SPRINGTOWN, TX – What an absolute nightmare. On Monday morning, the mother of 10-year-old Haven Lee Norton watched in horror as her son was struck and killed by his school bus in front of his home.
The accident happened after the bus stopped to pick up another child across the street from the boy’s home. Norton, a fourth-grader at Springtown Elementary School who had only been riding the bus for two weeks, tripped and fell in front of the bus.
“The woman bus driver stopped the bus and activated the lights,” said Department of Public Safety trooper Gary Rozzell. “The boy came up beside the bus as she deactivated the lights. The bus started to pull forward and the boy couldn’t get out of the way, and was struck by the left front of the vehicle.”
Authorities say Norton tripped and fell in front of the bus, and wasn’t able to get up before being run over by the front and rear tires of the bus. The only witness to the accident was Norton’s mother, who had been keeping an eye on her son to make sure he got on the bus safely.…
Last October we reported on 62-year-old Jose Melena, the Bumble Bee Food employee who was cooked to death after being trapped inside an industrial pressure cooker. Now the company has been fined nearly $74,000 and cited for six safety violations.
State regulators investigated the accidental death of Melena for seven months before handing over their report, which included the details behind the man’s horrible death.
Melena, a father of six, had been employed with the company for five years. One of his responsibilities was loading 54-inch by 36-foot ovens with 12 rolling metal baskets full of tuna cans. These ovens then sterilize the cans while also processing the tuna.
When I first reported on this, I was curious about the oven and did a little Googling and found some images of an industrial tuna steamer sold by JBT. Seeing what one looks like makes the following details a little easier to understand.
On Oct. 11, 2012, Melena was ordered by his supervisor to load one particular oven. According to the report, Melena entered the oven to make a repair or to adjust a chain, leaving a pallet jack outside the oven.…
KANSAS CITY, KS – On the same night five women burned to death inside a limo while celebrating a bachelorette party in California, Jamie Frecks died after falling out of a party bus while celebrating a bachelorette party in Kansas.
Frecks and 15 girlfriends were riding in the Midnight Express Party Bus when Frecks somehow fell out the emergency door and landed on I-35. Three vehicles then hit Fecks, two of which drove away from the scene. The 26-year-old, who just gave birth to her daughter six weeks ago, was pronounced dead at the scene.
A passenger in the second car that struck Frecks said there just wasn’t enough time to avoid hitting Frecks’ body. Highway patrol are investigating how the vehicle’s emergency door opened, and are also looking for the drivers of the two vehicles that hit Frecks but drove off. If you have any information about the two drivers who left, call them or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.
Frecks’ friends and family are holding a fundraiser on Wednesday in Loose Park.…
California – Just when I thought I’ve covered just about every horrible death imaginable, five women died inside a burning limo while out celebrating the upcoming wedding of one of the victim, 31-year-old Neriza Fojas.
While crossing the San Mateo-Hayward bridge Saturday night, the white stretch Lincoln caught on fire. The driver, 46-year-old Orville Brown, pulled over when the women got his attention, thinking the women were asking him to stop so they could smoke.
“She said, ‘No smoke – smoke smoke…pull over pull over pull over,'” Brown recalled. “I saw the smoke, pulled over, by the time I was getting out the car there was a lady coming over the partition.”
He said he helped three other women escape the fiery limo, but was unable to help the bride-to-be and four other women. They ended up trapped inside and were all killed in the fire.
Police would later say that the victims were burned beyond recognition and had to be identified by their dental records. County coroner Robert Foucrault told NBC that the victims were found lying on top of each other, with one dying while trying to climb through the partition that separates the passenger compartment from the driver’s.…
Burkesville, KY – Authorities in Kentucky say 2-year-old Caroline Starks died after being accidentally shot by her 5-year-old brother, who was playing with a .22-caliber rifle he had been given as a gift.
Sparks was shot by her brother inside their home just after 1 p.m. Tuesday. Sparks was rushed to the hospital where she would later be pronounced dead.
The children’s mother was at home when the shooting occurred, and the gun was a gift the boy received last year. It’s a Crickett rifle manufactured by Keystone Sporting Arms, and marketed towards children as My First Rifle.
The rifle was being kept in a corner and the family did not realize a shell had been left inside it. Cumberland County Coroner Gary White said the shooting will be ruled accidental. “Just one of those crazy accidents,” White said.
Although I’m sure some media outlets will hone in on the fact that their are rifles for children, I don’t have an issue with it – especially in areas where hunting is prevalent.…
Clackamas, OR – Hugo Avalos-Chanon died a horrible death other day after the 41-=year-old cleaning contractor fell into a mechanical blender at a meat-processing plant.
Avalos-Chanon worked for DCS Sanitation Management Inc., which performs daily cleaning of equipment at Interstate Meat Distributors. Shortly before midnight Friday, emergency crews were called to the plant after Avalos-Chanon was found entangled in a mechanical blender that regulates the fat content of ground meat.
Another worker hit the emergency stop button, but it was way too late for Avalos Chanon. The poor guy was pronounced dead at the scene, but his body could not be removed from the machine until it was dismantled the following day.
Dr. Cliff Young, a deputy state medical examiner, said Avalos-Chanon died from “blunt-force injuries and chopping wounds.”
