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Oil Patch truck driver charged with illegal dumping

WILLISTON – Criminal charges have been filed against a truck driver accused of illegally dumping oilfield waste in western North Dakota, and the trucking company he worked for could face more than $1 million in civil penalties, officials said Tuesday. Leo Slemin, a driver with Black Hills Trucking of Wyoming, has been charged with a Class C felony for allegedly illegally dumping saltwater, a byproduct of oil production and an environmental hazard. Black Hills Trucking faces potential fines from two state agencies for alleged repeat illegal dumping incidents and for hauling waste without a license since 2008.

In addition, the companies that hired Black Hills Trucking to haul their waste also could face penalties from the North Dakota Department of Health, said Dave Glatt, environmental health section chief. A Department of Mineral Resources inspector witnessed Slemin on Feb.

14 driving a truck along a stretch of road in southwest Williams County with valves on the underside of the truck open, allowing saltwater to flow directly onto the ground, court records say. The criminal charge, which is a violation of North Dakota Industrial Commission rules, is being handled by the Attorney General s Office.

The state will not hesitate to bring criminal and civil actions when we learn of instances of illegal dumping, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said in a statement. Those who blatantly disregard rules designed to protect the environment and keep our citizens safe will be held accountable for their actions. Slemin is scheduled to appear in Williams County District Court on Monday.

Court information does not list an attorney for Slemin, who is from Mountrail County, according to a news release. Costly penalties The Feb.

14 incident the inspector witnessed occurred in an area where numerous reports of illegal dumping have been received. The Department of Mineral Resources, on behalf of the North Dakota Industrial Commission, issued a civil complaint against Black Hills Trucking seeking more than $950,000 in penalties for repeat dumping of waste on gravel roads alleged during February and March.

Surveillance equipment recorded the company s trucks with saltwater pouring from open valves driving to and from a Williams County saltwater disposal well, the Department of Mineral Resources said. A representative from the Williston office of Black Hills Trucking said the company has no comment. In addition, the North Dakota Department of Health has issued the company a notice of violation for operating without a waste hauler s license and other violations.

The amount of fine will be determined through a hearing process, but some violations carry possible penalties of $12,500 per day, Glatt said. Operating without a proper license to haul oilfield waste carries a penalty of up to $1,000 per day, and health officials believe the company operated without a license since 2008, Glatt said. The company had a permit and allowed it to expire May 9, 2008, according to the Health Department s notice of violation.

The department sent two notices in 2008 reminding the company to renew the license. There really is no excuse for them not to know that they need a license, Glatt said. Health officials will be investigating which oil companies hired Black Hills Trucking to haul the wastewater, and those companies could be fined as well, Glatt said.

The Oil and Gas Division verified that the company s trucks were not hauling wastewater shortly after the company was notified of the violations, said Alison Ritter, department spokeswoman.

Stenehjem urged citizens and other waste haulers to report any suspected illegal dumping to authorities.

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Tractor-trailer crash in New Kent kills 3

NEW KENT, VA (WWBT) – Three people were killed and a driver was injured when their car crashed into a tractor-trailer in New Kent Tuesday afternoon. The car was trying to cross Route 155 from Kentland Trail and failed to yield the right of way to the tractor-trailer, according to State Police. The southbound truck driver then hit the car.

The driver of the car, Saul A. Gonzalez-Hernandez, 65, was taken to VCU Medical Center with serious non-life-threatening injuries. Julio C.

Gonzalez-Hernandez, 61; Javier D. Ferrer, 25; and Jose A. Lopez-Velasquez, 26, all died from the crash.

Saul A. Gonzalez-Hernandez has been charged with reckless driving. Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12.

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Tractor-trailer crash in New Kent kills 3


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Orland Bus Crash: Inglewood students among missing after truck …

Elijah Nouvelage /Getty Images A bus involved in Thursday’s deadly crash is loaded on to a truck at the scene on April 11, 2014 in Orland, California. Ten people were killed and dozens injured, including four still in critical condition, after a FedEx truck collided with a bus of high school students on Interstate 5 yesterday. The students were on their way to visit Humboldt State University in Northern California.

KPCC El Monte Union High School district Superintendent Nick Salerno said the principal talked to victim Adrian Castro s family. Jeremy Lockett/AP Massive flames engulf a tractor-trailer and a tour bus just after they collide on Interstate 5, Thursday, April, 10, 2014, near Orland, Calif. At least 10 people were killed in the crash, authorities said.

Jeff Chiu/AP A California Highway Patrol Officer walks past the remains of a tour bus that was struck by a FedEx truck on Interstate 5 Thursday in Orland, Calif., Friday, April 11, 2014. Rich Pedroncelli/AP Sergio Parra, 16, a 10th grader at Orland High School, cleans the glass on the school’s sign, Friday, April 11, 2014, after placing a memorial remembering the victims of a fiery crash between a tour bus and a FedEx truck in Orland, Calif. Rich Pedroncelli/AP A California Highway Patrol Officer looks over the wreckage, Friday, April 11, 2014, where a tour bus and a FedEX truck crashed on Interstate 5 Thursday in Orland, Calif.

