Monthly Archive: September 2015

Impaired Driving – 104.7 Heart FM

A bad parking job led to an impaired driving charge for a 50 year old man from Thames Centre. THAMES CENTRE – A 50 year old man has been charged with impaired driving after police were called about a parking violation. Middlesex OPP were called to the 100 block of Queen Street in Dorchester on Monday night after a blue ford truck was blocking a driveway. Before police could arrive the man left the scene heading eastbound on Queen Street. OPP caught up to him a short while later and the officer determined the driver had been drinking alcohol and he was given a roadside test. After failing that test and another one at the station the man from Thames Centre was charged with care or control over 80 mgs.

Refuse worker John Head killed by reversing dustcart at Veolia recycling plant …

A refuse worker died when a dustcart reversed into him and crushed him after a safety feature had been switched off, an inquest heard. John Head, who worked at the Veolia plant in Military Road, Folkestone, for 20 years, died instantly when a he was run over by a vehicle at the recycling transfer station. Several of Mr Head’s family were in court as the hearing was held before a jury today. John Head was killed by a dustcart The inquest heard how an automatic braking system designed to stop vehicles when objects were behind them had been disabled by the driver. Clifford White was reversing the dustcart which Mr Head fell under. He described how his banksman Peter Hudson was on his near side as Mr Head walked across the yard from the opposite side of his dustcart. He said: “I’m reversing back and checking my mirrors all the time to make sure I don’t hit the truck behind and the next thing I know is he’s holding his arms out to stop.” John Head was killed in an incident at the Veolia depot in Shorncliffe Mr White, a driver with more than 40 years experience, gave evidence saying he had disabled the system to make his manoeuvre easier. He told the inquest drivers did this to stop the brakes being applied when they reversed up to walls or loading bays. “It should still bleep at you in the cab. I don’t recall it bleeping,” he said. “He jumped out and I assumed he was going to the toilet and that was the last time I saw him. I heard a scream and shouts to get an ambulance” – David Cokely But tests carried out by HSE specialist Charles Simmons-Jacobs, a chartered engineer, revealed the Sentinel safety system – the automatic braking system and the alarm inside the cab – fitted to the vehicles as well as the external warning alarm were functioning. He added there were inconsistencies with the detection zone regarding the exact distances at which both the alarm inside the cab and brakes were triggered. But he confirmed had the brake override not been activated, the brakes would have been applied. He was unable to confirm if this would have saved Mr Head from going underneath the vehicle but believed the brakes would have been applied if Mr Head entered the detection zone as a result of the tests showing the system was not faulty. Kevin Golding, an inspector at the Health and Safety Executive, said it was reasonable to expect drivers to turn the system off when operating in such a tight space. He added changes have since been made at the site to reduce the amount of reversing around the site which he described as having “significant hazards”. Floral tributes left to John Head in Shorncliffe Mr Golding said: “In terms of the investigation it’s still ongoing. “The important part is reversing should be kept to a minimum. “But the nature of the site at the time was to reverse a considerable amount. “It was a very busy yard and a lot of vehicles moving and reversing going on.” He added the HSE had written to Veolia stating it thought “reversing activity was greater than required” breaching legislation. Shornecliff Folkestone Veolia depot The court heard site rules were that no pedestrians should be walking across the yard but that Mr Head would have had to be walking about in his role as a loader and banksman for his driver David Cokely. Mr Cokely, who has been driving dustcarts for nine years, gave evidence. He said: “We’d finished a load and came back and weighed off. “There were multiple injuries typical of severe crushing centred on the trunk which were not survivable” – Dr David Rouse, pathologist “He jumped out and I assumed he was going to the toilet and that was the last time I saw him. “I heard a scream and shouts to get an ambulance.” He added Mr Head seemed in a good mood and “was looking forward to the weekend”. Pathologist Dr David Rouse ruled out natural causes as a factor in Mr Head’s death. Toxicology reports showed no evidence of alcohol or drugs in his blood and no evidence of any medical cause which would have impaired his ability, Dr Rouse said. He told the court: “There were multiple injuries typical of severe crushing centred on the trunk which were not survivable.” He confirmed Mr Head died instantly. The jury returned a unanimous verdict of accidental death. They concluded there were a number of distractions which contributed to him falling underneath the dustcart but could not establish why he was crossing the yard.

