<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Breaking News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/breaking http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Wed, 17 Sep 2014 01:41:31 -0400 Wed, 17 Sep 2014 01:41:31 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[5 Women Die in Limousine Fire on Calif. Bridge]]> Mon, 06 May 2013 06:34:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/limofirenew.jpg

Five women in their 30s died Saturday night when a stretch limousine burst into flames on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge over the San Francisco Bay, police confirmed to NBC News.

Four other people in the limo escaped with burn and smoke inhalation injuries, California Highway Patrol Officer Art Montiel said. The car's driver was unhurt. 

Montiel said the women were "probably killed by the fire," though the cause of death has not been confirmed, NBC News reported.

Witnesses told NBC Bay Area the white Lincoln Town Car was not involved in an accident prior to catching on fire. It was not clear what could have sparked the flames. 

The car was driving from Alameda to Foster City, Montiel said.

When asked if an "explosion" had occurred, Montiel told NBC News it was unconfirmed, however he did say the "vehicle was partially engulfed."'

A viewer named David Solomon sent in the picture above that he said of was of the limo.

The fire was first reported around 10 p.m. in the third lane of westbound state Highway 92, according to the California Highway Patrol. 

The bridge, located about 20 miles southeast of San Francisco, connects San Mateo and Alemada counties. The westbound lanes were closed for several hours.

 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



Photo Credit: David Solomon]]>
<![CDATA[4-Year-Old Girl Struck by Car in Germantown]]> Sat, 09 Mar 2013 22:28:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/police+line+yellow+%5Bgenericsla%5D.jpg

A 4-year-old girl is in the hospital after being struck by a vehicle in Montgomery County, Maryland.

It happened Saturday on the 11600 block of Summer Oak in Germantown. Officials say the girl suffered serious injuries and was flown to a local trauma center. The driver of the striking vehicle stayed on the scene, according to police.

Stay with NBC Washington for further updates on this developing story.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images / Scott Olson]]>
<![CDATA[White House Press Secretary Discusses Conn. School Shooting]]> Fri, 01 Nov 2013 12:55:05 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/whitehouse4.jpg White House Press Secretary Jay Carney discusses Friday's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[Arrest in Vanessa Pham Murder]]> Fri, 14 Dec 2012 10:49:17 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Vanessa+Pham.jpeg

Fairfax County police arrested a man in the June 2010 murder of 19-year-old Vanessa Pham.

U.S. marshals picked up 27-year-old Julio Miguel Blanco-Garcia, of Falls Church, Thursday shortly after noon at a house under construction in Vienna, where Garcia was working. They turned him over to Fairfax County police. He was charged with murder and questioned.

Pham was found dead on Arlington Boulevard in Falls Church, Va. Her car was found in a ditch. She had been stabbed multiple times in the upper body.

In surveillance video showing Pham driving her car at the Fairfax Plaza Shopping Center just before her murder, she did not appear to be in distress.

Investigators developed Garcia as a suspect earlier this week through analysis of forensic evidence, police said. Garcia had several prior arrests for public drunkenness and petty larceny. according to authorities.

He was scheduled for an information hearing Friday, but it was rescheduled for Dec. 21 because he didn't have an attorney yet.

Lt. Col. James Morris, Fairfax County's acting chief of police, said they do not believe Garcia and Pham knew each other.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for updates as they become available.

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<![CDATA[Life Without Parole in 12-Year-Old's Death]]> Mon, 03 Dec 2012 21:23:58 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/hang-nguyen-composite-high.jpg

A Maryland man was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in the death of his 12-year-old stepdaughter.

David Hang, 43, was found guilty of first-degree murder in August in the stabbing death of Jessica Nguyen, a sixth-grade student at Gaithersburg Middle School.

Hang stabbed and cut Jessica more than 40 times with a small sword in her family’s Gaithersburg home in May 2011, prosecutors said.

In court Monday,  Hang maintained his innocence, News4's Chris Gordon reported.

"I will tell you that I was offended personally by the comments of Mr. Hang, who did not testify in his own trial but took today's opportunity, without being subject to cross examination, to put forth what was his defense," Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy said.

Judge Sharon Burrell passed down the most severe sentence possible due to the brutal nature of the crime, Gordon reported. In Maryland, the death penalty is only a possibility if there were multiple murder victims.

"This child had not a chance, and this man was armed with a weapon, and the savagery in the killing made this sentence absolutely just and fair," McCarthy said.

Jessica's sister Belinda, who found Jessica's body in the basement of the home, said she will be haunted the rest of her life.

DNA lifted from the small sword's sheath found at the crime scene helped lead police to Hang in October 2011. A bloody boot print found at the scene also matched Hang, police said, and Hang, who was a Ride On bus driver in Montgomery County, had taken off from work the afternoon of the murder.

Prosecutors argued that Jessica’s mother had an "immigration sham-like marriage" with Hang, and Hang was angry she would not let him out of it. Despite not getting the divorce he wanted, he married a new wife and wanted to get her medical insurance, prosecutors said.

Previous Coverage:

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<![CDATA[Comptroller Wants People to "Shop Maryland"]]> Wed, 28 Nov 2012 22:04:45 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/222*120/th11.jpg

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is encouraging residents to "Shop Maryland for the Holidays" this year.

Visiting local shops today in Bethesda, he kicked off his annual tour throughout the state promoting small business patronage.

“There is something to be said for the personal interactions with other shoppers and store employees at the holidays. It’s warm and inviting, unlike a cold, unfeeling computer,” Franchot said. “Plus when you shop in state and support your community businesses, you are bound to find great deals and help the more than 500,000 Marylanders employed in our state’s retail sector. And really, isn’t the spirit of the holidays all about helping others and kindness?”

Downtown Bethesda is the first of several stops on the comptroller’s tour to promote the great retailers and community shopping areas throughout the state. In the coming weeks he will visit other communities such as Reisterstown (Baltimore County), Cumberland (Allegany County), Chestertown (Kent County) and Leonardtown (St. Mary’s County). In past years, the comptroller has shopped in Queenstown, Hunt Valley, Baltimore City, Takoma Park, Cumberland, Annapolis, Hagerstown, Easton and Salisbury.

