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. …
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.…
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.…
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.…
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.…
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. …
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.…
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.…
Police said 52-year-old Kathy Carlisle was on train tracks near the campus of St Francis, taking pictures of an approaching train, when she was struck from behind by a train travelling in the opposite direction. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The president of St. Francis said the school canceled classes on Monday and organized a memorial service for Carlisle. They’re also providing grief counselors and allowing students to set up a memorial and posting a bulletin board for students who want to share memories or express their grief.
“We’re taking this opportunity to really reflect on the tremendous gift that she was to our community,” said Reid Brown. “She was so skilled and passionate in her work, and really had a gift. The girls understood that she had a gift to share with them.”
Carlisle, a married mother of three, taught 600 students at the all girl Catholic school since 2008.…
Pittsburgh, PA — The mother of the 2-year-old boy who fell into a pit of African wild dogs while visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo, and was subsequently mauled to death, will not be facing charges.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said that Maddox Derkosh’s death at the zoo was a “tragic accident” and that they would not be charging his mother, 34-year-old Elizabeth Derkosh. However, authorities are still investigating the zoo for possible criminal negligence.
The attack happened earlier this month while Maddox was with his family visiting the zoo. While at the African dog exhibit, Maddox’s mother placed him on top of the viewing deck’s railing. The boy wore glasses and she wanted Maddox to get a better view. And man, did he ever.
Witnesses say that Maddox lurched forward, as if he thought there was some sort of clear barrier to stop him, and ended up going over the rail. After bouncing out of a small safety net designed to catch small items like cameras and phones, Maddox landed 11 ft below and was immediately attacked by 11 dogs.…
Malverne, NY – The parents of a 17-year-old boy who crashed his car and killed four of his friends back in October are now being charged with unlicensed operation of a vehicle for allowing him to drive without a valid driver’s license.
On October 8th, 17 year old Joseph Beer was driving with his four 17-18 year old friends as passengers. Around 3:40 am, he was doing about 110 mph when he lost control of his vehicle on a stretch of road called “Dead Man’s Curve.” The car flew into the woods and split in two after hitting a tree. Chris Khan, Peter Kanhai and Darian Ramnarine, all 18, and Neal Rajapa, 17, were all killed in the crash, none of whome were wearing their seatbelt. Joseph was wearing a seat belt and survived.
He is now facing 25 years in prison after being charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter in the first degree, four counts of manslaughter in the second degree, and a whole host of other charges that are just different configurations of the words manslaughter, degree and reckless. …
NEW ALBANY, IN -- On the same day Nikki Clark impaled herself with a window blind rod, a seven-year-old boy in Indiana died after being involved in a freak accident that left him with a tractor hook impaled in the back of his head.
David ‘DJ’ Elwanger was playing in the backyard last Saturday as his grandfather used a tractor to pull shrubs. The rope being used ended up snapping, sending an 8-inch, metal S-hook through the air and into the back of DJ’s head.
His dad, David Elwanger, said that he thought his son was just messing around when he fell to the ground, but then he saw the metal hook embedded in the base of his skull. He said he pulled the hook from his son’s head, then carried him into the house and called 911.
The boy was rushed to the hospital, alive but unconscious. Doctors did what they could but DJ died the next day. Floyd County Sheriff Darrell Mills says they have closed their investigation into DJ’s death, stating this is nothing more than an unforeseeable, tragic accident.…
Pleasant View, UT – An 11-year-old girl in Utah has died after she accidentally impaled herself with a rod used to hold window blinds together.
Last Saturday morning, Nikki Clark was outside with her dog when she tripped while walking up the steps outside her parents’ home. She ended up landing on the rod which entered her chest, nicked her spine, and then exited out of her neck.
Nikki ran inside her house and, not knowing any better, removed the pole herself. The removal resulted in even more internal damage and caused massive bleeding.
“She immediately bled out within two minutes,” said family spokeswoman Brandi Babbitt.
Nikki was rushed to the hospital and underwent several surgeries and medical procedures, but doctor’s weren’t able to revive her. Nikki’s parents removed her from life support on Monday after she was declared brain dead and her salvageable organs were donated.
“It’s the decision we had to make ultimately because she wasn’t going to come back to us,” Tommy Clark, Nikki’s uncle, said. “The only thing we could do is let her go so she could be happy.”
The family is now looking at substantial medical costs on top of funeral expenses so a fund has been set up at U.S.…