California Department of Motor Vehicles/AP This undated photo provided by the California Department of Motor Vehicles shows Arthur Arzola. The 26-year-old Humboldt State University admissions counselor, from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., who was accompanying students on a visit to the campus, was identified by the Sacramento County coroner and the university as one of those who died in the fiery collision of a tour bus and FedEx truck on Interstate 5 near Orland, Calif. on Thursday, April 10, 2014.

NBC-LA A screencap from NBC-LA of wreckage from a bus crash on Interstate 5 in Northern California on April 10, 2014. A FedEx tractor-trailer crossed over a grassy median on a Northern California freeway and slammed into a bus carrying between 44 and 48 high school students in a fiery crash that left 10 people dead near Orland, authorities said. The bus included students from the Los Angeles Unified School District, who were on their way to tour Humboldt State.

Updates on Twitter | Map of crash Updates: Update 7:02 p.m. Riverside student remains missing Four students from Riverside were on the buses heading up to Humboldt State University for a college visit. Three of them were on the bus that crashed.

One of them remains missing. Twins Marisol and Marisa Serrato seniors at Norte Vista High School — were on two different buses. Marisa was on the bus that crashed and remains missing.

A third student from Norte Vista is in the hospital. And a fourth student from Riverside — a La Sierra high school student — was treated and released from the hospital. Norte Vista high school was relatively quiet Friday afternoon.

Most students were sent home early for a previously planned half day. Tonight is prom night for seniors. Several students described it as a quiet, depressing day on campus.

Earlier Friday teachers told students about the bus crash. Students tell KPCC their teacher was holding back tears as she conveyed the news. Parents picking up their kids this afternoon and several students said they were sending out prayers to family members of the students in the bus crash.

Edwardo Giron came to pick up his son, a freshman. God bless the families and the people who were in there, he said. This is really sad.

You never know. We worry about our kids too. — Shirley Jahad, KPCC Update 6:45 p.m. Student describes kicking open bus window and escaping Harley Hoyt kicked out the emergency window of the bus after it burst into flames.

He was sitting on the driver’s side of the bus, near the back. The El Cajon 18-year-old was the first one to get out of the bus and other kids tumbled out on top of him. He is a senior at Valhalla High School and spoke to KPCC from the airport in Chico where he was waiting for his return flight to San Diego.

His parents flew there on Friday to pick him up. Here are excerpts from his interview: We were just riding on the bus, we were cruising down there and I had my headphones on and everyone just started screaming really loud and I was like, What the heck is going on? I looked up and right then and there the bus driver had slammed on the brakes and I looked up and saw this Fed Ex truck come all the way across the center divide and it hit us head on.

The front of the bus burst into flames, smoke was everywhere. Everything was crazy, everyone was screaming. I knew the people in the front of the bus were done, like, on impact.

Hoyt had noticed earlier in the day that he was sitting near the emergency window exit. It stood out to him because earlier that day the bus had been delayed by a minor traffic accident with a car after picking up the students at Union Station. He went for the window almost immediately.

It was literally after we hit, I recovered back in my seat, I looked to my left, the FedEx bus was on fire, our bus was on fire, I thought I was going to die, I thought we could blow up at any second. Right next to me was the emergency exit window. I pulled up the lever and pushed it up right away.

I kicked out the window. I was the first one out and I fell on the ground and I scraped up all my arm, knee, my hands, I got glass in my hands and stuff. Someone landed on top of me and really hurt my back.

The survivors ran away from the bus as fast as they could, crossing over to the other side of the highway. Everyone was bloody, everyone was beat up, people with broken arms and people had gouges in their head and everything, a bunch of concussions. People were just like, some were speechless, some crying and some screaming.

It was crazy to see that, it was just utter chaos. Hoyt had a chance to talk with Michael Myvett, the counselor and chaperone on the bus who died. The counselor (Michael) he was talking to us the whole time.

He was having a great time. He was the life of the party. It was just a fun bus.

He was chatting everyone up, going up and down the aisles, didn t skip one person. He was jumping around, asking everyone questions, showing everyone his X-men tattoos. Harley also spent time with Adrian Castro, the El Monte High School football player who has been confirmed dead.

The guys met on the bus and sat near one another in the back. They spent the day chatting and ate lunch together. Just before the crash Adrian went up to the front of the bus to play music through the auxiliary system, said Hoyt.

Harley didn t see Adrian again. He was excited about Humboldt, I think he was saying something about other colleges, he wrestled as well, he was a cool dude,” said Hoyt. Hoyt wants to thank all the medical providers and first responders as well as the Red Cross and others who helped the students.

I m speechless at this point. Blessed is an understatement. I m very grateful that I m alive and I got to see my whole family today.

I could have been dead. — Elizabeth Aguilera, KPCC Update 6:15 p.m. National Transportation Safety Board investigating crash factors The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a number of factors that could have contributed to Thursday night s bus crash, NTSB official Mark Rosekind said at a televised news conference at 5 p.m. Friday.

It is too early to determine why the FedEx truck driver crossed the median before the crash, said Rosekind, but NTSB is investigating factors such as the driver s work-rest schedule and training as well as vehicle inspections and maintenance. Toxicology and blood will also be taken for the drivers, which is standard. Environmental factors like design of freeway will also be taken into account, said Rosekind.

