Tampa FLA Aug 2 2010 Elroy McConnell II wanted his family to meet his 4-month-old grandson. So he and his wife rented a beach house here for the week and invited their three sons and their families.
But the family gathering ended tragically early Sunday morning after a drunk driver ran a red light and killed McConnell and his three sons, according to St. Petersburg police.
McConnell and his sons — Elroy McConnell III, 28, Kelly McConnell, 19, and Nathan McConnell, 24 – were coming from a late-night movie about 12:45 a.m. when their 2010 Ford Fusion was hit at the corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street North and 22nd Avenue North. The women weren’t in the car because they’d gone to see the movie during the day.
The news rocked family members.
“Not many of (the McConnells) left,” said Bill English, Roy McConnell III’s father-in-law.
“It’s a lot to think about. As far as holding up, it isn’t too easy.”
The McConnells were driving south on 22nd Avenue when Demetrius Jordan, 20, of St. Petersburg, blew through the red light at the intersection, heading south on Martin Luther King in a 2001 Chevy Impala, a police report states. The impact sent the Fusion crashing into the sign at the corner 7-11.
Police arrested Jordan, 2220 14th Ave. S., on four charges of DUI manslaughter and one count of DUI with serious bodily injury. He and a passenger, Mario Robinson, 20, of St. Petersburg were taken to Bayfront Medical Center with injuries police described as serious. Jordan has no prior arrests in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
McConnell, 51, and his wife, Amy Voelker, were from Orlando, as were Nathan and Kelly McConnell, who turned 19 Friday. Elroy McConnell III and his wife came from New Orleans with their son, Elroy McConnell IV.
The elder McConnell was an accountant who founded a startup venture known as iCFO, which provides chief financial officers, accounting and audit services for companies.
His eldest son, Elroy McConnell III, was training to become a manager at JCPenny’s, English said. He and his wife, Sandie English McConnell, met at Louisiana College in Pineville, La., and married about two years ago. English described his son-in-law as quiet and a loving husband and father.
Kelly McConnell was studying at the University of Miami and was scheduled to graduate in 2013, according to his Facebook page. He played rugby, loved football and his girlfriend and cherished his family.
“They’re all really great and unconditionally supportive,” McConnell wrote on his Facebook page.
Hours before the wreck that claimed his life, McConnell’s father seemed excited about spending the week with his family.
“This is the best idea we have had in years,” McConnell wrote on his Facebook page. “I think Amy and I at least will be doing this again in the future.”
English said they were a wonderful family.
“They were great people,” he said. “They were close together as a family, very close.”
ATLANTA GA Aug 2010 — Police say a man who robbed a Wendy’s at gunpoint was so upset with his haul that he twice called the fast food restaurant to complain.
A man wearing a ski mask and holding a gun walked up to the drive-through window of an Atlanta Wendy’s about 11:15 Saturday night. He told an employee to put the cash drawer on the counter.
The robber grabbed the drawer and ran away.
Police say he later called the fast food restaurant to complain about the lack of cash.
In one call he said that “next time there better be more than $586.” He made “a similar threat” in the second call, police said.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska Aug 2 2010 — A big cargo airplane that crashed Sunday in Denali National Park was registered to an Alaskan freight company and had three people onboard who are presumed dead, the National Park Service said.
The Fairchild C-123 was registered to All West Freight Inc. of Delta Junction, Alaska. It crashed into the south-facing slope of Mount Healy within a mile of the park headquarters and about 200 yards north of the only road into the park. The craft went down about 3 p.m. Sunday near the eastern edge of the park, about 180 miles north of Anchorage.
The plane burst into flames on impact and started a wildland fire that was contained at approximately one acre, the park service said.
Park spokeswoman Kris Fister said it was initially difficult to determine the number of fatalities because “the plane pretty much disintegrated.”
Names of those killed weren’t yet released.
The fire was challenging for crews on the scene, who did not know who owned the plane until several hours after the crash. The first responders arrived within minutes, but the plane was already engulfed in flames, Fister said.
George Clare, of Las Vegas, said he saw the plane flying very low and slowly while he was walking toward the visitor’s center near the park entrance. He thought the plane was going to land on a local airstrip, so he proceeded to the visitor’s center. Within minutes, people came running in and saying a plane had crashed.
He said the crash caused a column of smoke a few miles west of the visitor’s center.
Alaska Fire Service smokejumpers and Denali wildland firefighters were dousing hot spots to extinguish the fire late Sunday and stayed on the scene overnight. National Transportation Safety Board investigators were to arrive Monday morning.
The crash happened just four days after a military cargo plane crashed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, killing four people onboard.
The victims were Maj. Michael Freyholtz, 34, of Hines, Minn.; Maj. Aaron Malone, 36, of Anchorage; Capt. Jeffrey Hill, 31, of York, Pa., and Master Sgt. Thomas Cicardo, 47, of Anchorage. Cicardo was posthumously promoted to senior master sergeant Friday.
The four airmen were on a training mission Wednesday evening for a weekend air show at the Air Force base, which wrapped up Sunday. The C-17 crashed about a minute after taking off.
OAK LAWN, Ill. Aug 2 2010 – Security officers shot a man with a gun who was seen shooting at a vehicle as it was leaving the parking lot of an Oak Lawn bowling alley following a fight inside late Saturday.
The man was treated at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and taken to the Oak Lawn Police Department, where he was being held on Sunday as police investigate the incident, a release from Oak Lawn police said.
The fight inside the Brunswick Zone, 4700 W. 103rd St. in Oak Lawn, began about 11:23 p.m., then moved outside to the parking lot, the release said.
As the fight moved outside, two security officers — off-duty Cook County Sheriff’s Police officers — were notified of the fight and as they went outside they saw a large group of people fighting.
Toward the south end of the parking lot they saw a man with a handgun shooting at a white vehicle that appeared to be fleeing the lot, according to the release.
The officers went toward the man with the gun, confronted him, and shot him in the chest, according to the release.
That man was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, treated for his injuries, and transported to the Oak Lawn Police Department, where he was being held on Sunday morning as police investigate the incident.
A juvenile victim of the original shooting was located at Christ Hospital, where he was being treated for a gunshot wound to the foot. It appears, according to police, that he was trying to get into the white vehicle that was seen fleeing the scene as it was being shot at. He was treated and released from Christ Hospital.
Because two security guards who are police officers were involved in the incident, the Public Integrity Unit of the Illinois State Police was called to investigate the police-involved portion of the shooting, the release said. Oak Lawn police are also investigating.
Police say Lucinda Rodriguez Caldwell took the boy from his home to a hotel and forced him to have sexual contact.
The dad of the young boy noticed he was missing early in the morning and while he was looking for him, he saw Caldwell’s car outside the home.
The dad tried to chase down Caldwell and followed her to Hondo where police arrested her. Caldwell is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child.
OCEANSIDE CA Aug 2 2010 —- A 16-year-old boy was arrested Sunday after he allegedly assaulted a beach security officer, causing her to fall and hit her head, Oceanside police said.
About 1:30 p.m., beach security officers approached the teen because of a skateboarding violation, Oceanside police Lt. Joe Young said.
The boy became combative and pushed a female officer, who stumbled backwards, fell and hit her head, Young said.
The officer was treated for a minor head injury and observed at a hospital, Young said. The teen was booked into Juvenile Hall on suspicion of felony battery on a peace officer, the lieutenant said.
Beach security officers are an unarmed, summertime security force and write citations for municipal code violations, Young said.