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Accidental Deaths

October 23, 1987
Nathan Meade, one of Australia's premier divers, was killed when he apparently misjudged a dive during practice and smashed into the concrete diving platform Thursday at Brisbane, Australia. Meade, 21, was pronounced dead at Princess Alexandra Hospital. Doctors said he suffered massive brain damage. The Australian high-dive champion was a top contender for a spot on his nation's 1988 Olympic team.
September 23, 2013 | By Laura J. Nelson
Although the number of accidental deaths on the Metro Blue Line appear to be falling, the suicide rate remains “troubling and high,” transit officials announced Monday. The 22-mile line that connects downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach has the dubious distinction as the most fatal transit line in Southern California. Since its opening in 1990, the line has seen more suicides -- 31 -- than the county's four other light-rail lines combined. This year alone, there have been three suicides on the Blue Line.
Actor Brandon Lee, the 28-year-old son of the late kung fu star Bruce Lee, was killed Wednesday after a small explosive charge used to simulate gunfire went off inside a grocery bag during filming on a movie set in Wilmington, N.C. Lee, who many believed was on the threshold of stardom similar to that attained by his father two decades earlier, had been working on the $14-million movie "The Crow," produced by Edward Pressman and Jeff Most.
June 19, 2013 | By Tony Perry
A San Diego man has been arrested on three felony charges in connection with the accidental shooting death of a 10-year-old boy, officials said. Eric Klyaz was killed June 4 when he and a 9-year-old neighbor were playing with a gun they found in the girl's garage and the weapon discharged, according to the county medical examiner. The gun was owned by the girl's father, Todd Conrad Francis. Francis, 52, surrendered to police Tuesday afternoon and was booked into county jail on charges of child endangerment, negligent storage of a firearm, and involuntary manslaughter.
September 18, 2000 | H.G. REZA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Three people were killed and two injured Sunday when a driver suspected of being under the influence of alcohol drove a 1993 Ford Explorer off a freeway offramp and into a tree in San Juan Capistrano, authorities said. California Highway Patrol investigators said three passengers, two men and one woman, died instantly, and the driver and a fourth passenger were taken to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo in critical condition.
December 3, 2005 | Claire Luna, Times Staff Writer
The family of a man who was killed in 2003 when a wheel assembly fell off a locomotive on Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and caused it to crash settled a lawsuit Friday against the Walt Disney Co. for an undisclosed sum. While the settlement's terms are confidential, Marcelo Torres' parents said they were giving $500,000 of it to Brooks College in Long Beach to provide scholarships to aspiring animators. Their 22-year-old son was a graphic artist.
July 27, 2007 | Tami Abdollah and Stuart Silverstein, Times Staff Writers
Three workers were killed and three others were badly hurt Thursday afternoon in an explosion on the edge of Kern County's Mojave airport during the test of a propellant system for a pioneering private spaceship. The blast occurred at a private test site run by Scaled Composites, a company founded by high-profile aviation entrepreneur Burt Rutan. In June 2004, the firm became the first business to launch a reusable manned rocket into space, a craft known as SpaceShip One.
Two El Segundo toddlers found dead in their beds last spring were poisoned by oleander leaves from a neighbor's yard that they picked and ate, coroner's officials said Tuesday. The case of Alexei and Peter Wiltsey, ages 2 and 3, represents the first confirmed accidental deaths by oleander poisoning in county history, said coroner's spokesman Scott Carrier.
Wanda Sapp often visited movie sets to watch her daughter perform stunts. She never dreamed she'd watch her daughter die. Sapp and two of her other children were present in November, when Sonja Davis fell to her death while working as a stunt double on the upcoming Eddie Murphy film "Vampire in Brooklyn." The family is suing Paramount Studios and Eddie Murphy Productions for $10 million, alleging that the film crew failed to provide proper safety equipment.
June 15, 1993 | From Associated Press
A sinkhole, apparently caused by severe storms that overwhelmed an old sewer pipe, swallowed part of a hotel parking lot Monday, killing two people. One of the dead was Victoria Vaynshteyn, 26, whose car was swallowed up by the sinkhole as she drove to her job at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel. The other victim, Oscar Cano, was a restaurant worker at the hotel.
June 3, 2013 | By Kate Mather, Los Angeles Times
A busy weekend at Yosemite National Park saw rare back-to-back fatalities after a man was swept over a 600-foot waterfall and another was struck by a falling rock while climbing El Capitan, officials said. Numbers show that accidental deaths at the park are not up overall compared to last year, and officials stressed that two fatalities in one weekend is rare. "It's not very often that this happens," park spokeswoman Kari Cobb said. On Saturday, a 19-year-old Sacramento man visiting the park with a church group stopped along the popular Mist Trail for a swim above Nevada fall, officials said.
