Toms River, NJ – According to Toms River police Chief Michael Mastronardy, 6-year-old Brandon Holt has died after being shot in the head by a 4-year-old friend.
On Monday evening, Brandon was playing in the backyard of the 4-year-old’s home when the younger boy went inside, then came back out with a .22 caliber rifle.
A shot went off and Brandon, who was standing about 15 yards away, was struck in the head. The boy was rushed to the hospital where he was initially listed in stable condition, but died on Tuesday after his condition steadily deteriorated.
Mastronardy called the shooting a tragic incident, but added that the Atlantic County prosecutor’s office currently investigating the incident to determine whether anyone should be facing criminal charges.
“I had just been telling my sister how nice it is to see kids playing together and enjoying themselves, and then this happens,” said Debi Coto, a neighbor. “I’m sad for the children involved and their families, but I’m angry with whoever owns that gun and allowed a little child to get hold of it.”
It would be very hypocritical of me to blast the owners of some the dogs we feature on this site without doing the same for some of the gun owners.…Continue Reading
HAMDEN, CT - School officials say 12-year-old Gabriela Hudak died this week after a falling tree branch hit her in her front yard.
Gabriela “Gabby” Hudak suffered a serious head injury last Friday afternoon when the tree branch fell and struck her while she was in her front yard. On Thursday, Gabby was pronounced dead.
“It was terrible. It was terrible. You never want to hear about a child and certainly not the child’s family having to go through something as horrible as that,” said Gabby’s band teacher, Bill Gunn. On Thursday night, Gunn directed an elementary school band concert where Gabby would have played saxophone.
Counselors were made available at Hamden Middle School where she attended school. On Sunday, a memorial service was held at the Dunbar United Church of Christ.
School officials’ described Gabby as a “bright and shining star,” an avid reader with an inquiring mind and a good friend to all on a posting on the school district’s website. Some students reportedly went home on Thursday, distraught after learning of her death.…Continue Reading
LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. - The effort to rescue two children buried after a dirt wall collapsed on top of them, is now being treated as a recovery effort.
The 6-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy, believed to be cousins, were playing in an excavated basement under construction when one of the dirt walls collapsed, burying them alive. One of the children’s father witnessed the collapse and called 911 at around 6 p.m. Sunday.
Using whatever they had that their immediate disposal, rescuers began trying to dig the children out, but after four hours of digging, they knew that their efforts were now to retrieve their dead bodies.
“This is now a recovery operation for these two children,” said Dion Burleson, public information officer for Lincoln County Emergency Management. “There are calls at times like this happen where we are not able to make a difference because it’s outside of our realm.”
Some 65 rescue personnel, including Charlotte and Huntersville fire units, worked overnight while family members of the children stood near the scene. One worker told reporters that as of this morning, crews had dug down almost 15 feet.…Continue Reading
St-Louis, MO - Police say 2-year-old Mason Gorse died on Monday after he got caught in the cord of window blinds in his bedroom.
Apparently, Gorse was in his bedroom when he climbed on to his window sill and got caught in the nylon cord of the blinds. His mother found him hanging from his neck, several feet off the ground. A family member performed CPR on Gorse until paramedics arrived, but the boy was pronounced dead at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center.
Homicide detectives investigated, but said the death appears to be a tragic accident.
For any of you not aware, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that since 1991, more than 175 infants and children have died after accidentally strangling in window blind cords. According to Parents for Window Blind Safety, 546 children have been strangled by window blind cords since 1983.
Look, I was far from the perfect parent, and I seriously doubt you could completely prep your home to the point that a 2-year-old couldn’t find some way to accidentally kill themselves.…Continue Reading
BATAVIA, IA – Two children were killed on Monday after their mother, Tara Lewman, drove her minivan around lowered track arms and was struck by a train.
Verdae Blom, who works for Vision Ag, which is located by the tracks where the accident occurred, said he heard a loud noise around 4 p.m. Monday, and then saw a large plume of dust.
“It was a mess,” said Blom, describing the aftermath as being like nothing he’d ever seen before. When he went to the crossing to get a better look, he saw that two young children had been
thrown from a Dodge Caravan, which landed nose-down in a ditch.
“It was a tangled-up mess,” said Blom. “The whole back of it, on the passenger side from the front seat, the whole thing was wiped out. It was terrible.”
According to Iowa State Patrol’s initial crash report, Tara Lewman, the childrens’ mother, allegedly drove around a lowered railroad crossing gate at around 4 p.m. when her vehicle was hit by a westbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train.…Continue Reading
Sacramento, CA - Craig Fugate, a 30-year-old graffiti artist, accidentally asphyxiated himself while allegedly attempting to graffiti a Sacramento high-rise.
