Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fat Freddy's Trailer Becomes Unhitched

As Fat Freddy's Drop prepares to help Nelson ring in 2010, the band will be looking back on a year which had its dramas. By Alice Cowdrey.

It was a dark night on a six-lane freeway on the way into Los Angeles when the members of Fat Freddy's Drop found themselves in a spot of bother.

A trailer containing all of their instruments came loose from the bus they were travelling in. The trailer flipped over a safety barrier, tumbling down a steep bank. Online video footage shows the band members at 2am grimly retrieving an amplifier, a drum and a smashed-up saxophone case.

Inside were the remains of a 1961 baritone saxophone.

"It was a complete write-off," says the owner of the instrument, Scott Towers (aka Chopper Reedz).

Word of the accident got around quickly and Towers says people were emailing and phoning him from around the world offering advice on where he could get a new one.

One guy holidaying in Holland who read a blog report about the accident told Towers about a friend who worked in a store about 30 minutes out of Amsterdam which sold the instrument Towers was after. On arriving for a gig in the city, Towers caught a cab to the shop and found a 1960 vintage baritone sax, similar to his squashed one. "Even the serial numbers are similar."

Looking back on the accident now, it actually seems a little scary, Towers says.

"It could have been a complete diaster. We were calm at the time and post-accident, but I think everyone realises that it could have gone horribly wrong. It would have been a nightmare."

Near-tragedies aside, it's been an epic ride for the band who this year released their second album, Boondigga and The Big BW. Now they are psyching themselves up for a big summer, and tonight will welcome in the new year at the Riwaka Hotel.

Most of the seven-piece "family" of musicians grew up together in Wellington and over the years have won a legion of fans and respect. Emerging through a multitude of groups including funk jam bands, reggae sound systems, jazz improvisation and live techno groups, the musicians have stuck to an independent attitude, releasing their music through The Drop, their artist-operated label.

Towers officially joined the Freddy's family in December 2007, but has been jamming with the band on and off since 2002. He has been a part of the New Zealand music scene for the past 15 years after completing a music degree in jazz performance.

Child killed in hit and run accident Press Release


Contact: Trooper Ed Howard


Safety Education Officer
District 14, Macomb
(309) 833-4046 Ext. 236
Cellular: (309) 252-2570

Macomb, IL -- The Illinois State Police (ISP), at the request of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, investigated a two vehicle crash resulting in one fatality which occurred at IL Route 96 approximately ¼ of a mile North of County Road 1235N on December 28, 2009 at about 11:13 a.m. The crash occurred when a trailer being towed by a 1982 Ford Pickup driven by Gary L. Mason, age 42, of Argyle, IA, broke free, crossed the center line, and struck a 2006 Chrysler 4 door being driven by Lora L. Smajlovic, age 30, of Hamilton, IL.

Smajlovic received minor injuries and was transported to Keokuk, IA. Other passengers in Smajlovic’s vehicle included: Ann Leeper, age 56, of Hamilton, IL who received minor injuries and was transported to Carthage, IL, one minor child, age 2, who received minor injuries and was transported to Carthage, IL, one minor child, age 11, who received moderate injuries and was transported to Quincy, IL, and one minor child, age 6, who received fatal injuries and was transported to Keokuk, IA.

Mason was not injured and fled the scene of the crash. Mason was located in Lee County, IA and is currently being held at the Hancock County Jail. Mason is charged with Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Accident. The public is reminded that criminal charges are merely accusations and that defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Responding agencies also included: Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, Hamilton Police Department, Lee County Iowa Sheriff’s Office, Hancock County States Attorneys’ Office, Hamilton Fire Department, Hancock County Ambulance, and Air Evac. This incident remains under investigation and no additional information is available at this time. Further media inquiries should be directed to the Illinois State Police.
# # #

Child killed in hit and run accident

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 9:09 a.m.

HAMILTON, IL -- A Lee County Iowa man faces a charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident Monday near Hamilton.

The accident left a six year old dead and four others hurt.

The Illinois State Police say this man Gary Mason of Argyle was pulling a trailer when it came loose from his truck, and veered into the oncoming lane of traffic and collided with a car driven by Lora Smajlovic on Illinois 96 south of Hamilton.

A memorial has been set up at the scene of the accident in memory of the six year old girl.

She was in the back seat with two other siblings.

Smaljovic along with three other passengers were injured and taken to area hospitals.

Mason is currently in the Hancock County Jail on a 125 thousand dollar bond.

State's Attorney Jim Drodz says there likely will be other charges filed.

Mason will be back in court Thursday.

Trailer Exclusions in Auto Insurance... Insurance Agents...Exposed.. E & O...

