,” witness Cordell Haggard said to WLS.

Both the girl and the officer were transported to Loyola University Medical Center. The girl, Camden said, had “bruises and abrasions.” The second man who confronted Middleton, according to Camden, was taken into custody by Maywood Police.

Chicago Police said the incident is under investigation by the Independent Police Review Authority. Larry Merritt, a spokesman for the Independent Police Review Authority, told ABC News they are now “canvassing the area and getting interviews.”

“We were notified of a shooting involving an off-duty police officer in Maywood at approximately 10:30 p.m.,” Merritt said. “We are now investigating it.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


1-Year-Old Utah Boy Killed While Riding Motorcycle

Hemera/Thinkstock(TAYLORSVILLE, Utah) -- A 1-year-old boy has died after a horrific motorcycle accident on Sunday in Taylorsville, Utah.

Police say that Shannon Moore, 48, was riding his motorcycle with his son, Richard, in the parking lot in front of their apartment complex when the accident occurred.

“Shannon was on his street bike with the baby seated between himself and the handlebars,” said Unified Police Department Detective Levi Hughes. “He got up to a high rate of speed, well in excess of the 10 MPH speed limit, and tried to go around a corner but he couldn’t stop in time.”

After failing to slow down, Moore and his son were thrown from the bike.

“The child impacted the road and the curb and then the motorcycle landed on top of the child,” said Hughes.

The baby died on the  scene, and  police say the father was taken to a local hospital where he  is listed in fair condition.

Betty Reiz, who lives in the same apartment complex, told ABC affiliate ABC4 that she watched the wreck unfold. She said the baby tried to stand up after the accident, but fell down and died.

“The father is always with the child in front of the motorcycle,” Reiz said.

Police say that this accident should have never happened, regardless of the lack of regulations for motorcycle passengers.

“Even though laws don’t regulate the age of the passenger of a motorcycle, common sense has to dictate that kind of decision,” said Hughes. “If the passenger’s feet can’t reach the pegs and he can’t wear a helmet, he shouldn’t be put on a motorcycle. If you don’t listen to your own better judgment you will pay the ultimate price.”

The investigation is still ongoing, and  police say that Moore could face serious charges because there was a reckless loss of life.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


WATCH: Horrific Crash Caught on Camera Stirs Controversy

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A controversy over red light cameras installed at intersections in towns across New Jersey has been further inflamed after the borough of Roselle Park released a video showing a horrific crash.

The video, released by traffic safety firm American Traffic Solutions and posted on its website, shows a driver running a red light at an intersection, hitting an oncoming car, careening into a divider and being thrown airborne, turning 360 degrees before eventually coming to rest.

“There are a lot a people who don’t think that running a red light is a problem,” spokesman Charles Territo of American Traffic Solutions told ABC News. “Rarely do people see the actual crash occurring, and the violence and the drama that accompanies it is something that everyone should see.”

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Installed in 2009, the cameras are supposed to be a safety measure designed to deter drivers from speeding through yellow and red lights. Instead they have been a source of controversy, yielding millions of dollars in fines for municipalities and saddling drivers with tickets that many view as difficult to challenge and even unconstitutional.

Motorists complain they are not being given enough time to get through intersections, and many believe the program is essentially a money grab. One New Jersey woman was given a $140 ticket for making it through an intersection 1/5 of a second too late.

But Roselle Park Police Chief Paul Morrison defends the program.  “It’s unfortunate that the public views it as nothing more than an revenue instrument. The reason I had it put in place is because of serious crashes at the intersection,” he told ABC News.

Statistics from American Traffic Solutions show that since the town implemented its red light camera program in 2011,   red-light running violations have decreased 47 percent. Additionally, an analysis of the Roselle Park program found that 94 percent of vehicles issued a violation have not received a second, according to the ATS website.

“It’s an absolute success,” said Morrison.  “Motorists who actually receive a summons are made aware and very conscious of the fact that that intersection is monitored 24/7,  and if you go through the red light you will receive a summons. Motorists are much more cautious.”

The state of New Jersey recently suspended the use of red light cameras at 63 of 85 state-wide locations out of concern the cameras had not been properly tested.

Police Chief Morrison ultimately stressed the potentially life-saving nature of the technology, and the benefit of the cameras to public safety.  “It’s no different than if a police officer was sitting at the intersection.”

“If it saves just one life, it’s served its purpose,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NJ Yacht Hoax Linked to Texas Prank

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The Coast Guard announced today that the hoax distress call made on June 11 by a man claiming to be the captain of a yacht that exploded off the coast of Sandy Hook, N.J., was linked to another hoax call made in Texas on May 20.

The case of the Houston-area vessel, the Skylark, came to the attention of New York area Coast Guard investigators only recently because the incident had been classified as unresolved rather than a hoax. The smaller-scale hoax, a distress call for six people, had many similarities to the Sandy Hook call, which involved more than 20 people.

Both calls came from a land-based radio, both specifically contacted a specific Coast Guard radio channel, and both came over a VHF frequency.

Special Agent Michael Donnelly of the Coast Guard Investigative Service said there were clear linguistic similarities between the calls. The voices were almost identical, and the person speaking used nautical expressions such as "taking on water" and referred to the passengers onboard as "souls."

The rescue effort in Sandy Hook cost more than $85,000 and occupied the time of more than 200 responders as well as a fleet of helicopters and boats.

The New York Coast Guard believes the Sandy Hook call originated from an area that stretches from northern Staten Island to the George Washington Bridge. The size of the area makes it unlikely the investigation will find the prankster, so the Coast Guard is calling on the public to help, offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of the offender.

If found and convicted, the offender could face up to six years in prison.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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