This Week in Weird, Nov. 13

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Police say truck driver may have been eating cereal at time of crash

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - A FedEx driver may have been eating a bowl of cereal when he crashed his large box truck head-on into a sedan, police said.

David Rundlett, 59, told investigators he did not remember the accident or eating prior to the 9:05 a.m. crash Nov. 6, police spokesman Lt. Paul Shastany said.

A woman, who was not named, told police she was driving when she saw the box truck coming toward her in the wrong lane.

"When she saw this, she had no place to go and she contemplated going to the left, but she saw other cars following the truck in that lane, so she couldn't swerve that way," said Shastany. "She tried to get to the right, but she was unable to avoid the collision and the truck struck her."

The woman was taken to the hospital to be treated for a chest injury, the lieutenant said.

Officer Jason Lourie questioned Rundlett, who said he had no memory of the crash.

Looking at the truck, an officer "made an observation of milk and cereal spilled all over the dashboard, but no bowl," said Shastany.

Lourie found a bowl in the woods nearby, Shastany said.

Although Rundlett has not admitted it, Shastany said it's "a safe assumption," the truck driver was eating.

Woman, baby carried on hood of car

PEORIA, Ill. – A woman and her 8-month-old baby survived being struck by a car, lifted onto the hood and carried at least 150 feet Wednesday morning.

The incident took place about 10 a.m. Wednesday in Peoria.

Jane Leetz, 75, told police she was running late to a doctor’s appointment. Johnetta K. Pierce, 20, of Peoria was walking in a crosswalk. Her baby, Amina, was in her arms. Witnesses, including Peoria police officer Jerry McKean, saw Pierce and her baby lifted onto the hood. The car then appeared to speed up and carry them.

When the car came to a stop along the curb, two witnesses jumped out of their car, grabbed the baby and tended to the mother while awaiting paramedics.

Johnetta Pierce, who complained of a sore leg, was taken to Methodist Medical Center with what was believed to be a minor injury.

"She was up on the hood when she went by me," McKean said. "She didn’t let go of that baby until the two women came up. I’m just amazed that they weren’t hurt (badly). The baby didn’t have a scratch on her."

Leetz was ticketed for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Wayward racing pigeon gets help from good Samaritans

STUTTGART, Ark. - On the morning of Oct. 1, Linda Uhiren of Slovak noticed her dog Lucky was barking more than normal and a dove was standing by Lucky's pen.

The bird turned and walked away, and all returned to normal.

Later that afternoon she and her husband, Johnnie, noticed the bird returned. It walked calmly in front of their garage and around the house to a neighboring bean field. Johnnie Uhiren followed the bird, which he discovered was wearing bands on its legs, and returned with it in his arms.

The bird had two bands, one green and one white.

The couple contacted the Prairie County Sheriff's Department, which told them to contact the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, who in turn told them it does not deal with found birds. However, using information provided by the leg bands, Arkansas Game and Fish was able to locate the Racing Pigeon Club, where the owner of the bird was a member. An e-mail was sent to both the club and the owner that morning, and by noon the club replied.

"Racing birds usually become tired and stop to rest. If the bird seems well, it would be alright to release her, since they usually return home," the club told the Uhirens.

They decided to release the bird, and it flew and landed in a bean field.

After looking for the bird for a short time, Linda Uhrien returned to her home to find an e-mail from the owner.

"Her name is Sahara and she comes from a very special line of birds. She is only 6 months old and I am very surprised she flew that far," said her owner, who lives in Dallas.

Sahara was on a 50-mile training toss when she became lost. She had been missing for seven days.

"I believe if she is released, she will not make it home," the owner wrote.

After supper, the couple went out to try and locate Sahara.

"As we walked out of the garage, we saw her coming up the driveway towards us," Linda Uhrien said. "We could not believe our eyes. Johnnie began calling her name and circled around behind her. She came right into the garage.”

On Oct. 14, the couple received a shipping box from her owner and took Sahara to the post office. The owner signed for Sahara before noon the following day.

Burning bed tossed into street

CANTON, Ohio - A mattress burst into flames in the street near an apartment about 12:30 p.m. Monday.

Firefighters said a man had moved his mattress into the hallway of an apartment complex and propped it up against a wall sconce.

The light bulb then set the mattress on fire. When the man noticed, he grabbed the mattress and threw if off a balcony and onto the street.

It hit and burst into flames, said acting Battalion Fire Chief Chuck Goldy. No one was injured.

Deer wants to see inside of meat store

BARTONVILLE, Ill. - A deer crashed into Echo Valley Meats' plate glass window and shattered it Thursday morning.

According Dave Alwan, owner of Echo Valley Meats, he received a call about 6:45 a.m. from a woman who was driving nearby and saw the deer in action.

While Alwan and police initially thought the deer had come into the store, Alwan said video surveillance showed the deer crashing into the window and taking off. The deer was not found.

Bartonville Police Chief Brian Fengel said the broken window was worth $500, and nobody got hurt. Fengel said he has seen deer encounters like this before.

"I know it's rut season for deer," he said. "We've had a lot of deer accidents and a lot of deer running around."

Fengel said the accident is notable because Echo Valley Meats processes deer meat.

"We're so good, they're just dying to get in," Alwan said.

GateHouse News Service