NTSB has a variety of recommendations for in-vehicle technology that monitors vehicles like the bus and FedEx truck. The extent to which the truck and bus have that technology is being investigated. Also under investigation is whether the bus and truck companies had implemented NTSB recommendations for fire and crash safety, including the ability of passengers to escape in the event of a crash. — Jessica Hamlin, KPCC Update 5:37 p.m.

Inglewood students among missing Gabriel Sanchez, spokesman for Green Dot Charter schools, confirms that two students from Animo Charter High school in Inglewood are among the missing. Both students, Denise Gomez and Ismael Jimenez, are seniors and not related. Parents are in touch with authorities investigating the crash and are declining media requests at this time. — Kristen Muller, KPCC Update 4:45 p.m. ‘A scar on the landscape that is unmistakable’ The crash on I-5 left “a scar on the landscape that is unmistakable” on the side of the road that was “charred by the intense heat of the fire,” said Patrick Healy, a reporter with KPCC media partner NBC-L.A.

Healy, who is reporting at the scene of the crash, said that shortly before noon the investigators completed their on-scene investigation. They’ve removed what was left of the charred FedEx truck and the big rig and shipped that to another location where they can examine pieces more carefully and try to determine if there were mechanical issues. Healy told KPCC anchor Nick Roman that the crash reminded of a story he covered in the 90s when there were a number of bad accidents on the 118 freeway in Chatsworth due to vehicles crossing the center divide. “Ultimately that led Caltrans to put a center median, a barrier, there to prevent this kind of accident from happening,” he said.

Nick Roman, KPCC Back to top Update 2:45 p.m. South LA school reacts to students involved in crash At Manual Arts High School in South Los Angeles cafeteria workers and a student said that news of the bus crash had spread throughout the school and was on the minds of many. The school is home to at least one of the 19 Los Angeles Unified students involved in the bus crash.

High School student Rosibeth Cuevas posted a photo of herself on Facebook that appears to have been removed – it showed scrapes and bruises on her face following the crash. The school’s principal Robert Whitman declined to comment and would not allow KPCC on campus. Emily Santiago, a tenth grader at the school, spoke to KPCC’s Mary Plummer off campus.

Santiago said students were asking questions about the crash throughout the day. Her second period homeroom teacher told the class that one student had been injured, but was OK. “People were surprised,” she said, adding that she was thinking about how the students had been accepted to college. “They worked really hard for it. For this to happen to them is pretty sad.” Mary Plummer, KPCC Back to top Update 2:24 p.m.

El Monte High School student appears to be victim El Monte High School senior Yaritza Villalobos took this picture of chalk-tributes to student Adrian Castro. Castro has not been confirmed dead in the bus crash. According to school officials, one of the five dead students appears to have come from El Monte High School and another student from Norte Vista High School in Riverside is feared dead; she was on the bus that crashed and is still missing.

Adrian Castro was on El Monte High School’s football team. Senior Yaritza Villalobos said the students were told in the morning over the school PA that he had died in the crash. “The principal, she wanted to cry when she announced it, said Yaritza Villalobos, a senior at the school. School district Superintendent Nick Salerno said the principal talked to Castro s family.

The parents are headed north and were asked to bring dental records. Villalobos, who knew Castro, said students drew a memorial in chalk and the mood on campus was dim. Many others were like crying and there was people hugging and comforting each other, 11th grader Oscar de la Luz said.

We re going to miss him dearly, football coach Gilbert Garcia said Friday. In Riverside, officials with the Alvord Unified school district said Norte Vista High School student Marisa Serrato was on the bus that crashed and is still missing. Adolfo Guzman Lopez, KPCC Back to top Update 12:45 p.m.

HSU chaperone confirmed dead Multiple family members have confirmed to KPCC that chaperone Michael Myvett died in the crash. His family said authorities called Myvett’s mother this morning to report he was among those who perished. Coroner’s officials said they will be using dental and medical records to positively identify the victims who died in the crash.

Myvett’s cousin, Trinice Hayes Sampson, says officials asked the family for dental records. A fundraising page has been set up for Myvett’s family through GoFundMe. “He was the most lovable teddy bear that you’d ever want to meet,” Myvett’s grandmother Debra Loyd told KPCC. “He always had a smile. He always spoke politely.

I taught him to say yes ma’am, no ma’am and words could not describe…everybody loves Michael.” College friend Stephanie Haller recalled talking to Myvett about taking engagement photos of him and his fiancee, who got engaged in Paris on Christmas Day. “They wanted to go back to Humboldt and just take pictures kind of all around their favorite joints and like food places and beaches and basically revisit all the really really important things to them that was a part of their relationship and friendship that started in Humboldt,” Haller told KPCC. The California Highway Patrol told KPCC that they are not releasing names of victims until all notifications have been made to family members. Ashley Bailey & Jessica Hamlin, KPCC Back to top Update 12:26 p.m.

Mayor Garcetti, LAUSD head outline schools involved in crash Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy spoke at a noon press conference on the tour bus crash that involved 19 LAUSD students. Deasy confirmed that there were 48 riders on one of the buses, with 31 taken to a variety of area hospitals. He said that LAUSD would be assisting parents who don’t have the means to travel to see their children and that every student would be met by administrators and their parents or guardian. “A city mourns today,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said at the press conference.

