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. …
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.…