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Fatality

NEWS
April 9, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
A federal directive issued to Amtrak on Wednesday night confirms that the rail agency's workers weren't following basic safety rules when a weekend train crash killed two people in Chester. The directive of action from the Federal Railroad Administration is the first official confirmation that safety rules weren't followed preceding the Sunday crash. Specifically, it highlighted concerns about the way personnel working on tracks follow safety standards. It stated that both federal regulations and Amtrak's internal rules were not being followed leading up to the crash, according to information provided by a senior FRA official.
NEWS
April 5, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
A news conference by the National Transportation Safety Board Sunday evening was light on details, leaving unanswered the most pressing questions from the crash. The investigative agency declined to answer questions about what the work crew was doing, how a maintenance vehicle ended up on an active track and why the train's operators were not made aware the maintenance crew was there. These would all be questions explored by their investigation, which they said would look at mechanical, operations, track, human performance, scheduling and survival factors.
NEWS
April 5, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Caitlin McCabe, and Marie McCullough, STAFF WRITERS
An Amtrak train derailed after crashing into a maintenance vehicle in Chester on Sunday, killing two rail workers and injuring 37 passengers, rail officials said. The crash, the second fatal Amtrak derailment in the region within the last year, suspended service between Philadelphia and Washington, and shut down SEPTA trains on the Wilmington/Newark line. Amtrak Train 89, operating from New York to Savannah, Ga., struck a backhoe on the tracks around 7:50 a.m. Sunday near Sixth and Booth Streets in Chester, officials said.
NEWS
April 4, 2016 | By Julie Shaw, Staff Writer
A Camden man has been arrested and charged with the Friday shooting death of his mother, authorities said Saturday. Pedro Mercado, 22, of Camden, allegedly shot Iris Sanchez, 38, in their home on the 1100 block of North 18th Street about 5:30 p.m. Friday. Police responding to a 911 call found Sanchez with a gunshot wound. She was taken to Cooper University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 7:25 p.m. Friday. Mercado was arrested by Camden County sheriff's officers about 8 p.m. Friday near the intersection of Haddon Avenue and Benson Street in Camden, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said in a news release Saturday.
NEWS
April 3, 2016
An unidentified man was fatally shot Friday afternoon in the Swampoodle section of North Philadelphia, police said. The victim, described as about 20 years old, was shot multiple times in the chest just before 4 p.m. in the 2200 block of West Indiana Avenue, police said. He was taken by medics to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:34 p.m. Police reported no arrests. - Robert Moran
NEWS
March 31, 2016 | By Julie Shaw, Staff Writer
A 40-year-old Burlington County woman was arrested Tuesday in connection with a hit-and-run Monday night that killed a 16-year-old boy on Route 130 in Pennsauken, police said. Susan Hyland, of Beverly, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and driving with a suspended license. About 11:20 p.m. Monday, Hyland was driving south on Route 130, just past Browning Road, when she hit a young male crossing the road, Pennsauken Police Capt. Thomas Connor said. The victim, Quason Turner, was a Pennsauken High School student, Police Sgt. Chris Sulzbach said.
NEWS
March 31, 2016 | By Jeff Gammage, Staff Writer
Philadelphia fire investigators had no scientific basis to conclude that a 1985 rowhouse fire in Oxford Circle was arson, a defense expert testified about the blaze that killed two boys and sent their father to death row for their murder. Nationally known fire consultant John Lentini said that when he heard that a city fire marshal, and then a second, had identified three separate points of origin for the fire, "I said, 'He must be magic, because it can't be done.' " The fire, he said Tuesday in Common Pleas Court, could have started from a smoldering cigarette.
BUSINESS
March 31, 2016 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Staff Writer
Maybe high on the roof, so close to the sky, roofers such as James McCullagh feel invincible, towering over the world, towering over their fate. McCullagh, 60, said as much in federal court Tuesday, before he was sentenced to prison in connection with a roofing accident that killed his good friend Mark T. Smith, 52, on June 21, 2013. "It is a dangerous trade," McCullagh told U.S. District Judge Nitza I. Quinones Alejandro in a courtroom filled with about 50 spectators, the majority of them McCullagh's friends and many cousins.
NEWS
March 30, 2016 | By Jeff Gammage, Staff Writer
A photo of a singed-but-standing box of Frosted Flakes helped reveal the three-decade-old circumstances of a fatal rowhouse fire in Oxford Circle, a prosecution expert testified Monday. The condition of the box and its position in the kitchen helped determine the fire's path, consultant and former Philadelphia Fire Marshal Thomas Schneiders said, among factors that proved investigators got it right in 1985 when they said the blaze that killed brothers Daniel Dougherty Jr., 4, and John Dougherty, 3, was deliberately set. Their father, Daniel Dougherty, was convicted and sentenced to death for murder and arson in 2000.
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