Trailer Exclusions in Auto Insurance

Trailer Exclusions in Auto Insurance

There are all kinds of trailers. There are mobile home trailers, boat hauling trailers, car hauling trailers, horse trailers, and campers. Some automobile insurance policies exclude all trailers from coverage. Some permit coverage of a trailer only if it is designed for use with a private passenger automobile and is described in the insurance policy. Commercial truck trailers and semi-trailers have their own insurance needs and are beyond the scope of this article.

Just the attachment of an uninsured trailer to an automobile in violation of an automobile insurance policy's trailer exclusion was enough, in one case, to deny recovery of damages in an automobile collision, even though the trailer did not come into contact with the other vehicle. When a truck, which was insured under a policy that permitted a trailer to be used with a private passenger automobile, was using the trailer for commercial purposes at the time of a collision, exclusion of coverage was permitted because of the commercial nature of the trailer's use.

A camper, which was involved in a fatal highway accident, was found to be an "owned automobile" for purposes of an automobile policy that provided coverage arising out of the use of an owned automobile. The policy indicated that a "utility trailer" pulled by "owned automobile" was deemed to be an "owned automobile." The camper, which had a dining area, kitchen, bath facilities, and a bedroom, was designed for use with a private automobile. The insured only used the camper for vacation trips. Thus, the camper was a permitted "utility trailer" and not an excluded "home trailer."

Where an automobile liability policy provided that it did not apply while an automobile was being used for towing a trailer, an insurance company was not liable for injuries suffered when the trailer being towed by an insured truck came loose and struck another vehicle.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Iowa man held in deadly hit-and-run accident

Note: I have a 5 1/2 year old daughter.....this 6 year old was opening presents last week...and now the family is dealing with this.

Why? Where are the standards?
Where is the training?
Where is the inspections?
What will be the penalty?

Iowa man held in deadly hit-and-run accident

gary l. mason.jpg
Hannibal Courier-Post
Posted Dec 29, 2009 @ 01:46 PM

Hamilton, IL —

An Iowa man has been arrested in a hit-and-run accident that killed a six-year-old girl.

Forty-two-year-old Gary L. Mason of Argyle, Iowa, was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

Authorities said Mason was driving a pickup pulling a trailer at 11:10 a.m. Monday on Ill. 96 at Hamilton. The trailer broke loose and struck a car driven by Lora Smajlovic, 30, of Hamilton.

Smajlovic and two passengers, 56-year-old Ann Leeper of Hamilton and a two-year-old child had minor injuries. An 11-year-old received moderate injuries. The six-year-old girl died.

Mason was not injured. Witnesses told authorities the truck driver turned around after the accident and drove by the Smajlovic vehicle.

Mason later was located in Lee County, Iowa. He was taken to the Hancock County Jail in Carthage, Ill., pending a court appearance.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Multi-vehicle major accident triggered by loose trailer wheel

Multi-vehicle major accident triggered by loose trailer wheel

by Steve W Stewart

Respond to this story
Email this story to a friend

This Ford pickup truck was struck head-on by the wheel, and it then collided with a GMC truck. Photo by Steve W Stewart.

Witnesses say a multi-vehicle major accident in north Jasper County on Tuesday afternoon was the result of a trailer tire that came loose, and local law enforcement is trying to find the driver of the truck that was pulling the trailer.

The accident occurred at about 1:30 on Highway 96, appr

oximately one mile north of Recreational Road 255.

A Brookeland woman and her daughter were injured in the crash, while an elderly couple from Hemphill escaped with only scratches from their overturned truck.

According to witness Tammy Marshall of Port Arthur, a large, gold color Dodge pickup truck was traveling southbound and towing a trailer with some type of heavy equipment on the back. Marshall said a wheel and tire came off of the trailer, it first bounced off of an 18-wheeler, and then collided head-on with with a northbound pickup truck, which caused it to crash into another truck.

40-year-old Wendy Smith of Hemphill was driving the northbound

Lake Rayburn and Jasper firefighters used the Jaws of Life to free a Hemphill couple from their overturned GMC pickup truck while DPS Trooper Lester McCray, left, watches the operation. Photo by Steve W Stewart.

2002 Ford F-150 pickup truck that was struck head-on by the wheel. She and her 14-year-old daughter, Shelby, were taken by ambulance to Christus Jasper Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

After the impact, Smith's pickup veered left into a southbound 2004 GMC pickup truck, driven by 75-year-old Alvin Zaruba of Hemphill. A fraction of a second is all that kept the two trucks from colliding head-on.

Zaruba's truck slid off of the highway and overturned, coming to rest against pine trees. The Lake Rayburn and Jasper Fire Departments had to use the Jaws of Life to cut Zaruba and his wife, Yvonne, from their overturned truck.

The driver of the 18-wheeler that was struck by the tire, Delbert Whittemore of Buna, said he heard and felt the tire hit his truck, and he looked into his rear-view mirror and saw the other vehicles colliding behind him.