Apparently, Fugate entered the 1201 K Tower on Sunday, got onto the roof, and then used rope left by window washers to crudely fashion a harness to lower himself off a 17th floor landing on the east side of the office building. The rope ended up looped around his chest and legs, squeezing him into a fetal position as the rope cinched around him.
Police and fire responded to a call for help at 7:44 am Monday morning, when Fugate’s body was discovered dangling from the building. Emergency crews rappelled down the building and confirmed Fugate was dead and, since is body wasn’t retrieved until around 9 am, a lot of people got to see a dead body hanging 160 feet in the air. Markers, glass etching tools, spray paint and a stencil were also found at the scene.
Fugate’s uncle, Joseph Fugate, stated, “I have never known for him to do that before. He is an artist. I know that.” Craig Fugate had been living in Vancouver, WA and had told his uncle he was planning on moving to Sacramento.…Continue Reading
Police are investigating a shooting in which 34-year-old Christopher Stanlane accidentally shot and killed his 10-year-old son while cleaning his shotgun.
On Sunday afternoon, Stanlane was at his home wiping down a shotgun when it accidentally went off. Unfortunately, his son was sitting in front of him watching television when it happened, and the poor kid took a shotgun blast to the back of the head.
Stanlane dropped the gun and rushed his eight-year-old daughter out of the room. His wife, who was cooking dinner at the time, called 911. Paramedics pronounced Christopher Stanlane Jr. dead on scene.
I don’t know if any of you have seen what a shotgun blast does to the human head, but I can only imagine what that room looked like after that gun went off. If there’s a silver lining to this kid getting shot, it’s that he didn’t feel a thing.
Captain Anthony Thompson says the Robeson County District Attorney will ultimately decide what if any charges will be filed against Stanlane. Robert Simmons, the boy’s uncle, said the boy’s parents were “in shock, trying to come to terms with what happened.”
I cannot imagine the pain the Stanlane family is going through right now.…Continue Reading
Utah – Kyle Stocking died on Sunday after a failed rope-swing attempt from the famous Corona Arch.
For reasons I do not pretend to understand, some people like to jump from the 140-foot high, red sandstone arch, as seen in various YouTube videos. But for one brave adventurer, this activity ended in his death after the 22-year-old made a fatal miscalculation.
Sheriff’s Lt. Kim Neal reported that the “length of rope to swing from the arch was miscalculated and when [Stocking] swung under the arch, he struck the ground . . . receiving fatal injuries.”
After Stocking hit the ground, five friends he was with called for help. Unfortunately, rescuers would find Stocking dead at the bottom of the Corona Arch.
Deputy director of the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration said the land is public and has remained open to private parties for climbing, rappelling and swinging, and she doesn’t see that changing in light of Stocking’s death.
“As far as the general public is concerned, there is no way we can keep people out of these areas,” Kim Christy said.…Continue Reading
BIRMINGHAM, AL – On Friday afternoon, 10-year-old Luke Bresette was killed at the Birmingham airport after a 300-plus pound flight status board fell on top of him and his family.
The freak accident happened in a newly refurbished section of the airport that just opened last week. In a pre-security area of the airport, a flight information panel fell on top of Heather Bresette and three of her children. The family of seven had been on their way to Kansas after a week long vacation in Florida.
It took approximately half-a-dozen people to lift the sign off the Bressetes, and about a dozen to keep it off of the family while emergency personnel administered aid. They were all rushed to the hospital, but Luke Bresette would be pronounced dead later that day.
Luke’s 5-year-old brother, Tyler, suffered a concussion. Luke’s 8-year-old brother, Sam, suffered a broken leg and nose. Heather suffered broken ankles and a crushed pelvis and is still in intensive care and unconscious.
If a story about a 10-year-old boy dying in an airport after vacationing with his family wasn’t bad enough, get this: According to the family’s priest, Heather doesn’t know about Luke.…Continue Reading
Sterling, VA - After sneaking out of his house to go drinking with friends, 16-year-old Caleb Gordley was shot to death a few hours later after he mistakenly entered the wrong home.
Police say after drinking with friends Saturday night, Caleb was dropped off at the upscale neighborhood he and his family had lived in for only a year. After hopping a fence at around 2:40 in the morning, Caleb entered a home he thought was his, but was actually his neighbor’s home two doors down.
The homeowner, Donald Wilder, was alerted to someone in his house after a security alarm was triggered when Caleb entered the home through a back window. Wilder called 911 to report an intruder, but ended up shooting Caleb as the teen made his way up the stairs to where Wilder and his family were sleeping.