Interstate Meat was cited in October after inspectors found machinery in the meat-grounding room were not properly locked down during cleaning, and could result in “unexpected start-up of the machine.” But OSHA says it’s too early to tell if that’s connected to Avalos-Chanon’s death.…
BALTIMORE, MD – Back in March 2012 we reported on the two kids, ages 12 and 13, who accidentally shot and killed their friend, 13-year-old Monae Turnage. They were arrested after they tried to hide the girl’s body under some trash in an alley. On Monday, the younger boy’s mother, 49-year-old Veronica Alford, pleaded guilty to helping the boys move the girl’s body.
For those of you who do not remember, Monae Turnage was inside a home playing with two the boys when someone brought out a AK-47 .22 caliber rifle. Reportedly, Alford’s 13-year-old son accidentally discharged the rifle and Monae was killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest.
The two boys panicked and dragged Monae, with the help of Alford, out of the house and into a nearby alley where they hid her body under some bags of trash. When she never arrived home, Monae’s family called police and began searching the neighborhood. Monae’s brother would eventually see her leg sticking out from some trash in the alley directly behind the house she had been visiting.…
Parkside, PA – Police have charged 42-year-old Michele Wanko with involuntary manslaughter after they say she accidentally shot and killed her husband during a drunken gun training exercise in the basement of the couple’s home.
Police were called to the couple’s home early Saturday morning after receiving a frantic 911 call from Michele. Inside the home, at the bottom of the basement stairs, was the dead body of Michele’s husband, 43-year-old Michael Wanko.
He was rushed to the hospital suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest, where he was pronounced dead.
Michele told police that she and Michael had been drinking vodka and lemonade for about six hours when Michael decided to show her how to shoot some of the guns he kept locked in a safe in the basement in case someone ever broke in while he was away.
So while the couple’s two children, ages 5 and 2, slept upstairs, Michael began showing Michele how to properly handle the guns.
“He took several of the weapons out, handguns and was demonstrating to her how the weapon worked as far as taking the magazine out, making sure it was safe, and how to pull the slide back,” said Parkside Police Chief John Egan.…
Panama City, FL – William Martens was performing some maintenance work at Rockit Lanes Sunday afternoon when he somehow got crushed by a bowling pin machine.
According to News Channel 7, a family had been using lane 7 when the pinsetter malfunctioned. The family were moved to lane 8 while Martens worked on the malfunctioning machine.
The family was moved back to lane 7 after it had been repaired and because lane 8 had also malfunctioned. When the family could not get lane 7 to reset, they kept hitting the lane reset button. They stopped doing that when a woman in their group looked down the lane and saw an arm hanging out of the machine.
An employee rushed to the area behind the lanes and found Marten’s upper body trapped in the pinsetter machine. Employees had to call another mechanic who informed them how to turn off the machine and how to manually crank the machine off of Martens.
By time EMS arrived and assisted several other employees in getting Martens freed, the man had been trapped for almost 15 minutes and was not breathing.…
OREGON CITY, OR – Shayla Shonneker died after her mother’s live-in boyfriend, 32-year-old Joseph Wolters, accidentally shot her has he practiced holstering his loaded gun.
Oregon City police say 9-year-old Shayla Shonneker was playing in her backyard while Wolters was inside the home practicing with his firearm, having recently been hired as an armed security guard with an armored transport company.
As Wolters was holstering and un-holstering his loaded gun, it went off. Out of all the paths this bullet could have traversed, this one traveled through a wall of the home, and into Shonneker’s face 50 yards away.
A LifeFlight helicopter rushed Shonneker to Oregon Health & Science University Hospital, where she died. Wolters, a decorated Iraq War veteran, cooperated with police during an interview with detectives. No word on if he will be facing criminal charges.
Gladstone School District Superintendent Bob Stewart said the district has activated its crisis-response team and has established a safe room for both adults and students at John Wetten Elementary School, where Shayla had been a student since kindergarten.…
SALINA, KN — According to Saline County Sheriff Glen Kochanowski, 7-year-old Gavin Brummett died after accidentally shooting himself twice while shooting a gun with his father.
At around 5:45 p.m. Friday, Gavin, his brother and their father were out shooting a Master Piece Arms semi-automatic 9mm handgun. At some point, Gavin’s father said he heard two shots in rapid succession. He turned to see that Gavin had accidentally shot himself two times.
Gavin was rushed to the hospital, then flown by air ambulance to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, but he would die from his injuries an hour after shooting himself. Investigators they believe Gavin was the one who fired the fatal shots, but their investigation is ongoing and are awaiting the results of an autopsy to be performed today.
Family and friends of the family have created a memorial page on Facebook, as well as a campaign to help raise money to cover the cost of Gavin’s funeral. At the time I write this, they have raised $3,600.
One of the fundraisers organizer’s states, “Every dollar given will allow the Brummett family to take just a little bit longer to be together without the burdens of having to go into work.…
Early Sunday morning, Bell was was found unconscious and unresponsive at the bottom of the escalator after his clothing got snagged and he was subsequently choked to death.
Surveillance video was reviewed and showed Bell, with an open bottle of brandy in his back pocket, staggering and then leaning against the escalator wall as he was riding it down. Near the bottom he loses his balance and falls on his back. Bell made no effort to get up until he got to the bottom, but by that time, it was too late.
Bell can be seen trying to sit up only to find the back of his shirt had gotten caught in the escalator. He is pulled back down and remained that way until he was discovered by a passerby who shut off the escalator and tried to revive him by performing CPR.
“It’s an unfortunate and tragic accident, and we’ve never seen anything like it before,” said King County Metro spokesman Jeff Switzer.…
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.…
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.…
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.…
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.…
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.…
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. …