Garcetti cited his Thursday state of the city address, which came an hour before the news of the crash. He said that his line from the speech saying that children are not just the responsibility of the school district wasn’t just a line, but that it was a “promise” and a “covenant.” “It will be time before we know the status of every student,” Deasy said. He added that they wouldn’t be releasing the condition of students before their parents are informed.

Deasy named these schools as having students who were on the trip: Alliance Judy Burton, Alliance Media Arts, Green Dot Animo Jackie Robinson Charter High School, Banning High School, Carson High School, Chatsworth High School, Cesar Chavez School for Social Justice, Dorsey High School, Fremont High School, Grant High School, Manual High School, Middle College High School, RFK High School and Wilson High School. Deasy thanked Garcetti for travel assistance to get people to Northern California. “We know that there were hopes and dreams on that bus,” said LAUSD Board member Steve Zimmer at the press conference. Deasy gave an LAUSD hotline that those needing support can call: (213) 241-3841.

Mike Roe, KPCC Back to top Update 11:54 a.m.: Officials plan exhaustive investigation into crash The vehicles were already engulfed in flames when authorities arrived at the scene, California Highway Patrol Lt. Bruce Carpenter said at a morning CHP news conference. Nine people were confirmed dead at the scene.

Another died after being taken to the University of California Davis Medical Center with severe burns, Carpenter said. Injuries ranged from minor to critical. Carpenter said that witnesses reported seeing flames at the front of the bus as soon as the crash occurred, and that one person was seen fleeing the bus on fire.

That person was the one who later died at UC Davis Medical Center, Carpenter said. “This was a horrific collision. The impact was heard throughout the communities,” Sheriff Larry Jones said at the press conference. He said he spoke with people up to a quarter mile away that heard the impact. “Right after that impact, there was a tremendous fire with very high temperatures.” Victims’ bodies were being taken to an examination facility in Butte County, Undersheriff Richard Warren said, adding that examinations would begin as soon as possible, with investigators working through the weekend.

He said that most of the bodies suffered burns, making identifying them much more difficult. Investigators will have to use medical and dental records to help identify those who’ve died, Warren said. If they’re unable to do that, they will use DNA identification.

That will likely mean the investigation will take much longer, Warren said. He added that they were seeking to treat the victims with dignity while getting information to the families as soon as possible. The majority of the dead were found in the front of the bus or on the ground in front of the bus, with two found in the middle of the bus, CHP Chief Ruben Leal said.

He added that the deaths appeared to be “very immediate.” The southbound lanes of the highway had been reopened, but the northbound lanes remained closed, Carpenter said. They may reopen by noon. The vehicles had either been removed or were in the process of being removed, but evidence was still being processed at the scene.

The National Transportation Safety Board joined the investigation at 10 a.m., CHP Lt. Scott Fredrick said. Investigators will look into human factors that may have caused the collision, Fredrick said.

He added that they didn’t know if the driver of the FedEx truck that collided with the tour bus had fallen asleep, if he had a mechanical problem with his vehicle or if another collision caused the FedEx driver to lose control. Investigators will use a variety of techniques including mapping and 3D diagramming to reconstruct the events that caused the collision, he said. A final report wasn’t expected for at least three months and may take up to six months, Fredrick said.

They also plan to look into the records of both bus companies to look for contributing factors to this collision, he added. Two people in a sedan that was involved in the collision sustained minor to moderate injuries and were transported to a hospital, Carpenter said. They’re both expected to be OK. “The soul of the CSU has been cut deeply by this accident,” Cal State University Chancellor Timothy White said.

He said that the system will provide grief counseling support if schools need it. Humboldt State President Rollin Richmond defended the program that was bringing students up to the university during the press conference, and praised the students’ willingness to continue thinking about what they’re going to do in the future. The last of the dead was removed from the site at 1:40 a.m., Jones said at the press conference.

He said their main task now is the identification of the dead and seeking to identify their next of kin. LAUSD Senior Deputy Superintendent Michelle King said she is with a team of 11 administrators, mental health counselors and crisis counselors seeking out the 19 LAUSD students who were on the bus to provide support. She said those in need could contact the school’s mental health office for assistance.

An evacuation center was established Thursday night at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Orland, Red Cross spokesman Jordan Scott said. The agency will provide emotional support to survivors and their families as they arrive, he said, adding that the organization has all the volunteers and supplies it needs to help those impacted by the tragedy. Mike Roe Back to top 10:03 a.m.

Sen. Boxer issues statement on crash U.S. Sen.

Barbara Boxer (D-CA) issued a statement Friday morning on the bus crash: As a mother and a grandmother, this disaster strikes my heart. Words cannot express the sadness I feel for the families who have lost children in this tragic crash, and I am praying for a speedy recovery for all those who were injured. My office has been in contact with the National Transportation Safety Board, which has sent a team to the scene to investigate the crash, and we will be briefed later today.

KPCC staff Back to top Update 9:47 a.m. Grandmother believes counselor grandson may have died in crash Grandmother Debra Loyd of Los Angeles tells KPCC she believes that her grandson Michael Myvett, a chaperone on the bus, may have died in the crash. She said she hasn’t heard anything official, so she is waiting to get it “from the horse’s mouth.” “I’ve been praying, walking the floor and looking at TV, just to see what will come on and what’s going on,” Loyd said.