NJ man recalls effort to save carjacking victim

WEST DEPTFORD TWP. [1] When Diamond Yorker spotted a woman carjacking a motorist on Interstate 295 [2] Tuesday evening, he said he tried to intervene. Hanging onto the passenger’s side door, trying to fend off the carjacker with the victim still inside, Yorker eventually had to let go as the vehicle accelerated. He just hoped the victim would be OK. The carjacker, who has not been identified by state police, was eventually arrested and taken for a psychological evaluation after causing a two-vehicle crash, police reported. She faces several charges. Yorker, 28, of Swedesboro, was leaving the towing company he owns on Crown Point Road off I 295 Tuesday evening when he saw a woman lying in the middle of the northbound side of the highway. He was in his truck with his mechanic. Yorker thought she might be under the influence of drugs or trying to commit suicide. The woman got up and began pacing around the middle of I 295, he said. Yorker drove from Crown Point Road onto I 295 south and parked on the shoulder. “She started walking back and forth,” Yorker said. After some exchanges with passing drivers, she hopped over the concrete lane divider and into the southbound side. “Sure enough, 20 seconds later, a silver Taurus, I think, hits right into the median,” he said. “She was pacing, up and down, in the fast lane, waving her hands around at cars. She got so close. I thought she got hit.” After the vehicle hit the divider, Yorker said some cars began to slow down. MORE: Alleged bank robber arrested after barricading himself in West Deptford home [3] A vehicle, driven by a woman in her early to mid 30s, slowed down enough for the pedestrian to open the passenger’s side door and jump inside, he said. Yorker got out of his truck and rushed to help. “The woman leaned over; she’s trying to grab the driver’s face, and the car was moving. The driver is screaming,” Yorker said. Yorker grabbed the woman’s leg to try and restrain her as she climbed over the center console and mashed her foot down on the gas pedal with the driver still in her seat. “It was in park, and it was just revving,” Yorker said The carjacker was eventually able to put the shifter in drive and began driving off with her hands on the wheel and foot and body halfway over the center console. The victim remained in the driver’s seat. She seemed petrified, he said. “Finally, it was going so fast, I had to let go,” Yorker said, adding that the car almost hit the median as it began to accelerate. Yorker and his mechanic pursued in their vehicle. The vehicle slowed to about 5 mph. The carjacker then pushed the driver out the car in the middle of the highway, Yorker said. He saw the victim get to her feet. “She was bent over holding her stomach,” he said. “You could see in her face she was hysterical. I just took off, and I got down to exit 17. I called the police department.” The woman took southbound Exit 10 in Logan Township and drove onto the grass of the median before the traffic light and got out of her vehicle. She started waving her hands at passing vehicles, according to a witness account. A car stopped, and the male driver and female passenger got out to make sure the woman was OK. After the driver let the woman use his cellphone, the woman then attempted to steal the couple’s car. The male driver fended the woman off, and the couple was able to get away. They also called the police. Authorities apprehended the woman shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday night. She was taken to a hospital for a psychological evaluation. She faces multiple criminal charges, and officials said on Wednesday that after she is released from the hospital, she will be taken to jail. She has not been identified by authorities. No injuries were reported in connection with the incident. Spencer Kent may be reached at [email protected] [4] . Follow him on Twitter @SpencerMKent [5] . Find the South Jersey Times on Facebook [6] . References ^ WEST DEPTFORD TWP. (www.nj.com) ^ woman carjacking a motorist on Interstate 295 (www.nj.com) ^ Alleged bank robber arrested after barricading himself in West Deptford home (www.nj.com) ^ [email protected] (www.nj.com) ^ @SpencerMKent (twitter.com) ^ South Jersey Times on Facebook (www.facebook.com)

Don’t tread on me: Driving tanks and crushing cars, all in a day’s work!