May 22, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian and Shashank Bengali, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - As President Obama prepared to deliver a major speech on national security Thursday, his administration acknowledged for the first time that it had killed four U.S. citizens - one more than previously known - in drone missile strikes in Yemen and Pakistan. The disclosure Wednesday raised fresh questions about the secret drone campaign, a signature part of Obama's counter-terrorism effort, in which several thousand suspected terrorists, militants and others have been killed.
May 10, 2013 | Kate Mather and Andrew Blankstein
A British Olympic gold medalist in sailing was killed Thursday when a catamaran training for the upcoming America's Cup capsized in San Francisco Bay. Andrew "Bart" Simpson was part of an 11-man crew aboard Artemis Racing's AC72 vessel when the boat flipped northwest of Treasure Island about 1 p.m., officials said. Simpson, 36, served as the Swedish team's strategist. An America's Cup chase boat pulled the sailors from the water, but Simpson was trapped under the 72-foot catamaran for up to 15 minutes before he was reached, San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.
March 12, 2013 | By David Lauter, This post has been corrected. See note below
In America's debate over gun policy, one of the sharpest divides separates those who believe a gun at home makes them safer from those who believe that gun ownership would put them at risk. Increasingly, gun owners cite protection, rather than hunting or other recreational activities, as the main reason they own a gun, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. Nearly half of gun owners cited “protection” as their main reason for owning a gun, according to the survey.
February 4, 2013 | Julie Cart and Jessica Garrison
At least eight people were killed Sunday night and more than 30 injured when a tour bus crashed on a narrow mountain road near Yucaipa, authorities said. The collision, which involved the bus, a truck and a sedan, took place about 6:30 p.m. on California 38 on a route leading from the Big Bear area, authorities said. Some people were ejected from the bus; others were trapped inside. Because of the severity of the carnage, it was difficult for rescue workers to immediately identify exactly how many people were killed.
November 12, 2012 | By Lisa Girion and Scott Glover, Los Angeles Times
The chairman of a state Senate committee that oversees the Medical Board of California said Monday that he would introduce a bill requiring coroners to report all prescription drug deaths to the agency - a move aimed at helping authorities identify doctors whose prescribing practices may be harming patients. Sen. Curren D. Price Jr. (D-Los Angeles), responding to a Times' report that authorities have failed to recognize how often people overdose on medications prescribed by their doctors, said the medical board needed coroners' reports to improve its oversight.
January 11, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
The father of a teenager who killed a 12-year-old acquaintance has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of improperly storing a gun. David Glen Tillotson, 41, of Foresthill must serve five years' probation, do 300 hours of community service and will not be allowed to own a gun. His son, then 15, accidentally shot Justin Kosinski in March, and has pleaded guilty to felony involuntary manslaughter.
February 18, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
A twin-engine plane crashed off the southern part of the state, killing three adults and a child. The plane left Tamiami Airport, bound for the Bahamas, officials said. It was reported missing three hours later. The Coast Guard found the bodies and the wreckage of the plane eight miles east of Miami. Killed were Al Gustinger, who was in his 70s; Erik Gustinger and Idel Gustinger, both in their 30s; and Erik Gustinger Jr., 7, the Coast Guard said. All four were Americans, officials said.
January 15, 2012 | Sarah Delaney
Divers scoured the water for survivors and passengers told of Titanic-style pandemonium and being abandoned by crew members Saturday after a luxury cruise liner was ripped open by rocks off the Italian coast. At least three people died and 40 were injured in the accident near Tuscany, which forced more than 4,200 passengers and crew members to abandon the ship Costa Concordia on Friday evening. Dramatic photos taken Saturday showed the jumbo liner tipped over in the water, a long gash in its hull, near the small island of Giglio.
June 24, 2011 | David Lazarus
We've all heard about — and many of us have experienced — unexpected charges showing up on phone bills. But what about fees siphoned from your bank account? What about those fees being taken by an affiliate of your bank? And what can you do when your bank won't help because it claims you gave "phone authorization" for something like accidental death insurance, even though you never signed any paperwork? That's the situation Sumati Rao, 62, of Rancho Palos Verdes found herself in after discovering she'd been charged $20 a month for about two years for accidental death coverage provided by a company called Level AD Insurance.
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