Timelines August 27, 2015

Multi-vehicle crash in Ramapo kills two, backs up Thruway for miles

A truck cut across two lanes of traffic on the State Thruway in Ramapo on Friday, killing both the driver and passenger of the vehicle and injuring two more in a pile-up that snarled traffic deep into New Jersey. The accident occurred when the mattress ox truck, driven by Rambaran Hemankumar, 33, with Juan Soto, 20, as a passenger, was travelling northbound near Exit 14B. The truck then swerved through several lanes of traffic, striking another box truck and a pickup truck before it jumped the guard rail and was struck by a tractor-trailer traveling southbound.

As first responders closed the thruway between Exits 15 and 14B,  they worked to rescue injured motorists and investigate the accident. Soto died at the scene while Hemankumar was freed from the vehicle and rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he died shortly thereafter. The tractor-trailer driver, 33, and a passenger in the pickup, 12, were also hospitalized with non-life threatenning injuries. Meanwhile, traffic persisted for hours, backing up ten miles before stranded motorists were allowed to turn around and the southbound lanes of the thruway were reopened.


Garbage truck overturns in Chestnut Ridge, injures four

A garbage truck tipped over in Chestnut Ridge on Monday, injuring four workers onboard. The accident occurred when the driver made a 90 degree right turn onto South Pascack Road from Williams Road, tipping onto its side and taking down a utility pole in the process. Those injured included Theodore Ochs, 51, of Congers, whose right arm was crushed between the falling truck and a guard rail, and Orlando Rodriguez, 29, of Sleepy Hollow, suffered serious injuries as well. Though investigators are continuing to look into the circumstances leading to the accident, they have stated the driver was sober at the time and it appears the speed and weight of the truck contributed to the accident.


9/11 “Dust Lady” dies after battle with cancer

Marcy Borders, the subject of a famous photograph from the 9/11 terror attacks on the WorldTradeCenter, succumbed to stomach cancer this week, according to her family. Borders was immortalized in a haunting photo from the day of the attack which captured her as she was covered head-to-toe in dust and ash from the collapsed towers. She was a month into her new bank job in the north tower when the attack occurred and fled the building before it fell. She had been pulled into a nearby office building by a stranger for refuge when the famous photo was taken. Since then, Borders was haunted by the attack, lapsing into panic whenever she saw an aircraft. She was addicted to alcohol and crack  cocaine for almost ten years and lost custody of her children before she became sober in April 2011 and regained custody before she was diagnosed with cancer in December 2014.


TV reporter and cameraman shot to death on camera

A reporter and cameraman working with a local CBS affiliate station in Roanoke, Virginia, were shot and killed by a former station employee during a live report Wednesday morning. Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were shot while reporting live on tourism in the city from BridgewaterPlaza in FranklinCounty for WDBJ7. According to employees listening from the TV station, six to seven shots rang out before Ward’s camera fell to the ground. The interviewee, Vicki Gardner, was also shot and rushed into surgery. Police released video stills of the suspect, a male wearing what appears to be a blue coat or shirt and holding a handgun. Later on  Wednesday, a man named Vester Lee Flanagan, allegedly a disgruntled former employee of WDBJ7, was reported to be critically injured by a self-inflicted gunshot wound and is now in police custody.


Defense company wins contract to build Humvee replacement

Oshkosh Defense won a major contract with the Department of Defense to mass produce Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, the anticipated replacement for the widely-used Humvee.  The contract, one of the biggest ones struck in years, grants Oshkosh the authority to build 50,000 of the vehicles for the Army and 5,500 for the Marine Corps. Though the initial contract will grant $6.7 billion for 17,000 vehicles, the total earnings for the  company could reach as high as $30 billion. The new vehicles are specially designed to balance greater armor with mobility, including all-terrain capabilities and transfer of heavy cargo loads. The vehicles are also specially designed to be resistant to IEDs, a frequent challenge for soldiers in relatively vulnerable Humvees. Oshkosh emerged as the victor among three major bidders in the defense industry including Bethesda and AM General, which  manufactures the Humvee. The company’s work on the vehicles could  continue as late as 2040 while the Humvee is gradually phased out.

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