Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Gunter Family (Paul A. Gunter)

Fatal Motorcycle Accident

Loose Trailer Kills Motorcycle Driver

Was it a freak accident or operator error? Lake County deputies are investigating a fatal crash involving a motorcycle and a water pump. 36-year-old Rebecca Paulos, a passenger on the motorcycle, is in critical but stable condidion at MetroHealth Medical Center. The driver of the motorcycle died from severe injuries. Investigators tell Fox 8's Dray Clark he had to steer clear of the accident.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Man Continues To Recover From December Crash On MLK

Man Continues To Recover From December Crash On MLK

Posted: April 22, 2008 11:28 PM

He almost lost his life while waiting at a bus stop back in December.

Now, four months later the injured man told his story to Action News.

As Tania Reyes reports his family is demanding justice.

"I was really hurt," explained Duane Sconiers.

Duane Sconiers was a healthy self sufficient man who never knew a simple trip to a bus stop would change his life forever.

"You think off all the reasons and you do not know why something like this happens," said Sconiers.

In December, Duane and two of his friends were heading to the store.

While sitting at a bus stop, a truck pulling a trailer on MLK came loose and plowed right into them.

The impact of the trailer was so strong Duane lost his leg.

About half a dozen surgeries later, doctors managed to save his other leg.

Duane has been in the hospital since that tragic day.

"It hurts inside to know that I am not going to be the same Duane that I used to be," said Duane.

According to police reports, the driver was cited for not having safety chains on the trailer.

He was also cited for not having insurance.

"He was not being responsible, he put people's lives in danger and we just want justice," explained Duane's sister.

She feels the punishment was a slap on the wrist.

The family says they have tried to sue the driver, but have not been successful.

They say Duane is in debt to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Stay tuned to Action News as we monitor developing news around the Valley.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Float accident disrupts Homedale's homecoming parade

Float accident disrupts Homedale's homecoming parade

HOMEDALE - Homedale High School students are recovering after a float accident during their homecoming parade Friday. Six students were injured in the float accident and one was taken by Life Flight to Boise in critical condition.

The freshman float came off the hitch from the truck pulling it and then smashed into a parked car. The float didn't even make it to the parade it came loose in route.

Before the football game, the crowd gave a moment of silence for those injured in the accident

It was a very scary time for a community, and especially for nearly 20 freshmen students on the float when it became unhitched from the truck.

"My feet were hanging off the side so I moved into the middle of it because I didn't want to jump off and get my stitches ripped out," float rider Jessica Henry said.

As the float made a turn on its way to the homecoming parade, it crashed into a parked car.

Aiesha Zenor is one of the five students injured.

"I just remember like flying off and sliding on my side and then I... when I woke up or whatever everybody was like screaming and I looked down and my wrist was bleeding and I couldn't move my arm,” Zenor said.

Zenor along with four other of her classmates were taken to West Valley Medical Center in Nampa with minor injuries.

Unlike her classmates, Martha Benitez wasn't able to make it to the homecoming festivities.

She was transported by Life Flight to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center with a fractured skull, and was later transported to another hospital for further treatment.

Superintendent Tim Rosandick says this unfortunate event clearly had an impact on the day's festivities.

"We care a great deal about our students, and it saddens us that we had this accident today,” Rosandick said. “I am pleased with the kind of reaction that the safety professionals performed for our kids, and I think we've done a good job of responding appropriately."

They built the float Friday morning and Aiesha and Jessica said they had a rough go with the float from the beginning.

