Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Gunter Family (Paul A. Gunter)Fatal Motorcycle Accident

Fatal Motorcycle Accident

Loose Trailer Kills Motorcycle Driver

Was it a freak accident or operator error? Lake County deputies are investigating a fatal crash involving a motorcycle and a water pump. 36-year-old Rebecca Paulos, a passenger on the motorcycle, is in critical but stable condidion at MetroHealth Medical Center. The driver of the motorcycle died from severe injuries. Investigators tell Fox 8's Dray Clark he had to steer clear of the accident.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I-71 Clogs With Accident Aftermath

I-71 Clogs With Accident Aftermath
Saturday, Sep 06, 2008 - 04:10 PM Updated: 06:01 PM

By Laurie Omness

MADISON COUNTY, Ohio -- An accident on Interstate 71 in Madison County closed northbound lanes for more than an hour beginning at 1:10 Saturday afternoon while emergency workers removed the injured and sorted out what happened.

According to early reports from the Circleville post of the Highway Patrol, a horse trailer being pulled southwest bound on I-71 west of the Mount Sterling exit broke off its lead vehicle and traveled across the median, striking an SUV which was northeast bound.

A commercial vehicle of some kind then hit the SUV and trailer. One person was airlifted to OSU Medical Center and two others were taken to local medical facilities.

Witnesses told NBC 4 that the trailer was part of a small convoy of buses and equipment vehicles headed from a Delaware County School with band members headed for a competition near Cincinnati. The buses were reportedly not involved with any collision. The accident is still in early stages of investigation. Officials at the Olentangy High School in Lewis Center say their band buses were en route to the competition when the mishap occurred. No staff or students were injured, according to school board president, Scott Galloway.

Stay tuned to NBC 4 and refresh for more on this developing story.

To send a news tip or submit a story idea, e-mail

Saturday, September 6, 2008


The Dallas Morning News

May 24, 1986

Section: NEWS
Page: 33A

Index Terms:


Trailer on loose strikes motorcycle patrolman
Author: Bobette Riner; Mid-Cities Bureau of The News The Dallas Morning News (DAL) + _____


Article Text:

A 45-year-old motorcycle patrol officer was killed Friday morning when a cargo trailer snapped loose from an oncoming pickup truck and hit him head-on, police said.

Dan C. Cordes, a 20-year police veteran, became the first Mansfield officer killed in the line of duty. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Harris Hospital-Methodist in Fort Worth, where he was taken by CareFlite helicopter shortly after the 10:15 a.m. incident on Broad Street near U.S. Highway 287.

Authorities conducted a manhunt Friday for the driver of the pickup truck, who fled the scene and abandoned the truck about a half-mile from the accident site.

Investigators were attempting to verify late Friday whether the man is an escapee from a prison near Kansas City, Mo., said Deputy Chief Marvin Ivy.

Cordes was westbound on his motorcycle on Broad Street when the pickup, a 1959 Chevrolet Apache, approached on the two-lane street and the trailer broke loose, striking the officer, police said.

Witnesses told police the pickup continued without stopping and turned south on U.S. 287. Police found the pickup on the shoulder of the highway.

Investigators said that although the incident appeared to be unintentional, the truck driver made no effort to stop afterward.

Police said they were preparing an arrest warrant for the man for failure to stop and render aid. He apparently had used the trailer to help a woman move to a Mansfield apartment complex this week. A similar warrant was being prepared against the woman, who owns the truck, police said.

The Dallas and Fort Worth police helicopters were enlisted to help authorities from Arlington, Crowley, Tarrant County and Johnson County search nearby open fields where the driver apparently escaped on foot.

As officers from Mansfield's 19-member police force searched for the man, some took time to comfort Cordes' family and remember their colleague.

Cordes, Mansfield's first and only full-time motorcycle officer, was appreciated for his friendly nature and sense of humor, friends and colleagues said.

"Even if he wrote you a ticket, you'd walk away liking him,' said patrol Sgt. D.W. Simon.

"You won't find anybody in this town who would say anything bad about him -- even before he died,' Ivy said. "In my six years here, we never got a complaint against Officer Cordes.'

Several officers visited Cordes' home Friday to comfort his widow, Linda, and children Cindy, 18, and Todd, 14.

One officer, P. Pierce, who stayed with the family, said Cordes saw her through what could have been a difficult situation -- being the department's first female police officer.

"He taught me what being a good police officer is all about,' she said. "He was my partner, my friend, my inspiration -- and like a father to me.'

Officer Pierce said Cordes loved motorcycles so much that he moonlighted as a funeral escort "every chance he could.' He also taught her how to ride a motorcycle.

"That man was poetry in motion. No one could ride a motorcycle like him,' she said. "Whatever I do, Dan's always going to be with me. He's going to survive in the minds and hearts of everyone.'

Copyright 1986 The Dallas Morning News Company
Record Number: DAL230964

Pictures Of Accident Hwy 126 In California

Photo By Rob Varela/Staff Photographer
A distraught man rests against the guardrail near the scene of a fatal accident involving a prisoner work release crewman that was doing maintenance work on the center median of the westbound 126 Freeway at Edwards Ranch Road Thursday.

