Four Ambulance Workers Taken to Local Hospitals after Collision on Route 250

Ambulance and Emergency Rescue squad medical personnel are some of the hardest working individuals in West Virginia, witnessing scenarios no one wants to see and helping injured people in Monongalia and Marion Counties in the aftermath of horrific situations and collisions.  These situations  require immediate skilled medical assistance; at times rescue workers must work extremely long hours.

It is a real tragedy when the emergency workers, in the course of their duties, become the accident victims after they have devoted so much time and effort to helping others.

This week we heard about the two vehicle collision in Marion County on Route 250 that sent four emergency rescue workers to two hospitals. The patient they were transporting died in the collision, and the Marion County Rescue Squad employees were badly injured.

Links to News about the Ambulance Collision:

WBOY News, 1 Dead After Ambulance Collision on Route 250 in Marion County,” September 22, 2014.

West Virginia MetroNews:One dead after Marion County ambulance wreck,” Jeff Jenkins, September 22, 2014.

 

Truck Wreck on Route 20, Texting while Driving Suspected Cause

Several people were taken to the hospital after a two-vehicle collision near Wallace in Harrison County, WV near Lumberport.  Six people were injured in the two pickup truck crash.  Texting while driving is suspected as a possible cause of one of the pickups crossing the center line, causing the head-on collision.  Unfortunately, the four people in the pickup that crossed the center line were not wearing seat belts and sustained serious injuries. The driver and the passenger of that truck were flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital by HealthNet for severe head trauma. The two passengers in the rear of that truck and also the two people in the other pickup were taken to UHC for treatment for injuries sustained in the truck collision.

Source:  WBOY News, “Several People Taken to Hospitals After 2-Vehicle Collision in Harrison County,” Lauren Talotta, September 20, 2014.

 

WV Lawsuits Claiming Exposure to Dangerous Chemicals in Coal Waste

American Electric Power has been named as a defendant in a host of lawsuits claiming exposure to dangerous chemicals in coal waste.

Those injured claim they were exposed to dangerous chemicals in coal waste – fly ash, flue gas desulfurization material, bottom ash and boiler slag – which has caused numerous illnesses and several deaths.

The plaintiffs are divided into four categories – 39 working direct claim plaintiffs, 11 non-working direct claim plaintiffs, nine loss of spousal consortium plaintiffs and 18 loss of parental consortium plaintiffs. Of the 50 direct claim plaintiffs, six are deceased.

The complaints focus on AEP’s Gavin Landfill site in North Cheshire, Ohio, which is just across the Ohio River from Mason County. The Gavin Landfill – adjacent to AEP’s Gavin Power plant – is used primarily for collecting, shoveling, hauling, dumping, spreading and transporting the 2.6 million cubic yards of coal combustion waste byproducts produced at the plant each year.

“Coal waste contains a multitude of contaminants that are dangerous to human health, and individuals can be exposed through contact on skin, inhalation and ingestion,” the attorneys state. “These toxins have been shown to be directly related to incidences of cancer, respiratory disease, heart disease, chromosomal abnormalities and birth defects, among others.”

The complaints alleged the plaintiffs were assured on numerous occasions that such coal waste was safe and non-hazardous, and that there should be no increased concern about health effects.

“Repeatedly, individuals were not provided with protective equipment, such as overalls, gloves or respirators when working in and around coal waste,” the attorneys state. “These working men and women, already exposed to the contaminants at the job site, then, in turn, carried the coal waste home to their families on their clothes and shoes, thus even exposing family members to the deadly toxins.”

In the complaint, the plaintiffs claim they asked Workman, a supervisor who lives in Mason County, about the dangers of working with the coal ash.

Workman responded “by sticking his finger into the coal waste and then placing his fly-ash covered finger into his own mouth, then misrepresented to the workers that coal waste was ‘safe enough to eat.”

Source: West Virginia Record, “AEP named in 77 exposure lawsuits,” Chris Dickerson, September 3, 2014.

 

Judge Recommends 1.4 Billion Dollar Penalty for Pipeline Explosion

When companies and operators circumvent or violate safety laws for the protection of the public, tragedy all too often is the result.

California regulatory judges recommended a $1.4 billion penalty on September 2, 2014 — the largest safety-related levy ever against a public utility in the state — for a fiery 2010 gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people in a suburban San Francisco neighborhood.

The California Public Utilities Commission said the figure reached by two administrative law judges over the San Bruno pipeline explosion reflected nearly 3,800 violations of state and federal law, regulations and standards by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in the operation of its gas pipelines.

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