She is hopeful that Myvett, 28, survived. Loyd last saw her grandson Thursday morning when she dropped him off at Union Station with his fiancee. They were planning to get married in June. “Michael was the most lovable teddy bear that you ever want to meet.

He always had a smile, he always spoke politely,” Loyd said. “Everybody loves Michael. You don’t know how many people been at my house since 5 o’clock this morning.” Several students and survivors have been active talking about the crash on Twitter, including back and forth between friends. Posts included photos of the bus on fire, a selfie and profanity-laced expressions of relief.

There were 100-foot skid marks left by the crash. Ashley Bailey and Adolfo Guzman-Lopez Back to top Update 8:54 a.m. Identity confirmed of counselor killed in tour bus crash The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office confirmed the identity of one of those killed in the tour bus crash: Arthur Arzola of Rancho Cucamonga.

He was 26. According to Humboldt State’s website, Arzola was an admissions counselor from the Los Angeles area. His wife has been notified, according to the Coroner’s Office.

He died at the University of California Davis Medical Center. Arzola described himself in his bio as “hard-working, thoughtful, compassionate, & friendly.” Shirley Jahad Back to top Update 8:48 a.m. FedEx issues statement on tour bus crash FedEx issued a statement online on the tour bus accident that left 10 dead, including the driver of one of their vehicles who collided with a bus carrying students to visit Humboldt State. “All of us at FedEx are deeply saddened by the tragic highway accident in California,” the statement said. “Our hearts go out to all of those involved and their families.

We are cooperating fully with the officials investigating this accident.” Back to top Update 8:34 a.m. Former chaperone speaks about program students were a part of Lorna Bryant, a former chaperone with Humboldt State’s Preview Plus program from 1995 to 2007 who knew all three chaperones who died in the bus crash, spoke about the program with KPCC. The students are first-generation low-income students, Bryant said, who are accepted into an educational opportunity program once they’re admitted to the school.

The opportunity to be transported by bus is first-come first-served until the buses are filled. “It s a pretty long trip 12 hours. But one thing I learned chaperoning myself: the students form bonds on the trip and when you see the students in the fall, they already have a connection. They have a fresh start, they ve created bonds and they can become lifelong friends,” Bryant said.

She said that she still stays in touch with students from the program. “One of my first students I chaperoned went on to become an advisor at Humboldt State and he also began chaperoning once he left the university.” Steve Julian Back to top Update 8:15 a.m. Mother speaks on tour bus crash that left one twin girl’s condition unknown Two identical twin girls were on separate buses heading to Humboldt State University to visit one was on the bus that crashed. Her family still doesn’t know if she’s OK, her mother tells NBC L.A.

The twin girls are students at Norte Vista High School in Riverside. Their sister Clara told NBC L.A., I just know that God has them safe. And if they re not, it was time for them to go.” The mother was calling hospitals and Humboldt State to try to get an update last night, but had been unable to find out the status of her other daughter as the family hoped for the best while fearing the worst.

Another student NBC L.A. spoke with was left with scrapes and bruises, but survived. He says he was seated on the back of the bus.

Student with scrapes and bruises KPCC staff Back to top Update 7:50 a.m. Tour bus that crashed was from LA; other 2 buses made it The tour bus that crashed was one of two from Los Angeles and one of three total making the trip to take students to visit Humboldt State University, according to the school. Of the three buses , two of the buses arrived safely.

The students who arrived at Humboldt State are in residence halls on campus, according to the university. The school’s president and a small group of staff are headed to visit injured students and families, the school said. The students were set to attend a “Spring Preview” event, visit with staff from the Educational Opportunity Program which the school says “helps historically underrepresented students achieve their academic, personal, and career goals.” KPCC staff Back to top Update 7:41 a.m.

Students headed to Humboldt State program for prospective attendees A few dozen students on their way to tour Humboldt State from Southern California are trying to recover from injuries this morning. Humboldt State s Preview Plus Program is 20 years old. It brings low-income and first-generation prospective college students from Los Angeles and elsewhere to spend two days on campus.

There were two buses from Los Angeles and one from Fresno making the trek. Names of the dead and injured have not yet been made public. KPCC staff Back to top Update 6:53 a.m.

LAUSD superintendent issues statement, update LAUSD superintendent John Deasy issued a statement Friday morning, offering an update and condolences on the tour bus crash: We have confirmed 19 students from 16 schools were on the bus tour headed to Humboldt State University. The high schools include: San Fernando, Dorsey, Fremont, City of Angels, Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, Manual Arts, Banning, Carson, Chavez, Diego Rivera, Belmont, Wilson, Chatsworth, Jefferson and Middle College.

Only one or two students participated from each school. We will be providing support at these campuses this morning. At this time, we know that there have been 10 fatalities, including five students.

However, we do not know if those students attended LAUSD schools. Students from throughout Southern California were participating. A team from LAUSD, led by Senior Deputy Superintendent Michelle King is traveling to the crash site.

An information line has been set up for families by Humboldt State University Police. That number is 707-826-6327. The Red Cross is also assisting the reunification of students and parents.