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<![CDATA[1 Child, 3 Adults Killed in Car Crash]]> Sun, 18 Nov 2012 19:20:44 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/police-line-generic722.jpg

Four people, including a child, are dead after an accident in Anne Arundel County Sunday afternoon.

It happened around 1:30 p.m. on Marley Neck Road near Freeman Shores Road in Glen Burnie. Officials say two motor vehicles collided. Three adults and one child were killed in the crash, according to investigators.

Traffic safety is currently investigating the cause of the accident. Police have not yet revealed the ages or names of the victims.
 



Photo Credit: NBC10Philadelphia.com ]]>
<![CDATA[Bowie St. Defense Atty: "We Are Very Gratified"]]> Fri, 16 Nov 2012 18:05:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/bowie-composite1.jpg

A jury found former Bowie State student Alexis Simpson not guilty on all seven counts in the fatal stabbing of her roommate Dominique Frazier in September 2011.

The jury got the case Thursday afternoon and had a verdict in about three hours.

Simpson left the court house in Prince George's County without speaking to the media, but her attorney spoke on her behalf.

"This is a self-defense case," said defense attorney Christopher Griffiths. "Alexis, in my mind, there is no question, acted in self defense. We are very gratified by the verdict."

Prosecutor Tara Jackson said the jury did its job. "We did the very best we knew how to do -- we presented the evidence as it was, and the jury gave us their verdict."

Simpson, 20, took the stand in her own defense Thursday morning. On Sept. 15, students were preparing for a homecoming comedy show when Simpson and Frazier got into an altercation over loud music playing from the victim’s iPod.

It would be the last in a series of disagreements the two had had that semester.

“She (Dominique) slammed the door and hit me in my face with the door pretty hard … It caused my head to jerk," Simpson testified. "She opened her door and stepped out … She said 'What’s up?' and started to swing. She uppercut me while holding my hair.”

Other witnesses testified that Simpson was the one to throw the first punch. After that initial fight, Simpson went to her room looking for her inhaler, she said.

Her attorney asked: "Did you take anything else out of your room?"

Simpson replied: "Yes, a knife ... It was a pocket knife."

Simpson described the moments leading up to the actual stabbing.

“Kiaira (Johnson, the victim’s friend) began to attack, pulling me by my hair, and I was scared," she testified, sometimes crying. "I did not know what they were going to do next. They continued to hit me, so I swung the knife … Then Dominique stopped swinging and grabbed her neck and blood was coming out, and I just wanted to help her.”

Simpson said she tried to call 911 and when the call didn’t go through, she followed Dominique as she stumbled to the hallway

“I laid down next to her and put my hand on her neck so blood wouldn’t come out," Simpson said. "I started to panic... There was foam coming out of her mouth… I didn’t know what to do.”

During cross examination Wednesday -- Day 2 of Simpson’s trial -- the state’s first witness, Frazier’s friend Kiaira Johnson, described what she saw when the stabbing happened.

“I didn’t even see the knife, but when Dominique hit her, the girl had the knife in her hand,” Johnson said. “I don’t think she meant to cut Dominique, but it just happened.”

Simpson and Frazier stopped getting along soon after the beginning of the school year.

In opening statements Tuesday, the attorney for the defense said Simpson told dorm management, “They are threatening me, and I’m afraid they are going to jump me … I just want to change rooms.” That request was denied.

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<![CDATA[Baby Rushed From Metro to Hospital Pronounced Dead]]> Wed, 24 Oct 2012 15:22:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/219*120/PHI+generic+ambulance+350+for+city+worker+shot.jpg

A newborn baby was pronounced dead at Children's National Medical Center Wednesday morning after being rushed from a Metro station.

D.C. Fire and EMS was called to L'Enfant after 8 a.m. for a report of an unconscious baby. Medics attempted to resuscitate the child.

There was no sign of trauma, but the cause of death is awaiting the autopsy, according to the fire department.

The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating.

The child was four days old, according to Metro.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for more information as it becomes available.



Photo Credit: Chronis Jons/Riser/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[1 Killed in Crash With Metrobus]]> Sat, 20 Oct 2012 08:34:50 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/FATALAX.jpg

One person is dead after a car and a Metrobus collided in Seat Pleasant, Md., according to Prince George's County police said.

The bus was struck from behind by one of two Mercedes Benzes that appeared to be racing, according to Metro. The striking vehicle then burst into flames.

Police have identified the deceased driver as 22-year-old Cleon David Wills of Bowie.

About 45 passengers were on the bus when the crash occurred at around 9:30 p.m. at the intersection of Central Avenue and Soper Lane. Police said that eight people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, none of which appeared to be serious.

The other Mercedes spun out and stayed at the scene, according to Metro. Two occupants of that car were taken into custody on suspicion of DUI. Investigators say that speed and alcohol appeared to be the two main factors in the crash.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com as this story develops.
 

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<![CDATA[SUV Driver to Be Charged in Fatal Officer Crash]]> Sat, 20 Oct 2012 00:46:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/police-crash21.jpg

The driver of an SUV involved in a crash that killed an off-duty police officer will be charged, Prince George's County Police Chief Mark Magaw said Friday.

Officer Kevin Bowden, 28, was driving northbound on Branch Avenue when he was involved in a collision with an SUV at Surratts Road about 3 p.m. Thursday. His cruiser was forced into a utility pole.

"The preliminary investigation reveals that the actions of the driver of the SUV... caused the collision," Magaw said in a press conference Friday. "The driver had originally been in the left turn lane and at some point made a decision to cross several lanes of traffic, colliding with Officer Bowden's cruiser."

Following the crash, Bowden was taken to Southern Maryland Hospital Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.

The driver of the SUV, a 61-year-old woman, was taken to Prince George's Hospital Center. She remains hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Investigators performed routine toxicology tests, but the results are not available yet, Magaw said.

Authorities were in contact with the state's attorney's office Friday morning. "They have been briefed on this case," Magaw said.

Investigators are continuing to look into all potential causes of the crash.

Based on physical evidence at the scene, Bowden's cruiser was likely traveling above the speed limit, Magaw said. The exact speed has not been determined, but Magaw said the information will become available in the future.

Officer+Kevin+Bowden

Authorities have also determined that Bowden was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.

This was the second fatal crash involving a Prince George's County officer who wasn't wearing his seatbelt in the past two months.