When they were welding it together, it caught on fire torching the whole thing. They ended up having to start over from scratch.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Loose Trailer Kills 1 On Hwy. 50

Loose Trailer Kills 1 On Hwy. 50

Trailer Came Loose From Pickup, Crossed Median

POSTED: 10:49 am CST January 4, 2006
UPDATED: 6:46 pm CST January 4, 2006
One person was killed in a wreck on U.S. Highway 50 just south of Northwest Chipman Road Wednesday morning.The accident was reported at about 8:45 a.m.Police said a flatbed trailer came loose from a pickup truck, crossed the median and hit an SUV in the eastbound lanes. Then, the SUV hit another vehicle.The driver of the SUV was killed. Officials identified him as 59-year-old Charles E. Lewis, from Independence."It's too early to tell why (the trailer) became dislodged; it may take a couple of weeks before we have an answer on that," said John Boenker, with Lee's Summit police.A section of Highway 50 was shut down for more than four hours while crews cleared the wreck.Police said crossover accidents seem to be happening more frequently."Unfortunately, these median crossings are becoming all too common; nothing strange about this one ... Just unfortunate," Boenker said.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Trailer Towing Safely

Jonesboro - Keith Boles, reporting
Trailer Towing, Safely

Posted: Feb 4, 2008 07:42 PM

Updated: Feb 4, 2008 07:42 PM

Jonesboro (kait) - Trailer accidents resulting from the trailer becoming unhitched are on the rise. But it doesn't have to happen to you.

A lot of us here in Region 8 have trailers in our backyards. We hook them up once a year and haul stuff to the dump but when we do that, do we use the safety chains and do the lights work? are we being really safe when we haul them on those roads out there?

To some a trailer is a necessity.... To the rest of us, an occasional trip to the land fill or hauling the horses to a show.

A recent study has shown that trailer usage is on the increase and runaway trailer accidents are on the rise also, sometimes resulting in injury or deaths on the highways.

The study says that most accidents occur with occasional use trailers, like boat trailers or medium or small utility trailers.

These accidents occur when the trailer unhitches from the towing vehicle.

Rodney Sims the service manager at Mashburns, RV, "You get these people out who say "so and so" knows they've done it before, they think they know but they don't"

A runaway can be prevented by following a few simple steps.

Sims, "Need to make sure you got the proper ball for the trailer you're carrying, be it a 7/8 inch, 2 inch, 2 5/16."

The proper electrical connections for turn signals and brake lights.

Sims, "Make sure you have safety chains for the trailer. It's one of the mandatory deals to where if the trailer does come loose from the vehicle it does have a chance to help protect it and stop it."

Sims says the balls that are mounted right on the bumper aren't a good idea as the bumper might not be as strong as you think. "Really get to looking at that tag. It may be stamped a thousand pounds weight carrying capacity but only a hundred pound tongue weight."

Tongue weight means how much weight on the tongue of the trailer at it's hook up.

And remember, even the biggest vehicles have limitations. Just because you've got an sport utility vehicle it doesn't mean you can haul something this big. Check your owners manual.

Using the right stuff to hook up your trailer will make your tow easy and safe. New trailer owner Charles Billman even takes one more step with his hitch. "I have a lock that goes through it so it won't even come off."

Take a few miles to get used to driving with a trailer hooked on, with a smaller trailer it's easy to forget it's there. Taking that five extra minutes to make sure you've got the right sized ball, the right sized hitch, and hooking up the safety chains can be the smartest thing you've ever done.

Safety chains and signal lights are mandatory on all trailers, if it weighs over 3000 pounds you must have electric trailer brakes and a breakaway switch.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It was one of the worst accidents ever on Maryland's Bay Bridge.

Bay Bridge Crash Investigation Concludes

BALTIMORE (WJZ) ― It was one of the worst accidents ever on Maryland's Bay Bridge.

Less than six months ago, three people died in a massive seven car collision on the westbound span of the bridge.

Derek Valcourt reports police have released the complete accident report investigation highlighting exactly what was to blame.

It's a lengthy crash report by Transportation Authority Police, full of details on the horrendous crash. But bottomline investigators say this may have been a pure accident with no one criminally responsible.

Utter chaos erupted on the bridge after a homemade trailer came loose. It caused a chain reaction crash as vehicles behind it swerved to avoid it.

