2012 February Archive

Navy Superweapon: Advances in Technology or Scary New World

By Richard Console on February 29, 2012 - Comments off

Massive superweapons bombarding enemy targets with science-fiction-like weapons using electromagnetic waves to hurtle projectiles without explosion are not just the stuff of fantasy—our Navy has made just such a weapon. When there are advances in warfare technology I frankly become scared. That is exactly how I am feeling right now about the Navy’s railgun.

Last week the Navy began testing their weapon-scale prototype of this weapon which uses electromagnetic forces to hurtle projectiles at speeds upwards of 4,500 mph according to Yahoo News. Words cannot even adequately describe my terror at seeing the power of this weapon.

There are two terrifying things about this weapon for me. One the range on it is far beyond what current Navy weapons are capable of. They are hoping that within a few years they will be able to increase the firing capabilities 8 fold. Going from 5,000 mph to 40,000 mph. The second terrifying thing is that there is no need for explosive ammunition. So when the zombie apocalypse begins we can fire pretty much anything out of it—joking of course.

This Discovery Channel report is from when they first began working on this weapon in 2007, but it explains the aims of the program as well as how they are trying to make this weapon fire a projectile at 8 times the speed of sound. THE SPEED OF SOUND.

Does all of this remind anyone else of the End of Ze World?

Of course, working at a New Jersey personal injury attorney law office, I first thought about the legality of a weapon like this. We as a country are always going on about weapons of mass destruction and how the production of these weapons must be thwarted, but what are we creating? Wouldn’t this be considered a dangerous weapon?

I’m interested in hearing other people’s thoughts on this subject. Is this a necessary advance in warfare or is it a slippery slope to a new world full of futuristic warfare and destruction? Are we becoming too powerful? And what will happen when our enemies get a hold of a similar weapon?

It really is a scary thing to consider.

Photo credit: Wikimedia.

Posted in: Featured Posts

 

Philadelphia Man Injured in New Jersey Car Accident

By Staff on February 29, 2012 - Comments off

Edward Rowe, 51, was injured in a New Jersey car accident after his motorcycle was struck by a vehicle whose driver was making a left turn. According to a news report in the Gloucester County Times, the injury collision occurred the evening of February 28, 2012 at the intersection of South Academy Street and Stanger Avenue in Glassboro.

Officials say Rowe was riding his 1997 Kawasaki motorcycle when a 1998 Pontiac Sunfire driven by Joseph Austen Jr., 39, traveling west on Stanger Avenue made a left turn on to Academy Street. The motorcycle hit the rear of the Pontiac. Rowe was transported to an area hospital with multiple injuries. Police are looking into who was at fault including reports that the motorcyclist was traveling at a high rate of speed.

My thoughts and prayers are with the injured motorcyclist. I wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

Read the rest »

Crash Statistics

According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, there are nearly 300,000 traffic collisions in the state every year. In 2010, there were 516 fatal crashes and more than 190,000 injury collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports there are more than 5,000 people killed in motorcycle accidents. The majority of those accidents involved frontal collisions.

Laws and Liability Issues

Based on this news report, it appears that the driver made a left turn at the intersection when the motorcycle struck the back of the vehicle. It is not clear if the driver failed to yield the right of way or if the motorcyclist was simply traveling too fast. Under New Jersey Statutes 39:4-90: “The driver of a vehicle within an intersection intending to turn to the left shall yield to a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.”

In this particular case, if the driver of the Pontiac is determined to have been at fault, then, he can be held liable for the injuries caused to Rowe. If, the motorcyclist is determined to have been at fault, he can be held liable for the damages caused if any. In such cases, injured victims would be well advised to contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer who will analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.

 

3 Most Memorable Moments from Daytona Weekend

By Richard Console on February 28, 2012 - Comments off

There was a lot of NASCAR action this past weekend in Daytona. From the Daytona 500 to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to the Drive4COPD there was plenty for racing fans to feast their eyes on. This is definitely one racing weekend that will go down in history and it won’t be because of the winners—what winners?

No, what this weekend will be remembered for is rain, fire, and crashes—so many crashes. Here are the top three most memorable moments from the series of races in Daytona this past weekend.

1. Juan Pablo Montoya vs. Jet Dryer

 

It was something never encountered before. Not only did he crash into the jet dryer that was trying to prepare the track, the accident sent flaming balls across the track. It seemed as though this race was doomed to never happen after the 30-hour rain delay they had already encountered. The race was delayed another two hours to clean up the mess, thank goodness they had Tide!