Officer Adrian Morris, 23, died after his cruiser ran off Interstate 95 while he and his partner were pursuing theft suspects Aug. 20.

During Friday's press conference, Magaw said he is very concerned about this issue. Seatbelts have to be worn in accordance with Maryland state law, Magaw said.

"This is a critical piece that we can control, frankly," he said. "There are so many things in this profession we can’t control. We have to control the things we can."

The department will begin a new safety campaign in December to raise awareness of seatbealt use among officers.

Born and raised in Cinton, Bowden was a graduate of Surrattsville High School. He was a six-year veteran of District 4 and leaves behind two children, ages 11 and 5.

"He was loved by his community and his department," Magaw said.

A statement from County Executive Rushern Baker on Thursday read, "Our county government, every community and every citizen of Prince George’s County grieves again this evening. Nearly two months to the day, we have lost another Prince George’s County Police Department officer, Kevin Bowden, as a result of a serious automobile accident. Our condolences go out to Officer Bowden’s family, friends and the Prince George’s County Police Department."

Stay with NBCWashington.com and News4 for more information.

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<![CDATA[Police Officer Killed in Crash]]> Thu, 18 Oct 2012 22:45:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Deceased+Prince+Georges+Officer+Vigil+Salute+Close.jpg

UPDATED: An off-duty Prince George's County police officer was killed in a crash in Maryland Thursday afternoon.

Off-duty Officer Kevin Bowden was driving northbound on Branch Avenue when he was involved in a collision with an SUV at Surratts Road about 3 p.m., Prince George's County Police Chief Mark Magaw said. His cruiser was forced into a utility pole.

Witnesses told police the cruiser was cut off, but police have not determined if that caused the crash, Magaw said.

Bowden was taken to Southern Maryland Hospital Center where he succumbed to his injuries. He was 28 years old.

The female driver of the SUV was taken to Prince George's Hospital Center with non-life-threatening injuries.Officer+Kevin+Bowden

Bowden was a six-year veteran of the force, according to Prince George's officials who spoke at a press conference this evening. Bowden leaves behind a 10-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter.

Branch Avenue was closed in both directions while police investigated, backing up rush hour traffic.

This is the second serious crash involving a Prince George's County officer in two months. Officer Adrian Morris, 23, died after his cruiser ran off Interstate 95 while he and his partner were pursuing theft suspects Aug. 20.

“Our county government, every community and every citizen of Prince George’s County grieves again this evening," read a statement from County Executive Rushern Baker. "Nearly two months to the day, we have lost another Prince George’s County Police Department officer, Kevin Bowden, as a result of a serious automobile accident. Our condolences go out to Officer Bowden’s family, friends and the Prince George’s County Police Department."

Stay with NBCWashington.com and News4 for more information.



Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[Boy Falls From 9th Floor Apartment]]> Fri, 12 Oct 2012 10:39:58 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/boy-fall-still-10-11-12.jpg

A child fell out a window on the ninth floor of an apartment building in Silver Spring, Md., Thursday afternoon, according to Montgomery County police.

A tree helped break the 4-year-old boy's fall in the 8800 block of Piney Branch Road about 3:15 p.m., News4's Shomari Stone reported.

The woman who found the child said he was crying in a bush. She didn’t know who his family was, so she called 911, Stone reported.

He suffered head injuries and a broken femur and was taken to Children’s Hospital in serious condition, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.

Family members were in the apartment when the boy fell, Stone reported.

Police and Child Protective Services are investigating the circumstances of the fall.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for the latest.

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<![CDATA[Nats Clinch NL East Title]]> Thu, 04 Oct 2012 21:29:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Washington-Nats-P1.jpg

The following sentiment is something I'm sure Washington sports fans never thought they'd extend: Thank you, Pittsburgh.

The Nationals did not defeat the Philadelphia Phillies Monday, but the Atlanta Braves' 2-1 loss to the Pirates gave the Nats their first-ever division title in D.C. and D.C. its first title in the Major Leagues since 1933. Philadelphia defeated Washington 2-0, but that didn't stop the latter from popping bottles of champagne in the locker room.

With the division wrapped up, the Nationals will now wait for their National League Division Series opponent to be determined. They could either face the Braves or St. Louis Cardinals, who will likely face each other in a one-game playoff Friday, or the San Francisco Giants. 

That depends on whether or not Washington finishes with the National League's best record. The Cincinnati Reds, who entered Monday tied with the Nationals for that distinction, lost 4-2 to the Cardinals to fall one game back. Washington holds the tiebreaker due to more head-to-head victories, so Cincinnati must finish with a better record to earn the No. 1 seed. 

Because of an odd scheduling quirk this year, the Nationals will begin their postseason debut on the road for the first two games. Games 3, 4 and 5 (4 and 5 if necessary) will be held at Nationals Park.


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[NY Murder Suspect Found in Shenandoah Co.]]> Sat, 29 Sep 2012 08:40:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Anthony+Robert+Taglianetti+II.jpg

The suspect in the murder of a schools superintendent in western New York was apprehended by the U.S. Marshals Service Friday.

Partnered for the search, Deputy U.S. Marshal John Doss and a Harrisonburg police officer spotted Anthony Robert Taglianetti II's vehicle in the Fort Valley Road area, stopped him and took him in to custody without incident late Friday afternoon. Various leads led them to patrol the area.

The nationwide manhunt for the 42-year-old father of four from Woodbridge, Va., led investigators to Virginia after reports he was in Prince William County earlier this week. He was wanted in connection with the homicide of 51-year-old Keith Reed Jr.

Police found Reed, who was the superintendent in the small town of Clymer, N.Y., shot to death behind his home Monday.

At a press conference Thursday afternoon, authorities said they believe Reed was targeted and that it was an isolated incident.

Sources told News4 Reed was an acquaintance of Taglianetti's wife. Records show Reed was divorced, but his neighbors said he'd spoken of a fiancee with young children who lived several hours away.

Taglianetti received survival training while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, but an official at Quantico said there is no record he received sniper training as was previously reported on News4 and NBCWashington.com.

The U.S. Marshals Service will turn Taglianetti over to New York law enforcement.

The Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office assisted in the search.

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<![CDATA[New Details in Capitol Hill Beating]]> Thu, 27 Sep 2012 22:19:05 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/MASLIN.jpg

The Metropolitan Police Department arrested three people in the brutal beating of a man near Eastern Market in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, officials announced Wednesday night.