Jeff Jablansky Drive A Tank is a world of fantasy for the power-hungry; it s like a combination of Disneyland s Magic Kingdom, and a zombie apocalypse. In the name of finding the most outrageous stories in the automotive universe, I ve visit-ed the home of the flying car of the future [1] , taken a ride in a self-driving semi-truck [2] at highway speeds, and even driven an amphibious car [3] , on land, at least. These adventures were racing through my mind as I walked out of a hangar-sized garage in rural Minnesota one recent morning, a day when the main question facing me was this one: Which junked car did I want to crush with a tank? This is not your average desk job, ladies and gentlemen. To be fair, it s worth noting that this mission of automotive carnage requires learning the proper lingo for the task ahead. I d be driving an ex-military tank, one of several housed in the garage. As an automo-tive enthusiast i.e. not a tank guy it was hard to tell the difference among them. It also raised a strange point. Has there ever been such a thing as a non-military tank? I stuck with the plot picking my intended target rather than asking if tanks were serving as ice cream trucks or school buses in some far off corner of the world. The Mitsubishi Mirage, I yelled to Drive A Tank proprietor, Tony Borglum, who was standing by to use a crane and lift my chosen vehicle to its final resting place. Jeff Jablansky When it came time to choose a car to run over, the Mitsubishi Mirage was the choice. Jeff Jablansky The Mirage prepares for its eventual, crushing fate. Previous Next Enlarge [4] Which one is that? Borglum asked, before walking outside. Oh, the red one? They all look the same to me. With that, we went ahead and crushed it. Literally. Drive A Tank is a world of fantasy for the power-hungry; it s like a combination of Disneyland s Magic Kingdom, and a zombie apocalypse. For a package price that starts as low as $399, you can visit Borglum s facility, located 70 miles southwest of Minneapolis, and spend time driving actual tanks. I think everybody has the Rambo mentality in their brain, Borglum said, in perhaps not the most glowing endorsement of the human condition. Jeff Jablansky A frontal view of the Sherman M4A2, an “ex-military tank,” one of several housed in the garage. His first vehicle purchases came from England ironically, tanks tend to be cheaper across the Atlantic followed by acquisitions from Texas and California. Borglum s garage in Kasota, Minnesota, now features a full fleet of tanks, from an Abbot FV433 to a Chieftain MK10 (more on that one later!). They share space with his personal transportation, a late-model Chevrolet Corvette Z06. What, were you expecting a tank? Borglum and his team host private groups of up to 70 people, as well as public event days and corporate getaways. Some groups, according to Borglum, have arrived via chartered flights from the East Coast, full of eager tank drivers, including some without driver s licenses. Thankfully for us, and the rest of civilization, Drive A Tank is a private facility and Borglum s tanks never see the open road. Of purchasing a tank, Borglum said, It s like buying a shiny new pickup truck and then taking it out on the farm. It s going to get scratched up. Not many truck owners end up driving their vehicles over cars, but I kind of see his point. Jeff Jablansky For a package price that starts as low as $399, you can visit the Drive-A-Tank facility, located 70 miles southwest of Minneapolis, and spend time driving actual tanks. My introduction to the world of tanks and tank driving was a trial by fire, having arrived with little to no knowledge of military-spec transportation. Each and every Drive A Tank experience begins with an introduction by Borglum that covers safety requirements, basic procedures, the correct way to enter and exit the vehicle, the best way to find the proper path, and the potential consequences of improper tank use. What you don t learn in Borglum s introductory remarks is just how massive the tanks really are in person. This is a realization that sinks in as soon as you face your first one of the day, however. In our case, it was a Sherman M4A2, a tank that was manufactured by General Motors Fisher Body Division over 70 years ago. The Sherman tank is far more than a relic of a heroic era, it s a drivable reminder of innovation and engineering. In photographs, it s hard to discern the Sherman s size, which is a massive 19-feet long, 9-feet tall, and about 8-feet wide. Borglum easily scaled the Sherman using various grab-handles and brute strength, and then jumped into the cockpit through the passenger-side porthole. He then calmly suggested I climb into the driver s position. Without any prior instruction, I was about to take the reins of a 30-ton tank. Jeff Jablansky Inside the cabin you face countless gauges, knobs, levers, and switches, all of which are haphazardly placed within