The two homes are similar looking, especially in the back, and are located in a neighborhood populated by McMansions. Investigators feel that Caleb had no ill-intent when he entered Wilder’s home, but that his inebriated state had him confused as to what house he was entering.…Continue Reading
Tampa, FL – Over the weekend, there were reports on the the body of 31-year-old Chad Wolfe being found at the bottom an elevator shaft at the Tampa International Airport. Early reports were lite on the details, simply stating maintenance workers discovered Wolfe’s body Friday morning as they were checking on a malfunctioning elevator.
On Sunday, some more details were released, and the circumstances surrounding Wolfe’s death are just…odd. Chad and his girlfriend of 10 years flew out of Pittsburgh Thursday night and arrived in Tampa shortly before midnight. According to his girlfriend, Chad had one drink and a Xanax during the flight.
They were in town to meet friends in Central Florida, then driving a rental car to Daytona for Bike Week. According to Chad’s girlfriend, she told him to wait on the main concourse while she retrieved her luggage from baggage claim. When she returned, Chad was gone. She alerted airport police after she was unable to locate him.
The following morning, maintenance workers restoring service to a malfunctioning elevator found Chad’s body at the bottom of the shaft.…Continue Reading
San Francisco, CA - An unidentified homeless man was crushed to death after he decided to take residence on top of a San Francisco subway elevator.
The man was found Sunday morning after someone taking the elevator up to the top level of the Montgomery Station called to say the elevator had stalled after he heard a crunching noise followed by a scream.
Rescuers would find the body of a man wedged between the elevator and the wall of the shaft. Personal belongings and bedding were also found on top of the car, according to transit spokeswoman Luna Salaver. The man was not carrying any identification.
Salaver added that there are only two ways for someone to get on top of the elevator; ventilation shafts or the hatch door in the roof of the elevator. The ventilation shafts were found to be secure, but to get through the hatch, someone would have had to help the man.
“We don’t understand why anyone would seek refuge in an elevator shaft. It is disturbing, upsetting and highly unusual,” Salaver said.…Continue Reading
Scotland - After surviving a 150-ft fall while rock climbing, 51-year-old Mark Phillps died after falling from the helicopter that came to rescue him.
Phillips was with a friend climbing Ben Nevis in the Scottish Highlands when he fell, suffering serious head injuries. The Sea King, a rescue helicopter based at RAF Lossiemouth, was dispatched to retrieve Phillips and transport him to the hospital.
As he was being winched up into the helicopter, Phillips was killed after he was dropped. No word on exactly what went wrong, but reports speculate that Phillips plunged hundreds of feet to his death after a safety line was severed before he was securely on board the helicopter.
“We sent a team of 18 and used every asset available. Accidents do happen and are going to happen. All it needs is one mistake and in a split second you are gone,” said John Stevenson, the leader of the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team who was at the scene.
The Sea King was ordered to stand down and a navy helicopter from HMS Gannet at Prestwick collected Mark Phillips’s body. Phillips’ wife said in a statement released through the police force that she had noted speculation surrounding her husband’s death, stating: “I have entire confidence in the police and the process and I do not want to indulge such speculation.”
She went on to pay tribute to her husband saying, “On 25 February my beloved husband, Mark, was enjoying the superb conditions the Scottish Highlands were affording. He had spent the previous few days climbing and walking in the hills with friends.…Continue Reading
Siberia – The Siberian Times is reporting that an 8-year-old girl, Viktoria Adaeva, died a horrible death after suffocating inside an ice turtle.
I wasn’t aware of this, but during the winter in Siberia, entire playgrounds are made up of ice sculptures for children to play on.
Viktoria was alone in one these playgrounds after her grandmother had allow her to go outside and play. At some point, Viktoria decided climb into a hole that other children had carved into an ice turtle, and got herself stuck.
In temperatures of around minus 7C, her head, neck and one hand became froze to the side of the ice hole and she eventually ran out of air to breathe. “She was probably screaming for help but no-one could hear her,” said one report.
When she did not return home on time, Viktoria’s grandmother went to the playground to look for her but could not see her inside the ice turtle. Police were notified and were the ones who eventually discovered Viktoria’s lifeless body trapped inside the sculpture.…Continue Reading
BATTLE CREEK, MI - A judge sentenced Samuel Castanier to over seven years in prison after he accidentally shot his friend during a drinking game involving a loaded .357 revolver.
Back in September 2012, 34-year-old Samuel Castanier and his childhood friend, 34-year-old Nicholas Ullrich, were celebrating a mutual friend’s birthday at Castanier’s home.
After some drinking, the trio decided to play a modified version of Russian Roulette that they’ve played “hundreds of times” before. It consisted of taking a revolver, loading it with one bullet, spinning the cylinder and then pointing it at another player before pulling the trigger.
On past occasions, Castanier said that they knew no one was in danger of being shot, as they could see the location of the loaded chamber. But on this particular occasion, these idiots forgot that the loaded chamber advances when the trigger is pulled, and Castanier ended up putting a bullet into his friend’s head.