Tommy Tyrone Branch, 21, of Fort Washington, Md.; 18-year-old Michael Moore, of Landover, Md., and a juvenile male were charged with armed robbery. The juvenile, 17-year-old Sunny Kuti, was charged as an adult. All are being held without bond.

Additional charges will be brought in the beating of 29-year-old Thomas Maslin, police said.

Maslin’s wife, Abby, said her husband is aware of the arrests. She showed him a news report Thursday.

“He was pretty astounded,” she said.

Maslin was nearly beaten to death a few weeks ago. A passerby found him on the porch of a house in the 700 block of North Carolina Avenue about 8:30 a.m. Aug. 18, almost eight hours after the attack.

Maslin had left the Tune Inn at Fourth Street and Pennsylvania in Southeast about 12:30 a.m. to walk home. At 12:57 a.m., someone attempted to use his credit card at the Exxon station in the 1200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE.

About 3:30 a.m., three individuals were arrested for the alleged robbery of cellphones from three men on 18th Street. Investigators found the three cellphones as well as a black iPhone. The three suspects were charged with armed robbery but were released by a judge into a high-intensity supervision program, the Associated Press reported.

Days later, police released surveillance video showing three people in a silver Hyundai at the Exxon station where there was an attempt to use Maslin's credit card.

A tip received Sept. 21 led police to the Hyundai and its owner -- Branch. That’s when the black iPhone was examined and determined to belong to Maslin after it had been sitting in the property control division for a month, News4's Jackie Bensen reported.

Anyone with knowledge of the incident should call police at 202-727-9099 or text 50411.



Photo Credit: Abigail Maslin]]>
<![CDATA[Flights Delayed Due to Bomb Threat at Dulles]]> Tue, 25 Sep 2012 13:37:44 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Dulles+Airport+Delays+Bomb+Sniffing+Dogs+Andrew+Pedersen+092412.jpeg

A bomb threat at Dulles International Airport Monday night caused multiple flight delays, though a search found nothing suspicious.

The threat seemed to focus on two daily parking garages, and was received about 9 p.m. Police began searching the garages; a little after 11 p.m., the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority tweeted that the investigation had "negative results" and that the two garages were reopening.

Earlier, police had also searched terminals, but again, nothing was found. Passengers reported seeing bomb-sniffing dogs in terminals during the search.

By 11 p.m., all terminals were open and flights are operating normally, according to Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority representative Kim Gibbs.

However, earlier Monday evening, MWAA had asked all airlines not to approach terminal gates because of a security threat, according to a United Airlines spokesperson. Several departing flights were delayed.

MWAA denied passengers' reports of being told to evacuate at least one plane.

Below, see the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority's Tweets about Monday's events.



Photo Credit: Andrew Pedersen]]>
<![CDATA[CSX Train Derails in Ellicot City]]> Tue, 21 Aug 2012 07:34:22 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/ellicottcitytrainderailment.JPG Two dead in CSX Train Derailment]]> <![CDATA[Planes Touch at Dulles]]> Fri, 10 Aug 2012 18:35:06 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/50800426.jpg

Two planes came in contact with each other at Dulles International Airport Friday afternoon.

The right wing of Lufthansa Airbus 330 departing for Frankfurt, Germany, struck the tail of Colgan Flight 3912 operating as United Express and arriving from Pittsburgh as it taxied near Gate A about 3:20 p.m.

The arriving commuter flight was able to continue to the gate, and its 68 passengers safely deplaned.

The 183 passengers on the Lufthansa flight were taken off that plane, which maintenance is examinging to determine if it can fly. There's no word on when that inspection will be complete.

No injuries were reported.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for updates as they become available.



Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Teen's Hand Stuck in Metro Escalator]]> Tue, 17 Jul 2012 22:26:51 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Hand+Caught+in+Metro+Escalator.jpg

A 14-year-old boy's hand got stuck in a Metro escalator Tuesday evening.

The boy, who is from Canada and is visiting D.C. with his family, got four fingers caught at the bottom of an escalator at the National Mall entrance of the Smithsonian Metro Station after 8 p.m.

According to Metro, the teen's hand got stuck when he was trying to free his flip-flop, which got caught first.

He was conscious and breathing as crews worked for about 40 minutes to free his hand. He was taken to an area hospital.

The escalator remains out of service for evaluation but will probably be placed back in service Wednesday.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for updates as they become available.



Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Killed by Falling Tree in Great Falls]]> Wed, 18 Jul 2012 20:56:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/718treekillsdriver.jpg

A man died when a huge tree fell on his car Tuesday evening.

The victim was driving along Georgetown Pike in Great Falls, Va., when the tree fell shortly after 6:30 p.m. Fairfax County police have identified him as 64-year-old Albert Carl Roeth III.

Fire crews were able to remove his body from the car, police said, after hours of work.

Georgetown Pike is closed between Walker Road and Stephanie Circle.

Authorities first reported that the victim was a woman, but Fairfax County Fire confirmed it was a man. He was the only person in the car.

Arborists determined the tree fell because it was completely decayed at the roots, News4's Erika Gonzalez reported. Another tree in the area also was found to be decayed at the roots and will be removed.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for updates as they become available.

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<![CDATA[Man Playing Chicken Struck by Train]]> Tue, 12 Jun 2012 08:51:22 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Rockville+Pedestrian+Struck+by+train+1.JPG

A pedestrian was struck by a train in Montgomery County, Md., Monday evening.

Montgomery County Police said the victim, 23, was struck by a CSX freight train at about 9:30 p.m. near Nebel Street and Randolph Road in Rockville while playing chicken, News4's Erika Gonzalez reported. He didn't make it and was clipped by the train.

He was hit in the head and suffered a leg laceration and was taken to Suburban Hospital. He is expected to be OK.

Police said the arms of the train crossing sign were down. 

Police said that the girlfriend of the victim, who was with him at the time of the incident, told them he had done this sort of thing before -- trying to get as close to the train as he could without getting hit.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for updates as they become available.



Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[Gas-Soaked SUV Driver Charged With Arson]]> Sat, 09 Jun 2012 15:06:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Connecticut+Avenue+Car+Into+Building.jpg

D.C. police say that the man who drove an SUV into an office building in Northwest DC has been charged with three felonies, including arson.

