(Miami, FL-AP) — Federal authorities will investigate a deadly crash involving a Tesla. A National Transportation Safety Board team will be in Florida today to investigate Friday morning’s crash north of Miami.
A 50-year-old man died when his Model 3 slammed into a semi and slid under the trailer, tearing the roof off the high-performance luxury electric car. Investigators will try to learn whether the Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving system or its automatic emergency braking system were working when the crash happened. After a similar fatal crash in 2016, the NTSB said Tesla’s Autopilot system played a major role in the crash.
(Daytona Beach, FL) — Six people are hospitalized after a roller coaster car derailed in Daytona Beach. Officials say two people were thrown 34 feet to the ground from the car that derailed.
First responders rescued ten people from the attraction on the Daytona Beach boardwalk. The extent of the injuries is not yet known. The roller coaster ride has been at the Daytona Beach Boardwalk for five years, but its history is much longer than that.
The ride called the Sand Blaster opened at the park in 2013, but at that point, the “News-Journal” reports it was already more than 40-years-old. The Boardwalk bought the ride in 2012 from a park in Delaware that closed in 2008. Last year, the Department of Agriculture issued a stop operation order on the ride. The “News-Journal” reported the issue was handed down after an inspection found problems with the handrails, safety cables, braces, and cracks in the support. The report also said two seats weren’t properly secured.
(SL) – Flood watches are in effect in parts of the Southeast as the first storm of the hurricane season moves over the Caribbean Sea.
Subtropical Storm Alberto is expected to move north across the Gulf of Mexico through the Memorial Day weekend, bringing possible flash flooding, rip currents and strong winds to parts of the Gulf Coast, and potentially spawning tornadoes.
Tropical winds of 40-miles-per-hour and storm surge are possible from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle by late in the weekend. Up to four inches of rain is possible from southern Florida to the Carolinas over the next five days.
(Pensacola, FL) – The National Rifle Association is suing the state of Florida to block its new gun laws. The NRA filed suit in federal court in Florida shortly after Governor Scott signed the bill today banning gun sales to anyone under the age of 21.
The NRA argues the bill “prohibits an entire class of law-abiding, responsible citizens from fully exercising the right to keep and bear arms.” It includes a three-day waiting period for any gun purchases and allows specially-trained teachers and school staff to be armed.
(Jacksonville, FL) – The rape, kidnapping and murder trial of now 66-Year old Donald Smith continued Tuesday. And what the courtroom heard shook pretty much everyone present, some to the point of tears.
The graphic details of the rape and murder of Cherish Perrywinkle are unimaginable and what her accuser did following her death is just as awful. The medical examiner testified that Cherish had been raped to a point that her genitals were distorted. Semen, reportedly was found in her vagina, anus and mouth.
Jacksonville.com reports, bruising, excessive tearing of tissue and broken blood vessels from hemorrhaging — were shown in photographs and explained in length to the jury Tuesday. Valerie Rao, the chief medical examiner for the 4th Judicial Circuit explained her findings from Cherish’s autopsy.
“Bruising right here, right here, right here, a scratch here and a small bruise here,” she said pointing out just the left leg of Cherish.
Still left to show and describe to the jury were the bruises from excessive sucking on Cherish’s chest; the bruises on her buttocks; on her arms; her other leg; the ligature marks on her neck from the strangulation.
“There was tremendous force on her neck such that she could not breathe. She suffered swelling of the brain,” Rao said.
She explained how the vessels in the eyes are delicate and what happens to them when a person is being suffocated. On Monday, State Attorney Melissa Nelson said, “He gagged her, raped her, he sodomized her, then he strangled her. He gagged her with such force, her gums and nostrils bled. He strangled her with such force her eyeballs bled,” Nelson said. “Cherish did not die quickly, and she did not die easily. In fact, hers was a brutal and tortured death.”
As testimony continued, it was revealed that Smith’s jail conversations were recorded while the sex offender was awaiting trial.