2. Danica Patrick, crash crash crash!

I am sure Danica Patrick thought her Daytona 500 debut would have been more…well anything but what it was. She couldn’t catch a break, or should I say brake, getting in three accidents in less than a week.

Oh, and did we mention that her second crash was caused by one of her teammates?

She had been through enough, right?

In the end, with all of the repairs that needed to be done to her car she completed the race in 38th place—she did beat five people, that counts for something right?

3. Flying Truck

I’ve hear of flying cars—Chiddy Chiddy Bang Bang anyone—but never a flying truck. I have to give props to Miguel Paludo for walking away from that crash; I would have been a big baby about it. That truck really did get some major air.

Luckily no one was injured in these crashes, but a car or truck accident can be devastating even for professionals. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident contact a NJ car accident lawyer at Console & Hollawell. Call us today at (866) 778-5500 to set up your free consultation.

Main photo credit: TBO.

 

Teen Passenger Killed in New Jersey Car Accident

By Staff on February 28, 2012 - Comments off

Asia Danielle Keith, 18, was killed in a New Jersey car accident after the vehicle in which she was a passenger went out of control and crashed. According to a news report in The Jersey Journal, the fatal crash occurred the night of February 25, 2012 on Route 78 in Bernards Township. Keston Lambert, 22, was eastbound on Route 78 in a 1999 Audi when he lost control. The Audi struck several trees in the center median at mile marker 33.8. Keith, who was in the right rear passenger seat, was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. Lambert sustained minor injuries while front-seat passenger, Angela Humphrey, was uninjured. State police say Lambert was driving above the posted speed limit.

I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved Asia Danielle Keith for their untimely and devastating loss. Her father, the rev. R. David Keith, is an associate pastor of the Christian Love Baptist Church in Irvington and describes his daughter as a “funny, outgoing and affectionate person.” Please keep this grieving family in your thoughts and prayers.

Photo Credit: NJ.com

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Somerset County Crash Statistics

According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s 2010 Crash Facts and Statistics, there were 27 fatal car accidents in Somerset County in which 29 people were killed. Of those who were killed in Somerset County car accidents, 19 were drivers, six were passengers and three were pedestrians.

Laws and Liability Issues

Police suspect that Lambert may have lost control of the Audi because he was driving at an excessive rate of speed just before the collision. New Jersey law requires drivers to follow the speed limit and drive at a speed in keeping with traffic, weather and roadway conditions.

According to New Jersey Statutes 39:4-98 (Basic Speed Rule): “A person shall drive a vehicle at an appropriate reduced rate of speed when special hazard exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway condition. Required reduced rates of speed also includes (1) approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, (2) approaching and going around a curve, (3) approaching a hill crease and (4) traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway.”

If the driver is determined to have been at fault here, he can be held liable for his passenger’s wrongful death. In cases where negligence is involved, families of deceased auto accident victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses and funeral costs. An experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer will advise injured victims and their families in such cases about their legal rights and options.

 

Did Foster the People Foster the Shooting?

By Richard Console on February 28, 2012 - Comments off

I was horrified to hear about another school shooting today. This time it occurred in the small Ohio town of Chardon. At around 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time this morning a student entered the cafeteria at Chardon High School and opened fire. The shooter shot five students, leaving one fatally injured.

My most sincere thoughts are with the families of the four victims in the hospital and the family of the victim, who was taken much to soon.

Shortly after the shooting, police were able to ascertain the suspect, a sophomore, because he is a minor and no charges have been filed we shall withhold his name. The news has been full of stories of the suspect today. Students have been speaking with media outlets about him being a loner, coming from a broken home, and things of that nature.

I remembered reading in many of the news reports, including this CNN article, stating that the suspect allegedly posted the following photo on Twitter last night, and one student told CNN that, “I think he said that he was going to bring a gun to school and I think that everyone just blew it off like he was joking.”

Photo credit: IB Times.

Also leaked throughout the day online was the suspect’s alleged Facebook page. While only some information is visible to those who were not his “friend” on the site, there were some glimpses into this young man’s life. One thing you could see were some of the people he admires, including David Icke, a conspiracy theorist. He also had a list of several music artists he likes.

On the suspect’s Facebook page it lists the band Bright Eyes as one of his favorites. Here are some of the lyrics (typical of a Bright Eyes song) from their song “I Won’t Ever Be Happy Again:”

So, I mean, here we go, but there ain’t no escape. These streets are just dead ends, so I won’t ever be happy again. Now it seems that you too see a painful blue when you stare into the sky. You could never understand the movement of a hand waving goodbye.

