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April 2013 Archives

Long Island siblings drown in neighbor's pool

Texas families may be heartbroken to hear about an accident in which a 5-year-old boy and his 7-year-old sister drowned in a neighbor's swimming pool. The children's mother reported them missing on April 14, which prompted a search of their Long Island, New York neighborhood. Later that day, police found the fully clothed siblings in brackish 50 degree water in the swimming pool. Although this accident occurred in New York, swimming pool accidents involving premises liability happen all over the nation, including Texas.The children were unconscious when pulled from the water and a medical team was unable to resuscitate them at the hospital. Police found the children after noticing a shoe floating in an uncovered swimming pool in the next-door neighbor's yard. The pool was surrounded by a low stockade-style wooden fence that had been improperly installed. Its smooth side was facing in instead of out, which made the fence easy to climb using the exposed stockade bracing. City officials cited the pool's owner for the unsafe fencing.

Dow Chemical and associates sued over explosion death

After a man from Texas was burned in a chemical plant explosion and subsequently perished a month later, his mother and son filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The suit targets the Dow Chemical Co., which owns the firm that operates the Deer Park facility. Two employees and the operating firm have also been named in the suit.The 45-year-old plant worker sustained the impact of an explosion and got third-degree burns across almost two-thirds of his body while changing a filter. According to the suit, the plant operators had prior knowledge that the ammonia recycling machine that exploded was not in proper working order, yet they failed to rectify the situation. The lawsuit also alleges that the plant did not provide its workers with appropriate safety gear to protect them from such events. The unspecified amount sought by the man's survivors includes damages for loss of income, reduced inheritance, pain and suffering and loss of companionship. The chemical manufacturer refused to comment on the death or the legal proceedings.

National recall for dangerous products under Farm Rich label

Consumer illnesses prompted the Rich Products Corporation to initiate a national recall of several frozen food products. The potentially dangerous products are suspected to be contaminated by Escherichia coli, which is a bacteria capable of causing serious illness and death in some circumstances. Consumers of the Farm Rich brand in Texas and across the nation may already be in possession of recalled products. Distributors and retailers have been notified to destroy the remaining stock immediately.Exposure to E. Coli may result in a mild to severe infection. Recovery is generally complete for otherwise healthy adults, but those with compromised health may more severe symptoms and the potential for permanent damage and death. Among those at greatest risk are individuals with kidney disorders, the elderly and young children. Symptoms indicative of infection include abdominal cramping, diarrhea and bloody stool.

Texas driver rear-ends motorcycle at traffic light

Texas motorcycle accidents often involve a driver's blind spot, resulting in a crash while merging or changing lanes. It is not as common for a motorcycle to be rear-ended. However, a recent nighttime crash on Highway 77 in Texas involved just that type of collision.

Texting takes to the skies, with tragic results

Texas readers might have observed other drivers who were texting at traffic stops or while stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. While it is understandable that drivers might need a distraction from gridlock, the temptation to continue smartphone use after traffic clears, instead of putting such devices down to concentrate on one's driving, might be too great. As a result, drivers might be paying more attention to their virtual conversations, rather than road conditions. That's not a good recipe for safe roads and highways ... or even skies, in the case of today's post.

Young Texas aviator killed in glider crash

For some Texas residents, their love of flying began at an early age. The first exposure may come from television, movies, a book, or perhaps a friend or loved one who has obtained a private pilot's license. Once that passion for aviation takes hold, an enthusiast will likely seek out all available opportunities for learning about airplanes and how to fly.

Texas lawmakers discuss felony punishments for hit-and-runs

Many Texas readers might agree that fleeing the scene of a motor vehicle accident is almost never a good idea. In addition to the potential criminal liability that a hit-and-run driver might later face, the behavior simply looks bad. A personal injury attorney might even suggest that the behavior indicates fault -- that a driver knew he or she was in the wrong, and tried to run away from that mistake in the heat of the moment.

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Ruben Ortiz was born and raised in El Paso County Texas. Mr. Ortiz graduated from Coronado High School in 1987, then obtained a Bachelors in Business Administration from.. View Profile