32-year-old Charles Morrell Ball, of New Market, Maryland, was charged with felony destruction of property, arson, and felony unauthorized use of a vehicle.

The SUV crashed into the office building at 1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW at about 7:30 p.m. The FBI and a bomb squad were also called to the scene Friday night.

The Connecticut Avenue and L Street entrance to the Farragut North Metro Station was closed because of the police activity. That intersection of streets also was closed.

Police say that Ball is being held at a hospital for observation. Investigators are currently attempting to determine a motive.

Court records show that Ball is a registered sex offender. He was convicted of a third degree sex offense in April 2008. The Maryland Sex Offender Registry also lists Ball as owning a car whose license plates match those of the car that crashed into the building.

Court records also show that Ball was charged with speeding, driving without a license, and trying to flee police on foot in relation to an incident that took place in Allegany County in December 2010. He was also charged with speeding in Frederick County in March of this year. Both incidents also involved the car that Ball allegedly drove into the building on Connecticut Avenue.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for updates as they become available.



Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[Kwame Brown Resigns]]> Thu, 07 Jun 2012 06:19:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/kwame+brown+walk.jpg

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown has been charged with fraud, becoming the second council member to be charged by the D.C. Attorney's Office this year.

Sources close to Brown told News4's Tom Sherwood that he has submitted his letter of resignation. The letter will go to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics, whch will declare a vacancy, which sets in motion a special election within 114 days.

The charge against Brown is linked to his personal finances -- specifically a home equity loan that Brown secured in 2006 for his home in Hillcrest. D.C. prosecutors claim he overstated his income on loan applications by tens of thousands of dollars to secure the home equity loan and to buy his boat, Bullet Proof. (Photo courtesy of Mike DeBonis, Washington Post.)

According to court documents, Brown conducted the scheme from August 2005 through August 2007.

The single count of bank fraud was filed in federal court today in a criminal information, a charging document that usually signals a defendant's intent to plead guilty.

A plea hearing was scheduled for Friday, the Associated Press reported.

Brown on Tuesday said he had no plans to resign, but when he met in private with his staff and then with council members and his attorney, Fred Cooke, he reportedly told them he would resign, apologizing and emphasizing that the charge didn't pertain to his public duties.

Brown did not comment to reporters as he left the Wilson Building.

News4 obtained a copy of his resignation letter:

Dear Madame Secretary:

I hereby resign my position as Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia effective immediately. I have made some very serious mistakes in judgment for which I will take full responsibility.

Because of the great respect that I have for the institution that is the Council of the District of Columbia, I have chosen the only honorable course in submitting my resignation at this time. I simply will not hold this body, and its important work hostage to the resolution of my personal indiscretions.

I have behaved in ways that I should not have. I was wrong, and I will face the consequences of that conduct. I have apologized to the residents of our great city, and I also offer my unconditional apology to the members of the Council for all of the negative attention that my conduct has brought about.

Sincerely,

Kwame R. Brown

Brown will have a formal statement Thursday. His staff said he told them the council will meet in about a week to replace him with a temporary chairman.

Council member Mary Cheh, chair pro tempore, issued the following statement Wednesday:

“In accordance with Section 401(b)(3) of the Home Rule Act, I plan to convene the entire Council for a special meeting next Wednesday, June 13th, when we will adopt a resolution to elect an Interim Chair and Interim Chair Pro Tempore. Under the Home Rule Act, both positions will be selected from among the at-large members. Consequently, after their election, I will step aside as Chair Pro Tempore. The meeting will be open to the public.

“Under the Council Rules, the Interim Chair would become Chair of the Committee of the Whole, and would retain his role as Chair of his existing standing committee. Also, according to the Home Rule Act, the Interim Chair cannot hold outside employment, and will be eligible to receive an increase in compensation at the rate of the Chairman. The Interim Chair of the Council will serve in that role until a special election.”

"I’m shocked, I'm disappointed, I'm saddened," Mayor Vincent Gray told News4 Wednesday evening. "I was elected to the council at the same time Chairman Brown was elected. I served with him the entire time that I was on the council. This is not something that I ever would have imagined could occur."

"Everybody's mood is quite somber," Council member Tommy Wells said, "but we're focused on the integrity and stability of our government."

Brown is also being investigated for possible corruption during his 2008 re-election campaign. He said Tuesday he does not believe he did anything wrong in that campaign.

Brown is the second D.C. Council member to be charged by the D.C. Attorney’s Office this year. Harry Thomas Jr. was recently sentenced to 38 months in prison after pleading guilty to using city dollars for personal use.

The charges come as federal prosecutors continue investigating the 2010 campaign of Mayor Gray. Two aides on that campaign have pleaded guilty in that investigation.

During his 2010 campaign for council chair, court documents revealed significant credit card overspending by Brown and court cases to recapture more than $50,000 in overdue payments, late fees and attorney costs. He told News4 then that he and his wife had been "living beyond our means."

Last week, Washington City Paper's Loose Lips reported Brown's wife is allegedly being sued for not paying more than $15,000 in credit card debt.

Once he took office, his taxpayer-funded, fully-loaded Lincoln Navigators -- two were ordered because he was reportedly particular about the SUV's color scheme -- drew criticism and caused a media frenzy. Brown returned the SUVs to the Department of Public Works and apologized, saying he didn't realize how expensive the vehicles were.



Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[Culpeper Officer Charged in Fatal Shooting]]> Wed, 30 May 2012 22:40:38 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Culpeper+Fatal+Police+Shooting.jpg

A police officer in Virginia faces a murder charge in the February shooting death of an unarmed motorist.

A grand jury charged Town of Culpeper Police Officer Daniel Harmon-Wright, 32, of Gainesville, Tuesday evening with murder, malicious shooting into an occupied vehicle, malicious shooting into an occupied vehicle resulting in a death and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

“Without commenting on the particulars of the investigation, over the course of the month of May, this special investigative grand jury heard from more than 45 witnesses, received more than 100 separate exhibits and were presented with reams of documentary evidence,” said Fauquier County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Fisher, the special prosecutor appointed to the case.

“We asked the Virginia State Police for an unbiased and thorough investigation into the Feb. 9, shooting incident involving Officer Daniel Harmon-Wright during which Patricia Cook died," Mayor Chip Coleman said. "We got that from the state police."