The pileup included two pick-up trucks, one tanker carrying animal fat, a tow truck, a van, one car and an SUV.

There were three fatalities, including volunteer firefighters Randall Orff and his 19-year-old son Jonathon who were inside the red Ford pick-up truck.

Their deaths are symbols of pain to much of Queen Anne's County.

Now the newly released crash report finds the fault lies solely with the driver of the SUV, which was pulling the homemade trailer.

According to the report, there was no safety hitch pin used. That would have prevented the trailer from coming loose.

Also, the safety chains meant to help in case the trailer did come loose were too long, according to the report.

Despite the faulty trailer hitch, the report indicates it was a horrible accident that could not have been predicted.

The Anne Arundel County state's attorney's office says there's nothing they could do, and they confirm that no charges will be filed in this case. That's because they say right now there is no law on the books in Maryland regulating how a trailer should be hooked up to a vehicle.

Trailer, Car, Sign Crash into living room

Trailer, Car, Sign Crash Into Living Room

POSTED: 11:40 am CST November 10, 2006
UPDATED: 1:03 pm CST November 10, 2006

A toddler escaped injury when a trailer, car and street sign crashed into the living room she was in, KPRC Local 2 reported.Houston police said the crash happened when a trailer came unhooked from a truck on Blankenship Drive near Bingle Road at about 8 a.m."The trailer became detached from the truck as it was traveling, hopped a curb and then ended up in the ladies' living room," Officer Glen Dickerson said.

The trailer pushed the family's car and a street sign into the living room, narrowly missing a little girl in a crib."She was just sitting there like she was in shock," mother Nova Hicks said.No one inside the home was injured.The home sustained significant damage and the family's car was destroyed.The family said accidents are a regular sight at their intersection."There's a wreck every week here," grandmother Theressa Mikelait said. "Not in this house, but on this corner."Police said the truck driver was ticketed for an improperly secured trailer.

Car Hit, Totaled By Loose Landscaping Trailer

Car Hit, Totaled By Loose Landscaping Trailer

ETNA (KDKA) ― In April, a father and two of his triplets were killed when a wood chipper came loose from the back of a truck on oute 8 in Richland Township and slammed into their mini-van.

Spencer Morrison, along with his children Garrett and Alaina, died in the accident.

Four year-old Ethan was the only one to survive the crash.

Investigators said the accident happened because the wood chipper was not properly secured to the truck.

Now, police are investigating a similar accident.

"I saw this thing hit the car," said Lora Johnson. "It was like something from the sky fell, and hit my car."

It wasn't a piece of aircraft that crashed into Johnson's car last Thursday.

It was a trailer that became detached from a landscaping truck in Etna.

For Johnson, it brought back memories of that wood chipper crash that claimed the lives of a man and two of his small children.

"How could this happen again," asked Johnson. "I couldn't believe that this could have happened again in Western Pennsylvania... so close in time to what had happened on Route 8."

Johnson was driving up Grant Avenue Hill and the landscaping truck was coming downhill.

Etna police say the ball on the landscaping truck was loose.

There was no pin in the receiver mechanism.

The trailer's brake lights weren't working properly.

In fact, police say the lights weren't even hooked up.

And, those safety chains between the trailer and truck, well there weren't any chains, just some cables.

The driver of the truck and the owner of the lawn service company now face multiple motor vehicle violations.

"This accident was something that should not have happened at all," said Johnson. "I think personally that these vehicles should be spot checked. We have spot checks for seat belts, for children in car seats. It seems to me this kind of vehicle should be spot checked."

Steve Stakes runs S&G Repair in the North Hills.

He says he could write a book about the problems he's seen involving trailers.

Many of them are because safety pins aren't locked in place correctly.

"This pin comes out - you open it up, you attach your trailer, or wood chipper - close this back down," said Stakes. "This pin has to go in this hole to lock it in place."

Besides those motor vehicle violations, Etna police say they are now considering criminal charges in the case.