reach of the driver. I shimmied down into the seat, lowering my body as one would slither into a sewer drain missing its manhole cover. Top tip: Hit the gym at least a few days before attempting in-gress and egress of a tank. Jeff Jablansky The Sherman M4A2 is a tank that was manufactured by General Motors’ Fisher Body Division over 70 years ago. Two options for actually seeing the outside world and finding your way around include the use of a periscope, a narrow slit with little depth of field, or peeping gopher-style through the porthole while standing up. Steering controls are comprised of two levers, which move forward and back depending on turn direction. These also serve as hand-brakes. After what felt like only seconds after I d had my initial overview of the Sherman s cab-in, Borglum switched on the tank s engines and asked me to hold my foot on the clutch pedal. Oh, did we forget to mention this tank is a stick-shift! Jeff Jablansky You don’t learn just how massive the tanks really are until you see one in person. I let off the clutch slowly, while simultaneously giving the tank some gas and listening to the Sherman roar to life. We ve referred to car and truck engines roaring to life before, but nothing compares to the sound of tank engines bellowing with abandon. The noise was deafening, the two GM-sourced diesel engines deliver a total of 410-horsepower from 12-cylinders, though it sounds like triple that amount when you re up close and personal with this machine. With the tank in gear, and my head peeking out of the porthole, I plowed through Bor-glum s forested off-road course behind the garage hangar. I was encouraged to hold the throttle down, flat-out, to maximize power output. Steering the Sherman felt like a constant battle with a sticky jar top: a tighter-than-possible grip was the only way to keep the behemoth in check. If you ve ever worried about curbing an alloy wheel while street parking, try wondering if you re about to knock down a full-grown tree while driving a tank in a forest. For the record, we managed the course without injury to ourselves, the tank, or any errant trees. Jeff Jablansky Expecting to feel carnage from underneath the weight of the 60-ton tank, I mashed the throttle and the Chieftain continued to bellow its way ahead. Jeff Jablansky The poor Mitsubishi Mirage never stood a chance against the likes of a Sherman M4A2. Jeff Jablansky The results probably said more about the structural integrity of the stripped out Mirage rather than my ability to drive a tank. Jeff Jablansky After switching off the Chieftain and jumping out, it was time for the hero shot. Previous Next Enlarge [5] Once in motion, you feel like conquering anything in your path even if it s nearly im-possible to see what you re about to roll over. After trying out a slightly smaller, automatic-transmission tank on a shorter course, the final event of the day was the experience of a lifetime. It was time to crush the Mitsubishi with a Chieftain tank. I strapped on goggles and got in position, as tank commander Taylor Block sat just ahead of me on the tank s exterior. Yes, I had a girl riding on the outside of the tank to help guide me over the helpless sedan and I m totally okay with that. Because of the tank s lumbering size, it soon became impossible to see the car that had once been sitting directly in front of me. I kept going, hoping for the best. Unexpectedly, Block signaled to me to slow down and stop. What happened? Was everything okay? You crushed the car, she said. We switched off the Chieftain and I jumped out, feeling proud and giddy. Borglum, who was manning my camera, was smiling. That one crushed more than usu-al, he said, pointing out the completely shattered structure, noting that it often takes a couple tries to fully crush a car. The results probably said more about the structural integrity of the stripped out Mirage rather than my ability to drive a tank, but I didn t shy away from taking credit. In total, this tank driving and car crushing experience costs $2,999 (excluding seat-time in the Sherman, which normally costs extra). It s a small price to pay for being able to skip the rigor of Army training and head straight for the fun stuff. Transportation, as we know it, may be in constant evolution. Electric vehicles, renewable energy, and self-driving cars are all hugely important and will reshape the automotive landscape in the future. But sometimes it s refreshing to get back to basics of driving by driving a tank over a car. Can we have another spin?!? ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE [6] Tags: street smarts [7] References ^ flying car of the future (www.nydailynews.com) ^ self-driving semi-truck (www.nydailynews.com) ^ driven an amphibious car (www.nydailynews.com) ^ Enlarge (www.nydailynews.com) ^ Enlarge (www.nydailynews.com) ^ WATCH THE VIDEO HERE (video.nydailynews.com) ^ street smarts (www.nydailynews.com)