Shortly after the Feb. 9 shooting, Virginia State Police said the officer fired his weapon when 54-year-old Patricia Cook rolled her Jeep window up on his arm, drove off and began dragging him in a Catholic school parking lot. He had been investigating a report of a suspicious person, police said.

An eyewitness previously told News4's Pat Collins that the officer had one hand on the door handle and another on his gun.

Gregory Webb, attorney for Patricia Cook's husband, Gary Cook, told News4 Cook had a "manual, roll-up window" and posed no threat to the officer.

In an exclusive interview with News4's Shomari Stone, Gary Cook reacted to the news of the charges. "On one hand, it feels relief. And on the other hand, it's showing me that progress is going on," he said.

The grand jury also indicted Harmon-Wright’s mother, 55-year-old Bethany Sullivan, of Orange, on three counts of uttering and three counts of forgery of public documents. Their investigation revealed her alleged role in attempting to purge negative information from her son’ personnel file. She had been an administrative secretary to the chief of police when her son was hired.

She was arrested without incident Tuesday night and released on $5,000 bond per count.

Frustrated by the pace of the investigation, Gary Cook filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking $5 million in damages against the officer earlier this month.

Gary Cook's lawyers also discovered the officer has an alias, Daniel W. Sullivan, so the wrongful death suit lists both names.

Harmon-Wright had been on administrative leave with pay, but he was suspended without pay immediately upon the indictment.



Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[Planes Linked to FAA, NTSB Workers]]> Tue, 29 May 2012 22:01:56 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/fauquierplanecrash.jpg

Investigators learned that the planes involved in Monday afternoon's mid-air crash in Fauquier County were registered to employees of the FAA and the NTSB.

Two people died after two small planes collided about 4 p.m. and then crashed to the ground about a mile apart from each other in southern Fauquier County.

A Beechcraft BE-35 registered to an NTSB employee burst into flames when it hit the ground in a wooded area and it was completely destroyed by fire, said Corinne Geller of Virginia State Police. The pilot and passenger died, but it's unknown if either was the owner of the plane. The bodies were recovered from the burnt wrecakge and taken to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Manassas.

The pilot and owner of the second plane -- a 1965 Piper PA-28 -- was identified as 70-year-old Thomas R. Provin, of Broad Run, Va. He was taken to Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, Va. He remained hospitalized Tuesday but there's no word on his condition.

NTSB said Tuesday afternoon the owner was an FAA employee. The FAA said he was an accident investigator flying as a private pilot on his personal time when the crash occurred.

Because the planes were owned and/or operated by FAA and NTSB employees, NTSB, after consulting with the FAA, requested the Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigate the crash to avoid a conflict of interest.

“This accident hits especially close to home, with the involvement of an NTSB employee,” NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said in a news release Tuesday afternoon. "I'm grateful to TSB-Canada Chair Wendy Tadros for agreeing to conduct the investigation and the NTSB stands ready to support and assist them in any way we can."

TSB-Canada confirmed it is deploying an investigation team. An NTSB representative will observe the investigation.

Stay tuned to News4 and NBCWashington.com as this story develops.



Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[6 Firefighters Return to Work]]> Thu, 24 May 2012 13:07:51 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DC+Fire+and+EMS+Department+generic+truck+and+smoke.jpg

Six local firefighters are going back to work today after the entire shift was replaced due to an unknown illness on Wednesday, News4's Tracee Wilkins reports.

All eight firefighters were replaced at the Engine 10 Station on the 1300 block of Florida Avenue NE after they complained of possible symptoms of chemical exposure – like respiratory problems and burning eyes – Wednesday evening.

D.C. Fire and EMS declared a mass casualty hazmat and took the firefighters to the police and fire clinic for observation.

News4's Tracee Wilkins reports after extensive evaluation, one firefighter returned to work last night and five more will return back to work today.

Two firefighters will be out on sick leave and face more tests and evaluations before they are cleared to go back to work.

Officials say the firefighters could have become ill from a fire they fought about 11 a.m. in the 3700 block of Hayes Street NE on Wednesday and that it was possible it was a PCP lab.

Extra fire crews were called in to cover Engine 10 Station.

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Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[Godfather of Go-Go Dies]]> Thu, 17 May 2012 07:55:51 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ChuckBrown+capitol.jpg

A beloved D.C. music legend has passed away at the age of 75, Johns Hopkins Hospital confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown had been hospitalized for several weeks. His daughter Cherita Whiting told News4 he died from complications from pneumonia.

“We thank all the fans for their prayers and love and concern,” Whiting said.

Brown had postponed a performance at the new Howard Theatre in late April due to illness, although no reason was given at the time for the hospitalization.

“All of his fans meant the world to him,” Whiting said. “He lived for family and he lived to perform. And he just loved to make people happy and he just was such a good person. And I just want people to not just remember him just for the music, but understand the heart of gold that he [had]. You know, he just loved everybody.”

Earlier this month, rumors of Brown's death circulated on Twitter. His manager asserted those rumors were false, and his daughter K.K. Brown confirmed that Brown was still hospitalized at that time.

His family thanked his fans on his Facebook page:

 

The Brown family would like to thank everyone for their love and support over the years. We know that Chuck's legacy will live on through all of you who have supported him and his creation of Go-Go. His passion, inspiration and drive have always come from his family and fans. He would have wanted all of his fans to know that they meant the world to him and none of his success was possible without them. God bless.

 

A bandleader, singer and guitarist, Brown was one of the rare go-go artists to gain national attention. Leading the Soul Searchers in the 1970s, Brown was fundamental in the creation of the go-go sound, which he described as percussion-driven, jazz-infused funk with African and Latin elements and his signature call-and-response, which involved the audience in each performance.

"We do a song, break it down," he said. "We get into the audience; they get into us. And it just goes and goes and goes. Come out of that particular tune and go into another groove, but it's all basically the same groove."

Brown had said he was striving to find his own unique sound before it became the sound of the city. He said he fused the various elements of his sound in 1966, first putting the sound on record in 1972 with "We the People."

He credited the fans for helping create the performance style.

