In brief: Train crash likely to affect traffic for week
HARTFORD, Conn. – Traffic in southwest Connecticut could be a mess for as much as a week until service is restored to the commuter rail line affected by a derailment that injured scores of passengers, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy warned Sunday.
Malloy used dire language to describe traffic troubles for the work week ahead in an area that even in normal times is a pain for motorists.
Crews will spend days rebuilding 2,000 feet of track, overhead wires and signals following the collision between two trains Friday evening that injured 72 people. Nine remained hospitalized, one critically.
About 700 people were on board the trains Friday evening when one heading east from New York City’s Grand Central Terminal to New Haven derailed just outside Bridgeport. It was hit by a train heading west from New Haven. Investigators are looking at a broken section of rail to see if it is connected to the derailment and collision. Officials said it wasn’t clear if the rail was broken in the crash or earlier.
Officials say driver had medical incident
DAMASCUS, Va. – Authorities believe the driver who plowed into dozens of hikers marching in a Virginia mountain town parade suffered from a medical condition and did not cause the crash intentionally, an emergency official said Sunday.
Officials did not have a formal confirmation or any specifics on the condition, but based on the accounts of authorities and witnesses on the scene, they are confident the issue was medical, said Pokey Harris, Washington County’s director of emergency management. “There is no reason to believe this was intentional,” she said.
In what witnesses called a frantic scene at the parade, about 50 to 60 people suffered injuries ranging from critical to superficial Saturday. No fatalities were reported. Three of the worst injured were flown by helicopter to area hospitals.
Two people were kept at hospitals overnight, but their injuries were not critical as of Sunday, Harris said. Most were treated and released.
The crash happened around 2:10 p.m. Saturday during the Hikers Parade at the Trail Days festival, an annual celebration of the Appalachian Trail in Damascus, near the Tennessee state line about a half-hour drive east of Bristol.
Damascus police Chief Bill Nunley didn’t release the driver’s name or age but said he was participating in the parade and he had traversed the Appalachian Trail in the past. Several witnesses described him as an elderly man.
Nunley said the man’s 1997 Cadillac was one of the last vehicles in the parade and the driver might have suffered an unspecified medical problem when his car accelerated to about 25 mph and struck the crowd on a two-lane bridge along the town’s main road. The driver was among those taken to hospitals.
Slaying to be charged as hate crime
NEW YORK – The man who police say hurled homophobic slurs at a gay man on a Manhattan street before firing a single fatal shot to his head appeared in court Sunday to face a charge of murder as a hate crime.
Elliot Morales, who appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court, is also charged with criminal possession of a weapon and menacing, according to the complaint filed Sunday by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
Authorities said the Greenwich Village resident killed 32-year-old Mark Carson early Saturday as he walked with a companion in Morales’ neighborhood.
Morales was ordered held without bail pending another court appearance on Thursday. On Saturday, seconds before opening fire in the lively Village streets just after midnight, police say Morales followed Carson and a companion through the Village, asking if they “want to die here,” police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
Police said Morales then yelled anti-gay slurs before shooting Carson point-blank in the face in a neighborhood long known as a bedrock of the gay rights movement.
Morales was soon arrested a few blocks away.
Teen killed over iPad; two arrested
Two men have been arrested in the killing of a teenage boy over an iPad in Las Vegas, police said Sunday.
Jacob Dismont, 18, and Michael Solid, 21, were booked Saturday into the Clark County Jail on charges of open murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.
According to investigators, Marcos Arenas, 15, was walking down a street with the iPad on Thursday when a passenger got out of a vehicle and tried to steal the device from him.
Dismont is accused of trying to wrest the tablet away and dragging Arenas toward the SUV when the youth wouldn’t let go of the device. After Dismont re-entered the vehicle and Solid sped away, the teen was dragged until he fell. The vehicle ran over Arenas and he died at a hospital.