The other bands listed included Adele, The People’s Key, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, and Blue Oyster Cult. That got me thinking about music and its effect on a person.

Recently there has been one song that has become increasingly popular for its catchy indie sound—even though it’s about a school shooting, “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People.

In an interview with Gimme Noise, the band’s lead singer Mark Foster dished on the meaning of the song and where it came from:

The song is about a teenage kid that is trapped, isolated, and basically hates his life. So he’s pretty much fantasizing going on a killing spree. For me, I write in character a lot, so I like to write stories from other people’s perspectives. That song in particular, I was thinking and kind of burnt by ‘How often does this happen?’ More kids are getting guns, and shooting people, and these things are happening younger and younger, 14 or 13 years old. It’s turning into an epidemic for American youth. I wanted to infiltrate, and dig beneath the surface and get into the psychology of what’s going on in a kid’s mind like that.

While his mission seems that of someone who wants to change this ‘epidemic’ doesn’t the song’s upbeat tone undermine that? Have we as a culture become desensitized to these situations? Does the song glorify these feelings of emptiness and hatred?

I do not know the answer. At times like this, people seem to place the blame anywhere they can, and I am certainly not accusing these musical artists of causing this tragedy. I am merely wondering if these school shootings are still ‘isolated incidents’ committed by ‘seriously disturbed individuals.’ Perhaps we as a society need to analyze our own culture and think about what we are doing to drive these young kids over the edge.

Main photo credit: IB Times.

 

Paula Abdul to Pay $900,000 in Lawsuit

By Richard Console on February 27, 2012 - Comments off

Paula Abdul seems to make the news every so often with a doozy of a story. This time the story involves Abdul agreeing to pay a $900,000 settlement to a woman who claims she was injured in the pop star’s driveway. Jill Kohl sued Abdul in 2009 because of a slip-and-fall while on Abdul’s property during the taping of the reality TV show ‘Hey Paula,’ according to a Daily Mail report.

Kohl’s lawyer, Robert Rodriguez Clayton, said that Kohl will also receive $100,000 in damages from the company that produced the show. The lawsuit stated that Kohl was injured because Abdul’s driveway, “was in a dangerous and defective condition,” according to the lawsuit.

Photo credit: E! Online.

This has been a difficult couple of weeks for Abdul, who was recently released as a judge on the American version of the show ‘X Factor.’ Abdul has told reporters that she will remain friends with the show’s creator, Simon Cowell, whom she worked with on ‘American Idol.’

When asked about being dismissed from the show, Abdul released the following statement:

“Yes, it’s true; I won’t be returning to ‘The X Factor’ next season. I’ve learned through my longevity in this industry that business decisions often times override personal considerations. Simon and I, along with Fox and [production company] Fremantle, have been communicating about this for a while now, and I have absolute understanding of the situation. Simon is, and will remain a dear friend of mine and I’ve treasured my experience working this past season with my extended family at Fox and Fremantle. I want nothing more than for The X Factor to exceed ALL of their wildest dreams. This truly has been a blessing and I am most grateful.”

Photo credit: Syracuse.com.

If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you should contact an experienced injury lawyer in NJ for legal advice about their rights and options. Call us today at (866) 778-5500 to set up your free consultation.

Main photo credit: Joy FM.

 

New Jersey Car Accident Proves Fatal for Bicyclist

By Staff on February 27, 2012 - Comments off

A New Jersey car accident proved fatal for a bicyclist whom officials have identified as Desmond Sydney, 54. According to a news report in The Star-Ledger, the fatal bicycle accident occurred at the intersection of Springfield Avenue and Pierce Street in Newark early morning on February 26, 2012. Police say Sydney was riding his bike when a Ford Explorer, driven by a 39-year-old Newark resident, turned onto Pierce Street and hit him. Sydney was transported to an area hospital where he died shortly after the accident. The driver has not been charged pending an official investigation.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Desmond Sydney for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Read the rest »

New Jersey Bicycle Accident Statistics

According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s 2010 Crash Facts and Statistics, there were 13 fatalities involving bicycle accidents in New Jersey. The most common causes of fatal vehicle versus bicycle collisions during that year included failure to obey a traffic control device, failure to yield the right-of-way and driver inattention.

What Caused This Collision?

Based on this news report, it appears that the collision occurred when the driver who was westbound on Springfield made a right on to Pierce Street and struck the bicyclist. It is not clear exactly where Sydney was riding his bike at the time.