"We would do quite a few songs in one night," he said. "We might do 15, 20, 25 songs in one night. Back in those days we were doing Top 40 -- anything that came off the radio that was a hit, we got into it. We decided to break it down and start the call-and-response with the fans. They really made it happen for us. They started that 'wind me up, Chuck' thing -- that's when I was doing Bootsy Collins 'Wind Me Up,' I was doing his version and was also doing a lot of James Brown -- so the audience really started that 'wind me up.'"

He hit No. 1 on the R&B charts with "Bustin' Loose" in 1978 and had another hit with "We Need Some Money (Bout Money)" in 1984.

Brown received his first Grammy nomination in 2010 for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals  for "Love," featuring Jill Scott and Marcus Miller, from the album "We Got This."

Brown's career began in the early 1960s, playing for bands like Los Latinos. In and out of trouble with police in his youth, he had taught himself how to play guitar in prison.

Throughout his life he remained a frequent performer at city events and spent a lot of time with D.C. schoolchildren.

“Chuck Brown was the best kind of performer," D.C. Councilwoman Mary Cheh said, "one who will be remembered not only for the quality of his work, but also for his contributions to the community."

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<![CDATA[Radiation Ruled Out at Goddard]]> Thu, 10 May 2012 22:41:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*120/generic+Hazmat.jpg

Multiple radiation alarms are being investigated at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

But radiation was later ruled out as a cause.

A smoke alarm in the radiation lab apparently caused the radiation alarms to sound, according to Prince George's County Fire. The smoke alarm is under investigation. No smoke is visible.

Firefighters stood by while NASA officials and Prince George's County hazmat teams discussed the course of action.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for updates as they become available.

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<![CDATA[Orange & Blue Line Service Restored]]> Wed, 25 Apr 2012 07:40:02 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Generic+Metro+722+x+406.jpg

Metro service has been restored on the Blue and Orange Lines in time for Wednesday morning's commute.

Crews have successfully re-railed the wheels that came off their tracks Tuesday night. They worked through the night, making repairs and testing the track and switch equipment near the location of the incident.

On Tuesday evening, one set of wheels on the first car of a Franconia-Springfield-bound Blue Line train derailed at Rosslyn.

No injuries were reported, and all passengers were safely removed from the train within 10 minutes. Four of the six cars on the train had already reached the platform at the time of derailment.

Metro estimates there were about 1,000 passengers aboard the train.

Metro is still investigating what caused the incident.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Popular Prince George’s Pastor Fired]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2012 07:11:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Joel+Peebles+Jericho+City+of+Praise.jpg

A popular Prince George’s County pastor lost his pulpit Wednesday.

The Jericho Baptist Church Ministries Inc. Board of Trustees announced the termination of Joel R. Peebles Sr., formerly senior pastor at Jericho City of Praise church in Landover, Md. He was met by a police escort at the church Wednesday.

“I’ve received a termination letter from the church that I was raised in, was born in, married in, went to college in, went to graduate school in,” Peebles told supporters outside the church Wednesday.

“While this decision was not made without prayerful consideration and patience, it became clear that this action was necessary to protect Jericho and move forward, while remaining in compliance with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service for a 501(c)(3) religious organization,” read a statement from the board.

Peebles planned to hold a 7 p.m. Bible study at the church as scheduled, News4's Tisha Thompson reported.

“I love the people of this church,” Peebles told his supporters. “The church is not the building. It never has been.”

Peebles and church leadership have been pitted against each other in what some have called a battle for the soul of the church since the passing in 2010 of Peebles’s mother, church founder Apostle Betty Peebles. In her will, she reportedly placed the leadership of the church in the hands of a six-member board, not her son.

Peebles sued for control of the church but the court decided against him in October. Then in early November, he reportedly was locked out of the church, but an attorney for the church told News4 the locks had been changed because of a recent robbery, not to deny Peebles entry.

The main sanctuary at Jericho holds up to 11,000 parishioners. The church also operates Jericho Residences with apartments for seniors, a business development center and Jericho Christian Academy, which serves children from the age of 2 through the eighth grade. The church was originally located in D.C.



Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[Graffiti Threatens Gun in School: Police]]> Tue, 27 Mar 2012 12:15:28 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/school_violence.jpg

A Prince William County high school is increasing its police presence Tuesday due to a possible gun threat.

Graffiti in a bathroom stall at Potomac High School in Dumfries, Va., indicated a student was planning to tak a gun to school Tuesday, Prince William County police said.

Additional officers have been assigned to patrol the campus Tuesday.

Prince William County Schools alerted parents Monday evening with a recorded phone call.

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<![CDATA[RAW VIDEO: Two Killed in Fiery Crash]]> Fri, 23 Mar 2012 11:22:31 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/5500094_F5ACHEVYCHASECARFIREVO_722x406_2214065119.jpg A high-speed chase ended shortly around 1 a.m. Friday, when a car crashed at Chevy Chase Circle. News4 has the exclusive video from the scene. ]]> <![CDATA[Raw Video: High Speed Chase Ends in Flames]]> Fri, 23 Mar 2012 10:34:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/fiery.jpg Just after 1 am, police were involved in a high speed car chase on Connecticut Avenue that ended in flames at the Chevy Chase circle and left two people dead. News4 has the exclusive video from the scene. ]]> <![CDATA[Missing Boy Found in Reno, Nev.]]> Fri, 16 Mar 2012 11:14:56 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Wuilbert+Garcia.jpg

Prince George’s County police have canceled an amber alert for a 9-year-old Wuilbert Garcia. Police tell News4 that he was found in Reno, Nevada with his mother, 36-year-old Silvia Garcia.

Police said he was not hurt. His mother is now in custody in Reno.

Prince George's County police said Wuilbert Garcia was taken out of Dodge Park Elementary School in Landover, Md., just before 8 a.m. on Thursday. Wuilbert Garcia's father has full custody of him.

Sylvia Garcia

 Stay with News4 and NBC Washington for the latest.

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<![CDATA[All Clear After Lockdown at GW Library]]> Tue, 06 Mar 2012 17:25:48 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Generic+George+Washington+University+Banner.jpg

Police and the U.S. Secret Service gave the all clear at the George Washington University library and left the area after the report of a possible gunman heading toward the campus, News4's Jane Watrel reported.

The Secret Service advised campus police that they had information of the possible gunman seen near the White House headed toward GW's Foggy Bottom campus. An alert was sent to students about 9:30 p.m. alerting them about the report.