Smith was asked about Cherish, “if she had some butt on her.”“She had a lot for a white girl,” Smith was recorded saying.
The audio as well as a recording of Smith saying that 12- to 13-year-old girls were his target and that he wouldn’t mind running into a particular girl at Walmart were the last pieces of the state’s evidence presented to the jurors before the state rested its case Tuesday afternoon. After a short recess, the defense rested its case too without calling any witnesses.
“I don’t want to testify,” Smith, 61, told Judge Mallory Cooper.
(Jacksonville, FL) – It’s every parent’s nightmare and became a reality for Rayne Perrywinkle in June of 2013. She was shopping with her three daughters in a Family Dollar store unaware that they were being watched by a registered sex offender who had previously done time for lewd and lascivious conduct and even posed as a child welfare worker in 2009 where he asked a child sexually explicit questions on the telephone and was arrested on felony charges, which were later reduced to misdemeanors. That man, Donald Smith, now 61, had Rayne and her children in his sights and a plan in motion after he noticed that she was struggling to pay for items she wanted to purchase for her children.
Perrywinkle testified that Smith, who is charged with first degree murder, kidnapping and rape was waiting outside of the bargain store where he offered to take them to a nearby Walmart and make purchases with a gift card.
(Polk County, FL) – Authorities are confirming four people are dead after a small-plane crash in central Florida. Officials said the twin-engine plane went down at the Bartow Municipal Airport, 48 miles east of Tampa.
An airport official tells Bay News 9 the plane caught fire after crashing. The sheriff’s office said a twin-engine plane crashed at the end of the runway. Officials believe fog was a factor in the crash.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office says it will conduct the death investigations and the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the cause of the crash.
(Washington, DC) — Nearly 40-thousand pounds of turkey sold in nine states are being recalled. The USDA says the turkey is produced by Prestage Foods and might be contaminated with metal shavings.
It was sold as a store brand at Publix in one-point-three pound white styrofoam trays labeled “Publix ground turkey with natural flavorings” in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. Anyone who bought the product is urged to throw it away or return it to the store where it was purchased.
(SL) – A new study says breast cancer death rates declined almost 40 percent between 1989 and 2015. According to the American Cancer Society, the decline averted more than 322 thousand deaths, and can be attributed to both advances in treatment and to early detection by mammography.
A breast cancer surgeon at UCLA, who was not involved in the study, said those medical advances include improved chemotherapy regimens and modern medication. Even still, the disease remains dangerous.
One in eight American women have a lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, and that risk is even greater for American women of color. The study also found that 81 percent of breast cancer cases are diagnosed in women ages 50 years and older. The median age at diagnosis for women overall was 62 years old.
(SL) – The head of a leading medical association says there’s a way to ease the opioid crisis here in the U.S. Doctor David Ring, the chair of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Patient Safety Committee, says one key is to start prescribing opioids only sparingly and using other things like over-the-counter medications and cold compresses.
Doctor Ring says the opioid crisis came out of a push starting about 20 years ago for more and more use of opioids.
(Washington, DC) — The House of Representatives is trying to ban late term abortions. The House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act yesterday, which criminalizes abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except when the mother’s life is in danger or in cases of rape and incest.
Offenders could be fined, spend up to five years in prison, or both. The future of the bill now depends on Senate approval, where it’s unlikely to get the 60 votes needed to move on to the White House.
(SL) – As Hurricane Irma inches closer to the US, Florida Governor Rick Scott is putting Floridians on alert and declaring a state of emergency for the sunshine state.
Scott says, “Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm and Florida must be prepared. I have continued to be briefed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Hurricane Irma and current forecast models have Florida in Irma’s path – potentially impacting millions of Floridians.”
Irma grew into a Category 4 storm on Monday as it approached the northeastern Caribbean with winds of 140 mph. In comparison, Hurricane Harvey had winds of 130 mph when it made landfall in Texas last week.
The Daily Mail reports, it is forecast to begin buffeting the region on Tuesday and the US National Hurricane Center said additional strengthening was expected.