When more information is available, we will provide another update. KPCC staff Back to top Student: ‘We knew we were in major trouble’ Among the students on the trip to visit Humboldt State University was Steven Clavijo, 18, a senior at West Ranch High in Santa Clarita, who planned to enroll in the school. Just as Clavijo was trying to catch a nap Thursday afternoon, he said he felt the big vehicle begin to shake from left to right and then he heard a loud boom. “We knew we were in major trouble,” he said.

Both the bus and semi drivers were among those killed in the fiery crash, authorities said. RELATED: Thursday night’s story on the crash Many of those on the bus escaped through a window that someone had kicked open, Clavijo said, running for their lives to the other side of Interstate 5 before hearing an explosion and seeing the bus burst into flame. Two more explosions soon followed, he said, and he and other survivors looked on knowing others were still trapped in the inferno.

Massive flames could be seen devouring both vehicles just after the crash, and clouds of smoke billowed into the sky until firefighters doused the fire, leaving behind scorched black hulks of metal. Bodies were draped in blankets inside the burned-out bus. In addition to the drivers, three adult chaperones and five teenage students were killed in the crash, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Their identities were not immediately released. The bus carried between 44 and 48 students, four chaperones and the driver, the patrol said. Eric M.

Weiss, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said a multi-disciplinary team of highway crash experts left on a flight Friday morning for the crash scene. “Every piece of paper associated with this will be looked at,” Weiss said. “Our first priority (though) is to get out there as quickly as possible and to process the scene and talk to any witnesses.” The crash happened a little after 5:30 p.m. on the interstate near Orland, a small city about 100 miles north of Sacramento. The bus was one of two that the admissions office at Humboldt State University had chartered to bring prospective students from Southern California to tour the Arcata campus, Humboldt’s Vice President of Administrative Affairs Joyce Lopes said.

The bus was owned by Silverado Stages, a tour bus company based in San Luis Obispo. The company said in a statement on its website Thursday night that it was assisting authorities in gathering information. “Our top priority is making sure that the injured are being cared for,” the company said. Humboldt State President Rollin Richmond issued a statement on the school’s website. “Our hearts go out to those who have been affected, and we are here to support them, and their families, in any way possible,” Richmond said.

The students came from a number of Southern California high schools and Humboldt spokesman Simon Chabel said the college was working to confirm where exactly they were from. Los Angeles Unified School District spokesman Tom Waldman said 19 students from 15 schools were on the bus that crashed. District officials, including crisis counselors, left for the scene at about 5:30 a.m.

Friday and Superintendent John Deasy was traveling back from a business trip to the East Coast. Crisis counselors were also being made available at district schools. A high school senior from Alliance Renee & Meyer Luskin Academy High School in Los Angeles said she and a few of her classmates who were accepted to the university were invited to go on the tour.

Sabrina Garcia said the tour began Thursday, with buses taking students in Southern California on the ride to the campus for a three-day stay there. She said she decided to postpone the tour because she had a school project to complete. “I was devastated when I heard about the crash, and relieved that I didn’t attend,” Garcia said. “I can’t imagine how those kids feel. You think you’re going somewhere safe with your school and you end up in an accident.” A CHP dispatcher says the bus and truck were on opposite sides of the freeway when the truck crossed the median and slammed into the bus, causing an explosion and fire.

Investigators say the truck driver might have been trying to avoid a passenger car that was also involved in the crash, which shut down north- and south-bound traffic on the freeway. “There was a small white sedan in front of the truck,” Heitman said. “The FedEx vehicle did sideswipe the sedan before it crossed the median.” No one in the car was injured. A first responder who helped set up a triage at the scene said 36 or 37 people received injuries ranging from minor to severe burns, broken legs and noses, and head lacerations. “The victims were teenage kids. A lot of them were freaked out.

They were shocked. They still couldn’t grasp what happened,” said Jason Wyman of the Orland Volunteer Fire Department. Eleven people were taken to Enloe Medical Center in Chico, hospital officials said.

Two of those patients were listed in critical condition Friday morning. Five people were taken to Mercy Medical Center in Redding in fair condition. Two patients were taken to University of California, Davis, Medical Center in critical condition.

One patient died at 10:30 p.m. Thursday bringing the death toll from nine to 10. A nursing supervisor said three people were taken to Oroville Hospital in Oroville.

She declined to describe their conditions, citing patient privacy laws. Bonnie Kourvelas, a FedEx spokeswoman, said in a statement Thursday night: “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the tragic accident on I-5 in California. We are cooperating fully with authorities as they investigate.” The American Red Cross set up a relief station at a Veterans Memorial Hall community center in Orland, about 5 miles from the crash site.

Officer Joel Lynch said seven victims who were not hospitalized with injuries were staying the night with about 25 volunteers. A community member ordered pizza for the students. Associated Press Back to top Map: Location of crash, school Back to top Crash updates on Twitter Back to top Corrections : An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Marisol Serrato is one of the missing students.

In fact her sister Marisa is currently missing.

Also, an earlier version of this story misspelled student Ismael Jimenez’s name.

We regret the errors.