Multiple law enforcement agencies searched the area, but no gunman was located, and students received another alert.

But about 10:50 p.m., police and Secret Service converged on Gelman Library on H Street with guns drawn, not letting any students enter, after a student called in a report of a possible suspect changing clothes at the library. Two residence halls across the street also were locked down.

No gunman was found.

Students have been advised to remain on alert.

The man was described as white, balding, wearing a gray fleece sweater and possibly wearing eyeglasses.

Anyone who thinks they see the man or anything suspicious should call 911 or campus police at 202-994-6111.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2 Firefighters Remain Hospitalized]]> Tue, 28 Feb 2012 23:38:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/182*120/PGFFs2.jpg

Two firefighters remain hospitalized after they and five of their colleagues were injured battling a blaze in Prince George’s County Friday night.

Bladensburg Volunteer Firefighter Ethan Sorrell, 21, is in critical but stable condition with burns to his airway. As of Sunday afternoon, he remains intubated and can only communicate by writing notes. He is scheduled to undergo an examination to determine the extent of his injuries Monday.

Kevin O'Toole, 22, also a Bladensburg volunteer firefighter, is in critical but stable condition with second- and third-degree burns over 40 percent of his body. He is scheduled to undergo a skin graft procedure on Monday. O'Toole's father, Jeff, has stated that his son will spend at least six weeks in the burn unit at Washington Hospital Center before undergoing another six months of physical rehabilitation after that.

Riverdale volunteer firefighter Michael McLary, 19, was released Saturday after suffering bruised ribs and burns to both his hands. The other four firefighters had already been released.

Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker issued the following statement after visiting the hospital:

“My thoughts and prayers are with these brave men and their families and I ask all County residents to do the same. Our first responders put their lives on the line every day and I know that they are all effected by this tragic incident. I appreciate their service and their commitment to our residents’ safety and security.

"Furthermore, I want to thank the doctors and nurses at the Washington Hospital Center burn unit for their compassion and care of these courageous men. I also want to thank the regional fire and emergency community for their thoughts, outreach and concern.”

The fire broke out shortly after 9 p.m. Friday at a single-family, single-story home in the 6400 block of 57th Street in Riverdale. Firefighters were trying to enter the building when a rush of air from the rear of the house created a fireball that engulfed the respondents, investigators said. According to Prince George's Fire Spokesman Mark Brady, the sudden rush of air was caused by either a door or window being opened or broken out.

In all, about 65 firefighters responded to the blaze. Of the four firefighters released, three were from Riverdale and one was from College Park.

Brady said that the home appeared to be vacant, though a car was parked in the driveway. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation and loss estimates were not immediately available.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for more details as they become available.

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Photo Credit: Marc Bashoor/Prince George's County Fire Department]]>
<![CDATA[Va. Senate Kills Personhood Bill for 2012]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2012 17:12:14 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Virginia+Legislature+Captiol+Building+Richmond.jpg

A bill that would define life as starting at conception is dead for this year in Virginia.

The Senate voted 24-14 Thursday to send the so-called "personhood" bill back to committee and carry it over to 2013.

Senate Democratic Leader Richard Saslaw made the motion to shelve the bill, and Republican leader Tommy Norment supported it, saying more study is needed.

The vote came hours after the Senate Education and Health Committee endorsed the measure on an 8-7 party-line vote, with Democrats voting against it. At least three times, the committee chairman, Sen. Steve Martin, threatened to have police remove opponents of the bill after they spoke out during debate.

The committee earlier approved a bill requiring pre-abortion external ultrasound exams. It was amended to eliminate ultrasounds requiring an invasive ultrasound probe.



Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[100 MPH Crash at Landover KFC]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2012 22:19:35 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/kfc+crash+new.jpg

One person is dead and four others were injured after a vehicle crashed into a KFC in Landover, Md., at approximately 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Rose Smith said she was standing at the next door Citgo Gas Station, and saw a BMW speeding down Martin Luther King, Jr. Highway.

"When it hit the curb it went airborne. And flipped, flipped, flipped, flipped," said Smith.

It flipped into a sign, a fence, a large metal donation box and an SUV parked in the restaurant parking lot. The driver of the impacted SUV was not hurt.

"This is a pretty brutal scene," said Cpl. Evan Baxter of the Prince George's County Police.

Police said the driver was most likely going more than 100 mph. The crash scene was more than 100 yards long.

Prince George's County police identified the deceased as 29-year-old Hellena Louise Smith.

Smith was ejected from the vehicle and killed.  Investigators said that a male passenger in the BMW was not seriously injured.  Two other people on the scene were hurt, with non-life threatening injuries.

There is also some structural damage to the restaurant, which is located at 6701 Martin Luther King Jr. Highway, at the intersection of Sheriff Road.  A collapse team was dispatched to stabilize the building and board up the restauarant's windows, which had shattered.

Police said speed was definitely a factor in the crash, and investigators were testing for alcohol on Tuesday morning.

Smith was ticketed on January 22 for speeding, driving 91 mph in a 55 mph zone.

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<![CDATA[Arrest in NE Transgender Killing]]> Fri, 10 Feb 2012 20:22:28 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/transgender+murder+surveillance.JPG

D.C. Police have made an arrest in the killing of a transgender person in Northeast.

JaParker Jones was stabbed in the head at a bus stop at East Capitol Street and Sycamore Road the evening of Feb. 2. Jones later died at a hospital.

Surveillance video taken Feb. 2 about 8:30 p.m. showed a man walking calmly across East Capitol Street away from the bus stop.

"Unlike we have seen in the past, in this case, at the time when this homicide took place, passersby unrelated to the situation intervened -- two passersby -- and attempted to assist a person that they believed was being assaulted," Police Chief Cathy Lanier said.

Police charged 55-year-old Gary Niles Montgomery, of northeast D.C., with second-degree murder. He has not been charged with a hate crime, but that has not been ruled out.

"We had what we needed to have," Lanier said. "We had people driving down the street that did not drive by a crime in progress. They stopped, they did what they could to help, and they notified police and they waited for police to come to the scene. And then we had people in the community who came forward and provided us the information that we need. And I want to thank all those who have helped us bring this case to closure."

Police are investigating Montgomery for similiar unsolved crimes.

Jones also went by the names Deoni and Logan.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for details as they become available.

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