Chilling snapchats show young mum with gun pressed to her head hours before …

David Kearns Published 30/09/2015 | 17:15 Stephanie Hernandez with boyfriend Rafael Gonzalez Credit: North Little Rock Police A disturbing series of Snapchat selfies were posted by a young mum just a few hours before she was found shot dead. Share Go To Stephanie Hernandez (21) was pictured posing with her boyfriend Rafael Gonzalez (20) as he points a gun at her head. The young mother-of-two was found dead in her ransacked home in North Little Rock in Arkansas. Her boyfriend was later arrested and charged on suspicion of murdering her. Read More: Shocking scenes as referee pulls out gun and threatens player after on-pitch brawl [1] Roommates said Rafael Gonzalez would often point his gun at Ms Hernandez Credit: North Little Rock Police One of the selfies contains the caption ‘Strap chat?’ – referring to a slang term for carrying a gun. The young mother s daughters, who are aged three and eight months old, were staying with relatives when she died. Stephanie Hernandez with boyfriend Rafael Gonzalez Credit: North Little Rock Police According to police, a friend claimed Mr Gonzales accidentally shot his girlfriend and that he routinely plays around with a pistol . The evening before police were called, the male roommate who found Ms Hernandez ran into the 20-year-old murder suspect and found him crying. Read More: Man caught urinating shoots himself in the groin while trying to ditch gun [2] Rafael Gonzalez Credit: North Little Rock Police Mr Gonzalez is alleged to have told his roommate that he had just shot Ms Hernandez in the head. The female roommate that also lived with the couple told police she had seen Mr Gonzalez on numerous occasions in the house with a gun, and he would “routinely” stick it against his girlfriend s head while “playing around . Read More: Facebook photos put ex-con back behind bars after posing with guns [3] A photo of a gun from Mr Gonzalez’s Facebook match the one found at the scene Credit: North Little Rock Police Police found a .45 calibre green pistol and a box of ammunition under a nearby shed. On Monday, while combing through Mr Gonzalez’s Facebook page, they reportedly found a photo of a green pistol and ammunition that appear to be the same ones located near the crime scene. Online Editors Follow @Independent_ie [4] References ^ Shocking scenes as referee pulls out gun and threatens player after on-pitch brawl (www.independent.ie) ^ Man caught urinating shoots himself in the groin while trying to ditch gun (www.independent.ie) ^ Facebook photos put ex-con back behind bars after posing with guns (www.independent.ie) ^ Follow @Independent_ie (twitter.com)

Russia carries out air strikes against ISIS in Syria

Published 30/09/2015 | 13:29 Russian leader Vladimir Putin THE United States believes that Russia has started carrying out air strikes in Syria in the vicinity of Homs, a U.S. official told Reuters on Wednesday, adding that Moscow gave the United States a one-hour advanced notice of its operations. Share Go To The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the information on the air strikes was preliminary and declined to give any details, including on the number of strikes or the aircraft used. The U.S. military’s Central Command did not immediately respond to a request for comment. [embedded content] Online Editors Follow @Independent_ie [1] References ^ Follow @Independent_ie (twitter.com)

Thousands of bees on the loose after truck overturns on Oklahoma road

Published 30/09/2015 | 16:45 A truck carrying honeybees overturned in Oklahoma A truck carrying thousands of honeybees has overturned on an Oklahoma road, setting swarms of the insects loose along the highway. Share Go To The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said the accident on Interstate 35, near Pauls Valley, happened on Tuesday afternoon. The patrol added that there was an injury, but gave no other information on the accident. TV images showed a swarm of bees covering part of a highway patrol cruiser. The patrol said the road is now clear, and authorities cautioned drivers to be aware of the bees. Press Association Follow @Independent_ie [1] References ^ Follow @Independent_ie (twitter.com)