WITNESSES: SKYDIVERS WHO DIED DESCENDED TOO FAST: BARNSTABLE, Mass. (AP) — The two skydivers killed after they crashed into a building during a tandem jump on Cape Cod appeared to be having problems as they descended, police said.
Andrew Munson, of Nantucket, and his instructor, Eldon Burrier, of West Lynnwood, Washington, died Sunday while skydiving at the Marstons Mills Airport in Barnstable, Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe and Barnstable Police Chief Paul McDonald said in a joint statement Monday.
Munson, 29, and Burrier, 48, were involved in a tandem jump from a plane operated by Skydive Barnstable. They struck a shed on private property adjacent to the airport at about 5:15 p.m. Sunday.
Witnesses told police the pair appeared to be in trouble, descending too fast and out of control.
“We were notified that a student and an instructor were descending at a fairly high rate of speed having a problem with their chute,” Sgt. Ben Baxter said.
Homeowner John Theriault said he rushed to the aid of both men while his wife called 911, and then stayed with them offering comfort until emergency personnel arrived.
WAL-MART: MORGAN WASN’T WEARING SEATBELT IN CRASH: NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Actor-comedian Tracy Morgan and other people in a limousine struck from behind by a Wal-Mart truck on a highway in June are at least partly to blame for their injuries because they weren’t wearing seatbelts, the company said in a court filing Monday.
The filing was made in federal court in response to a lawsuit Morgan filed in July over the accident, which killed his friend James McNair, who was accompanying the former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” star back from a show in Delaware. Morgan spent several weeks in rehab with rib and leg injuries.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., based in Bentonville, Arkansas, said in the filing that the passengers’ injuries were caused “in whole or in part” by their “failure to properly wear an appropriate available seatbelt restraint device,” which it said constitutes unreasonable conduct.
An attorney representing Morgan and the other plaintiffs called Wal-Mart’s contentions “surprising and appalling.”
“It’s disingenuous,” attorney Benedict Morelli said. “It’s not what they said they were going to do initially, which was take full responsibility. I’m very upset, not for myself but for the families I represent.”
WHITE HOUSE INTRUDER GETS FAR PAST FRONT DOOR: WASHINGTON (AP) — The intruder who climbed a fence made it farther inside the White House than the Secret Service has publicly acknowledged, a Republican congressman said Monday. The disclosures came on the eve of a congressional oversight hearing with the director of the embattled agency assigned to protect the president’s life.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who chairs a House subcommittee on national security oversight, said whistleblowers had informed his panel that Omar J. Gonzalez had made it far beyond the front doors of the White House, despite what the Secret Service had said in the hours after the incident. Chaffetz criticized the Secret Service and its leadership for not doing more to stop the suspect earlier.
“I have deep concerns that the president is not as safe as we want and need him to be,” Chaffetz said on CNN.
In the hours after the Sept. 19 fence-jumper incident, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told The Associated Press that the suspect had been apprehended just inside the North Portico doors of the White House. The Secret Service also said that night that the suspect had been unarmed — an assertion that was revealed to be false the next day when officials acknowledged Gonzalez had a knife with him when he was apprehended.
CREW MAKES 1,126-POUND BOWL OF HAWAII RICE DISH : HONOLULU (AP) — A group is claiming a world record for a popular Hawaii dish, after putting together a massive bowl of rice, hamburger, eggs and gravy.
Chef Hideaki Miyoshi of Tokkuri Tei restaurant and volunteers at Sunday’s Fifth Annual Rice Festival assembled a bowl of loco moco that weighed 1,126 pounds.
Loco moco was invented in the late 1940s in Hilo. There are varieties, but the basic dish consists of hot white rice, a hamburger patty, an over-easy fried egg and brown gravy.
Guinness World Records said the dish would have to weigh at least 1,100 pounds for consideration.
Miyoshi and his crew used more than 600 pounds of rice, 200 pounds of ground beef, 300 scrambled eggs and 200 pounds of gravy.