Photo By Rob Varela/Staff Photographer
Traffic is allowed to pass through the scene of a fatal accident involving a prisoner work release crewman that was doing maintenance work on the center median of the westbound 126 Freeway at Edwards Ranch Road Thursday.

Photo By Rob Varela/Staff Photographer
Officials examine the scene of a fatal accident involving a prisoner work release crewman that was doing maintenance work on the center median of the westbound 126 Freeway at Edwards Ranch Road Thursday.
Photo By Rob Varela/Staff Photographer
Officials examine the scene of a fatal accident involving a prisoner work release crewman that was doing maintenance work on the center median of the westbound 126 Freeway at Edwards Ranch Road Thursday.

Photo By Terrance Dobrosky/Community Photographer
A Ventura County Sheriff's Department lifts off from the westbound lanes of the 126 Freeway outside Santa Paula. The helicopter transported a trauma patient from a collision on the freeway resulting in at least one death.

Pictures Of Accident Hwy 126 In California

Fatality a Marine working off ticket- Trailer Accident

When you read through this article please ask yourself these questions.

  • Look at the condition of the tries on the truck.
  • Look at the condition of the tires on the trailer.
  • What training did the driver receive before he towed the trailer.
  • How fast was he going?
  • How was the trailer loaded?
  • Was the trailer overloaded?
  • Did the driver have a CDL?

Fatality a Marine working off ticket

He chose service in lieu of jail time

A Thousand Oaks man killed this week while picking up litter along Highway 126 near Ventura was a Marine reservist doing community service in lieu of jail time for driving without a valid license.

Christopher Williams, 22, joined the Marine Corps nearly four years ago and rose to the rank of corporal, said Capt. Carl B. Redding, a spokesman for the Marines.

Williams enrolled in a delayed enlistment program while still a student at Oak Park High School and headed to boot camp a few months after graduating in 2004, his mother, Susan Williams, said Friday.

He trained as an infantryman and was recently promoted to corporal, his mother said. "He loved the Marines," she said.

Williams has run several marathons and dreamed of working as a personal trainer, his mother said. He was scheduled to begin training next month for deployment to Iraq next year, and he looked forward to taking a job at a gym when he returned, she said.

Williams was killed Thursday while working off a 10-day jail sentence for driving with a revoked or suspended license after similar convictions, court records show. The offenses are misdemeanors.

He was one of five members of a cleanup crew working under Caltrans supervision as part of the Ventura County Probation Agency's work-release program. The program allows people sentenced to short jail terms for minor offenses to do community service instead of jail time.

Williams was the first "court-referred worker" killed on the job in Ventura or Los Angeles counties since the work-release program began at least 20 years ago, Caltrans spokeswoman Jeanne Bonfilio said.

Thursday was Williams' third day on the work-release job, his mother said. His crew was working on the median of westbound Highway 126 near Edwards Ranch Road between Ventura and Santa Paula about 10:40 a.m. when a flatbed truck careened into the median, hitting Williams and two other crew members as well as another vehicle, authorities said.

Williams was pronounced dead at the scene. Felipe Reyes, 29, of Oxnard suffered critical injuries, including a severed leg. He remained in critical but stable condition Friday at Ventura County Medical Center, said hospital spokeswoman Sheila Murphy. Matt Turnquist, 23, of Simi Valley suffered minor injuries, as did the drivers of the truck and of the other vehicle.

Investigators Friday were still trying to determine what caused the truck to swerve. The driver, Steven Higgins, 49, of Ojai, had not been arrested or cited as of Friday.

Williams' mother recalled him as a loving son and loyal friend. "He was just a great son. He always told me he loved me, every single day," she said.

Williams lived with his mother in Thousand Oaks, where they moved after his father, Rick, died three years ago, his mother said. He was an only child.

He liked to eat, and every time he came home, he would announce, "Mom, I'm hungry,'" she said. One of his favorite dishes was his mother's pot roast with mashed potatoes and carrots, which she had planned to make for him Thursday night, she said.

Since 1924, 32 Caltrans employees have been killed on the job in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, but no work-release employees, even though the courts refer several hundred to more than 1,000 people a month to Caltrans to perform community service, Bonfilio said.

Court-referred workers in the two counties save the state up to $5 million a year, she said. They get the same basic training as Caltrans employees, receive safety gear, such as hard hats and vests, and are supervised at all times, she said.

In addition, people in work-release programs work in front of "shadow vehicles" that serve as a buffer between them and oncoming traffic, Bonfilio said.

One such vehicle — a van with a trailer full of tools, such as brooms and rakes — was parked behind the crew that was hit Thursday. The situation was unusual because the truck came from the side, missing the Caltrans van before hitting the crew, Bonfilio said.

"The whole idea of the shadow vehicles is to protect them," she said. "We're devastated by this tragic accident."