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Orland Bus Crash: Inglewood students among missing after truck …


Multiple job positions in a Telecommunications company today

Tweet A medium Telecommunication, Engineering and Oil & Gas Servicing Company with headquarters in Lagos requires the services of the following professionals MECHANICAL ENGINEERS OND/HND in Mechanical Engineering or matured and experience candidates with Trade Test I, II &III Specialty: Diesel generators with special emphasis in SDMO, MIKANO, JUBALIS BROS, BROAD CROWN and PERKINS engine Not less than 5 years cognate experience in a telecommunication industry ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS Minimum of OND in Electrical Engineering Not less than 5years experience in the operations, installations, maintenance and repair of SDMO, MIKANO and JUBALIS BROS Diesel Generators electrical system HEAD ENERGY Must be a university graduate Not less than 5 years cognate experience in a similar organization Must be good in making monthly proposal for cell sites A/C TECHNICIANS OND in Mechanical Engineering or Trade Test I, II, III in Air Conditioning & Refrigerator Maintenance & servicing GENERAL MANAGER First degree in Engineering, Economics, Business Administration or other related field Not less than 10 years experience in telecommunication services Must be above 40 years of age ADMIN MANAGER HND/B. sc/M. sc in Social Science/Humanities A proven and unbroken track record of experience of at least 5 years in reputable organization is an advantage TRUCK MECHANIC Experienced mechanic especially on freightliner to attend to all repairs and mechanical issues that may arise from time to time DRIVERS For trucks / smaller vehicles Experienced driver can apply ADMIN OFFICER HND/B.

sc in Social Sciences STORE ASSISTANT HND/BSC with 1 year post NYSC experience FUEL ATTENDANT / DEPOT REP Must have analytical minds of depot works and programming for loading, dispensing and cell site fuel management A matured mind and must be very smart HEAD OF OPERATIONS Degree in Mechanical / Electrical Engineering Must have worked in a telecommunication industry for at least 10 years as an operations manager or Technical Head COMPANY SECRETARY B.

sc/HND in Secretarial Study or any other related field Must be a computer literate with proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel At least 2 3 years experience TURBO CHARGER / INJECTOR TECHNICIAN Not less than 4 years working experience in a telecom engineering services company TRANSPORT MANAGER HND/B.

sc in Transport Management Not less than 5 years post qualification experience ACCOUNTANT Not less than 5 years post qualification experience in a reputable organization Must have ICAN Excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation skills To apply, interested persons should send their application together with detailed resume to the General Manager within 2 weeks of this publication to: NO 6 AJOKE AKINBAMI CLOSE OFF UNITY ROAD, IKEJA LAGOS Tweet

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Multiple job positions in a Telecommunications company today


Adam Green Wants to Do a Papier-M ch …

Last night, Adam Green of the Moldy Peaches came together with other local artists and designers for the opening night of the Deep End Club, Tennessee Thomas s new collaborative creative space and cool-kid hangout (and store!) next to a Repeat Performance. The NYU-dorm-room-sized space was packed with local artsy types whose resumes read like a list of aspirational hipster dream jobs. New-age philosopher, psychedelic-drug aficionado and bestselling author Daniel Pinchbeck was filming for his upcoming talk show, Mind Shift.

Meanwhile, Thomas former drummer for The Like, Vogue Girl About Town, and daughter of Elvis Costello drummer Pete Thomas handed out plastic cups of bubbly and oatmeal cookies. Thomas told B+B that she envisions the Deep End Club as a sort of creative hub for her friends in the local arts scene. I kept walking past empty shops and kept fantasizing about doing something that featured all my friends in the local scene, she explained.

People come to New York hoping to find this kind of stuff and we have to battle with all the high street that s taking over the world. One of the local designers whose clothing was on display was Andrea Diodati, who got her start on the reality show Joe Zee s All On the Line and now does a diffusion line for Anthropologie. Jewelery designer Meghan Farrell (who met Thomas because they re both part-time DJs) displayed a line of jewelry inspired by the medical sciences mixed with love stories.

And then of course there was Mr. Green, whose bushy beard and trucker hat reminded us of a svelte Judah Friedlander. We finally got to ask him the question we d been mulling all week what exactly is a cat sarcophagus?

I was originally looking at a canopic jar they have them in the Met which is an Egyptian jar where they would keep the internal organs preserved. So it s kind of like originally a giant version of a canopic jar, he explained. And the cat component?

Well I ve just always been really attracted to Garfield because I think he was my entry-point into a decadent lifestyle. We talked a little about Green s upcoming plans, which are exactly what you might imagine from an anti-folk musician slash cat sarcophagus maker slash dabbling filmmaker (he released his debut film The Wrong Ferarri, which he shot solely on his iPhone, in 2011). I m doing a movie that s my own version of Aladdin , and I ll be Aladdin.

Green said. Macaulay Culkin will play a leader of a rebel group, Alia Shawkat is gonna play my sister and I think Natasha Lyonne is going to play my mom. And my hope is to get Benicio del Toro to play the genie, but I don t know him, so, I don t know.

If this sounds like a psychedelic fever dream, it s because it probably started out as one Green got the idea for his last movie while high on ketamine.

I think I ll probably film a lot of it in the East Village and make a lot of the sets myself, maybe out of papier-m ch , he continued.

If this is to be believed, Bushwick s Wizard of Oz is gonna have some competition for most avant-garde children s movie revival ever.

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Adam Green Wants to Do a Papier-M ch …


Man, 20, Injured in Md.