Castanier was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, but eventually pleaded guilty to manslaughter and being a felon in possession of a firearm.…Continue Reading
Police say 18-year-old Aalaya Walker wanted some waffles Monday night and preheated her oven. What she was not aware of is that her roommate, 25-year-old Javarski “JJ” Sandy, had placed a magazine from his .45-caliber Glock 21 inside the stove.
Shortly after preheating the oven, Walker heard an explosion and was peppered with shell fragments after one of the bullets exploded. Her injuries where not severe but she said she picked fragments from her chest and leg. Walker rode the bus to the hospital, where her wounds were considered superficial, and met with police.
Sandy would be found a short time later and would confirm that he’d placed a magazine containing four rounds inside the oven. No word on why he did that, considering the gun the magazine belonged to was located in a drawer. Sandy, who legally owned the gun and has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, showed the melted magazine to officers who verified that the inside of the oven was damaged.…Continue Reading
Los Angeles CA - The body of Canadian tourist Elisa Lam, 21, was found inside a water tank on top of the Cecil Hotel. Her body was found in the tank by a maintenance worker investigating hotel guests’ complaints about low water pressure.
It is currently unknown how Lam got inside the water tank, which is protected by locked doors and an alarm, so an investigation has been opened to determine if her death was the result of homicide or a “very, very strange accident”.
Lam had traveled alone to California from Vancouver, British Columbia, on January 26th. Her original destination was Santa Cruz, about 350 miles north of Los Angeles. She had been using transportation throughout her stay and had also been in touch with her family until her disappearance.
Police had originally used dogs to try and find Lam when she was first reported missing on Jan 31, and video was released last week of Lam inside a Cecil Hotel elevator pushing buttons for multiple floors and at one point stepping out of the elevator, waving her arms.…Continue Reading
Moscow, ID – An 18-year-old student at the University of Idaho froze to death under a bridge after he left a fraternity party and wandered five to seven miles in the snow.
Authorities say that Joseph Wiederrick attended a Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity party Saturday night and left on foot early Sunday morning. He called his roommate to inform him he was on his way to the dorm, but he never made it.
Police were called and a found him on Monday afternoon under the Paradise Creek Bridge, miles from where he had started walking. Temperatures that night had dropped to 24 degrees, and the poor kid froze to death after wandering around looking for his dorm.
Investigators were able to piece together some of what Wiederrick did after he left the party by following the trail he left, and it is apparent he was suffering from the effects of alcohol and hypothermia.
A little before 3 a.m., a homeowner found Wiederrick in her basement. “She asked him what he was doing there and he said he thought it was a fraternity house,” Moscow Police Chief David Duke said.…Continue Reading
LOWNDES COUNTY, GA – An autopsy report reveals that the death of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson, the teen found dead inside a wrestling mat inside his high school’s gymnasium, was accidental.
Last Thursday, the family of Kendrick Johnson called police to report their son had not returned home from Lowndes High School and they were unable to locate him. The following morning, Johnson’s body was found in his high school’s gymnasium, stuffed upside down inside an upright, rolled up wrestling mat.
Initially, Johnson’s death was being treated as a homicide, but the autopsy report showed Johnson had not been in a struggle and had died inside the mat. What actually happened was far less sinister than murder, but just as horrific.
For unknown reasons, Johnson had climbed up on top of some rolled up wrestling mats and then fell inside the center of one. The teen went in head first and found himself stuck upside down and unable to move.
They don’t know for sure, but investigators believe Johnson was trying to retrieve a shoe. “We feel like he was trying to reach a shoe that was down that hole,” Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine said, “but no one knows (why he reached into the mat) but him and the good Lord.”
Most people who die after getting themselves lodged upside down, die from suffocation.…Continue Reading
CLEVELAND, OH — A woman is in critical condition after she performed a dance move inside a strip club that sent her headfirst over a second-story balcony.
The bizarre incident happened at Christie’s Caberet in The Flats, just after 1 a.m. Wednesday. That’s when 22-year-old Lauren Block was reportedly giving a man a lap dance on the club’s second floor balcony and unsuccessfully executed a complex dance maneuver.
The man on the receiving end of Block’s efforts stated that “she grabbed the rail, as he was facing away from the balcony, and she tried to complete some sort of dance jump/dance move, and accidentally went head first over the rail,” the reporting officer said.
Block ended up plunging 15 feet to the floor below, landing on her head. Witnesses say Block was lying motionless on the ground for several minutes with her face covered with blood. She was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center with major head trauma and is currently listed in critical condition.
Police said that when they first got the call, they were told Block had been thrown from the balcony.…Continue Reading