Trooper Lester McCray of the Texas Department of Publ

ic Safety investigated the accident.

Kevin Smith comforts his injured 14-year-old daughter Shelby Smith. Shelby and her mother, Wendy Smith, were struck head-on by the runaway tire. Photo by Steve W Stewart.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Route 78 lane in Bethlehem closes after accident with motorhome

Route 78 lane in Bethlehem closes after accident with motorhome

By Veronica Slaght/For The Star-Ledger

December 07, 2009, 6:23PM

BETHLEHEM -- A motorhome flipped over on Route 78 eastbound in Bethlehem Township, causing the right lane of the busy highway to be closed, according to state police at the Perryville Barracks.

There are no serious injuries, but the right lane is closed at mile marker 8.6, police said.

Police said the accident is in the process of being cleared.

Story tags: bethlehem


(6 total) RSS
Oldest comments are shown first. Show newest comments first
Posted by trainwayne
December 07, 2009, 6:46PM

Just another example of safety being ignored in NJ. While there is a federally mandated license required for drivers of commercial vehicles as small as Fedex vans and school buses, there are NO requirements at all for someone to drive these large RV's and pull trailers bigger than commercial vehicles. A license to drive a car should be just that. If people want to drive bigger vehicles they should be required to learn the correct way and have to pass a written and driving test to be on the road. There are enough legitimate hazards on the roads without having a whole group of drivers out there who aren't qualified and put their own and other's lives in danger .

Inappropriate comment? Alert us.
Posted by sweetloquita
December 07, 2009, 6:56PM

Maybe if you have a little plain or rent it out w/t a license since you rent it you can fly away from NJ too LOL

Now be compassion for that family is just one of us , who just trying to flee NJ . I guess they now stock here till after New Year .

Inappropriate comment? Alert us.
Posted by mla30ski09
December 07, 2009, 7:00PM

Where in the article does it state that the driver of the motorhome caused the accident?

Inappropriate comment? Alert us.
Posted by njfor007
December 07, 2009, 7:03PM

Oh OK , so was the passenger the one who caused the accident instead ? That could be very possible .

Inappropriate comment? Alert us.
Posted by ronmelancon
December 09, 2009, 12:59PM

Once again..we have a serious issue with an R.V. accident. Questions must be asked....why people are alowed to drive a R.V. with no formal certification on how to drive it.

I know is becasue the R.V. industry does not want any restrictions on thier product.

Yet last month a 72 year of man lost control of his R.V. in Indiana and smashed into 6 cars and simply destroyed the lives of a family.

They lost their daughter who was 4. Why?

Read the story by going to and see... R.V. smashes into 6 cars

Inappropriate comment? Alert us.
Posted by ronmelancon
December 09, 2009, 1:57PM

Once again..we have a serious issue with an R.V. accident. Questions must be asked....why people are alowed to drive a R.V. with no formal certification on how to drive it.

I know is becasue the R.V. industry does not want any restrictions on thier product.

Yet last month a 72 year of man lost control of his R.V. in Indiana and smashed into 6 cars and simply destroyed the lives of a family.

They lost their daughter who was 4. Why?

Read the story by going to and see... R.V. smashes into 6 cars


Woman killed after trailer she was towing comes loose

Andrew Rogers/The Daily Sentinel

Emergency personnel work the scene of an accident on FM 226 Tuesday morning in which Tracy Lynn Dailey was killed.
Woman killed after trailer she was towing comes loose

The Daily Sentinel

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A woman died after her truck was pushed off the road by the trailer she was towing Tuesday morning, causing the vehicle to collide with a tree, according to a report filed by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Tracy Lynn Dailey, 37, of Bronson, was northbound on FM 226 1.4 miles south of Woden at about 10:15 a.m. when the trailer she was pulling came off the towing ball of the truck and pushed against the bumper, according to DPS Trooper Keith Jones.

"The horse trailer tongue was locked and the pin was through it, but it was never on the ball," Jones, who investigated the wreck, said. "It was sitting on top of the ball, and safety chains were hooked. The breakaway device was hooked up, but the tongue eventually slipped off the ball, and as she was pulling it down the road, the trailer was pushing her."

On the scene, the truck had to be pulled away from a tree about 10 feet off the roadway where it had come to a halt and had lodged against the driver side door. Nacogdoches Fire Department responded to the scene with the Jaws of Life that were used to pry off the door that had become mangled by the impact.

Dailey was trapped in the vehicle for almost half an hour while crews worked to free her from the cab of the truck.

Dailey was taken to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead by Dr. Eulogio Ouano Bonsukan at 11:39 a.m., according to the reports.

The report stated that her seatbelt was worn at the time of the accident and that Wyman Roberts in San Augustine will be in charge of funeral arrangements.

Keith Lansdale's e-mail address