Under New Jersey law, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of other vehicles. In this case, there are still several unanswered questions. Did the driver of the Ford SUV fail to yield the right of way to the bicyclist? Did the driver fail to obey the light at the intersection? Was the driver of the Ford distracted, impaired or inattentive at the time? I trust officials are looking into these and other issues in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.

Fault and Liability

If the driver is determined to have been at fault, then, he or she can be held liable for Sydney’s wrongful death. If a dangerous condition at the intersection caused or contributed to this bicycle accident, the city or governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable. Victims’ families in such cases would be well advised to contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.

 

Local Legend Killed in Accident

By Richard Console on February 27, 2012 - Comments off

A local basketball hero was killed in a pedestrian accident in Philadelphia on Tuesday, February 21st. 77-year-old Alonzo Lewis was crossing the street to get to a Catholic Girls playoff game at Philadelphia University when he was struck by a car and killed. Lewis played at La Salle University as well as for the Eastern Professional Basketball League before becoming the coach for Chester High School’s basketball team. Alonzo Lewis, who was killed in the Pennsylvania pedestrian accident, will always be remembered as a local basketball hero.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Alonzo Lewis, who was tragically killed on February 21st.

According to a report released by PEDSAFE, “4,749 pedestrians were reported to have been killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2003. These deaths accounted for 11 percent of the 42,643 motor vehicle deaths nationwide that year.” The same report also states that “rates for older persons (age 65 and over) are lower than for most age groups, which may reflect greater caution by older pedestrians (e.g., less walking at night, fewer dart-outs) and a reduced amount of walking near traffic. However, older adult pedestrians are much more vulnerable to serious injury or death when struck by a motor vehicle than younger pedestrians.”

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact a Philadelphia injury lawyer to learn more about your rights as a victim. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills, rehabilitation costs, or other damages suffered as a result of the pedestrian accident.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

 

Lawyer’s Perspective: Will Driver Face Charges for Fatal PA Crash?

By Richard Console on February 24, 2012 - Comments off

Last weekend a New Kensington woman caused an accident that left one dead. According to Motor Vehicle Accident News, Kayla Hoffman was reported to have been driving erratically when officers tried to pull her over. She ignored their lights and continued driving, getting about a quarter of a mile ahead of the police.

When they finally caught up to her she had crashed her car into another vehicle that was driven by Kayla Johnson-Ukeyne. Unfortunately Ms. Johnson-Ukeyne was pronounced dead at the scene.

A report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Monday that:

Sgt. Scott Scherer of the county police homicide unit said Ms. Hoffman, who remains hospitalized at UPMC Presbyterian with a fractured ankle and a broken pelvis, will likely be charged with crimes including homicide by vehicle, reckless endangerment, involuntary manslaughter, fleeing and eluding, driving with a suspended license, probation violations and minor drug charges.

These are serious charges that she could be facing although it remains to be seen what exactly she will be charged with. Sgt. Scherer’s inclusion of minor drug charges and the mention of probation violation allows for speculation that her charges will be more severe. If she was under the influence at the time whether it be drugs or alcohol it would be a pretty clear-cut case against her.

In addition to the legal charges she is potentially facing, the family of the victim could file a wrongful death claim against Hoffman. It was reported that the decedent was only 25-years-old. When pursuing a wrongful death claim, damages can be sought for pain and suffering as well as the financial burden that will result from her death. Compensation can be recovered for her projected life-time income, which an expert witness could determine should there be a claim. Whether or not there is a valid claim will need to be determined by a NJ car accident lawyer once charges have been filed and the investigation of the accident is completed.

I offer my most sincere condolences to the victim’s family and friends during this difficult time.

Photo credit: CBS.

 

Close Call in Daytona for Danica Patrick

By Richard Console on February 24, 2012 - Comments off

Danica Patrick’s first full season of NASCAR racing hit a bit of a bump at the Daytona International Speedway on Thursday when her GoDaddy.com car crashed. Her car hit the wall at nearly 200 miles per hour just one-lap from the end of the race. Watching the crash was enough even to make a NJ car accident lawyer jump out of their seat.

Yahoo reported that Partick, “acknowledged it was the hardest wreck of her career.” It was reported that the crash was so hard that all four wheels of the car were off the ground. Take a look at the crash here:

Thankfully she was not hurt in the crash. The SAFER barrier that she crashed into serves as a shock absorber and there has been speculation that this buff is what prevented her from sustaining serious injuries.

Yahoo said it best when they stated, “Patrick has come to NASCAR’s famous race well aware that a portion of these massive galleries still question her ability as a driver. Her toughness is no longer in debate though.”

Photo credit: Daily Caller.

 

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