Dump Truck Crash – WBFF Fox Baltimore …

Updated: Saturday, April 5 2014, 05:17 PM EDT Police in Anne Arundel County say a 20-year-old man who was driving a dump truck is seriously injured after crashing in Tracy’s Landing. Police say it happened just before 8 a.m. Saturday at E.

Bay Front Road between Nutwell Sudley Road and Route 2. Police say a witness reported the dump truck driver was traveling westbound when he lost control of the vehicle, crossed the center line and went over a guardrail and into an embankment. He then crashed into a tree.

The driver of the dump truck was taken to a hospital by helicopter. Police say he is in stable condition. Police say no one else was in the vehicle.

The driver’s name was not released.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

AP-WF-04-05-14 2113GMT

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Landslides – Earth Changes and the Pole Shift

EDIS Number: LS-20120814-36168-USAEvent type: LandslideDate/Time: Tuesday, 14 August, 2012 at 03:22 (03:22 AM) UTCContinent: North-AmericaCountry: USACounty / State: State of WyomingArea: Yellowstone National ParkCity: Pahaska TepeeCoordinate: N 44 30.143, W 109 57.400 http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/site/?pageid=event_summary&edis_id… Description;A mudslide near Pahaska Tepee closed down the East Entrance to Yellowstone Park on Sunday morning. Early morning thunderstorms led to heavy rain and the slide covered both lanes of the North Fork Highway.

Chris Jones, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Riverton, said about a half inch of rain fell in under 30 minutes…. A half inch in an urban area can cause problems, he said. The slide caused the east gate to close 6:30-10 a.m.

Sunday, Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash said. A truck ended up stuck in the slide. It was traveling in the rain and was on top of the slide, said Jim Berry, maintenance foreman for the Wyoming Department of Transportation in Cody.

Berry said traffic began moving again at 9:30 a.m. and the two lanes were open by 12:30 p.m. Jones said the area around the east gate, which has steep sides and sometimes low vegetation, has been known to have slides in the past.

http://www.codyenterprise.com/news/local/article_e5fea5ca-e591-11e1… “What should be born in mind is that this is a subduction area, with layers of the North American Plate pushing all the way to the Continental Divide.” ZetaTalk: Yellowstone

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Landslides – Earth Changes and the Pole Shift


Belmont Club The Market For Common Sense

In September 2013 the Guardian wrestled with a mystery. No one can explain why a rich country has no food Toilet paper, rice and coffee have long been missing from stores, as Venezuelan president blames CIA plot for chronic shortages. Actually, an economist named Brad Schiller tried to explain it in March of the same year.

He said the shortages were the result of Hugo Chavez s war against the Law of Supply and Demand. Writing in the Los Angeles Times Schiller wrote: two years before his death, Hugo Chavez tried to repeal the law of supply and demand Chavez despised the law because he believed it robbed the poor and unjustly profited producers. In its place, he persuaded the Venezuelan legislature to enact the 2011 Law on Fair Costs and Prices, a price-setting mechanism to ensure greater social justice.

A newly created National Superintendency of Fair Costs and Prices was empowered to establish fair prices at both the wholesale and retail levels. More than 500,000 price edicts have been issued. Companies that violate these price controls are subject to fines, seizures and expropriation.

Not that he had any good experience with price controls. Chavez had been draining the state-owned Venezuelan oil industry for years using the same methods of price controls. The most flagrant subsidy is for gasoline.

Venezuelans pay only 4 to 6 cents per gallon for gasoline, the cheapest in the world. But it costs Petroleos de Venezuela, the government-owned oil company, close to $2 a gallon to extract, refine and distribute it. With domestic consumption now running about 600,000 barrels a day, the financial loss on subsidized oil is roughly $20 billion a year.

The result was the ruin of the Venezuelan oil industry and the flight of its petroleum engineers to Canada. But undaunted by this sad experience the Chavistas waged an ever more relentless war on Supply and Demand everywhere they could find it. The sheer destructiveness of these measures can be told in the story of coffee.

Venezuela was once the largest coffee producer in the world but in 2004 it imported coffee for the first time from Brazil. By 2012 Venezuela was importing 43,000 metric tons from abroad. Today the movement of coffee beans is attended with the care accorded to shipments of gold bullion, under the watchful eye of SADA.

With SADA, any significant transport of food items anywhere in Venezuela must be declared. The truck, the merchandise, the driver, the dates of delivery, everything must be recorded previously if you want to make a delivery. With this fund of experience under their belts, the Chavista government is now convinced that the key to controlling prices lies in regulating consumption even more closely.

As the Guardian explains: battling food shortages, the Venezuelan government is rolling out a new ID system that is either a grocery loyalty card with extra muscle or the most dramatic step yet towards rationing in Venezuela, depending on who is describing it. Registration begins at more than 100 government-run supermarkets across the country on Tuesday and working-class shoppers who sometimes endure hours-long queues at the stores to buy cut-price groceries are welcoming the plan. The rich people have things all hoarded away, and they pull the strings, said Juan Rodriguez, who waited two hours to enter the government-run Abastos Bicentenario supermarket near downtown Caracas on Monday, then waited three hours more to check out .

Patrons will register with their fingerprints, and the new ID card will be linked to a computer system that monitors purchases. The food minister, F lix Osorio, said it will sound an alarm when it detects suspicious purchasing patterns, barring people from buying the same goods every day. But he also said the cards would be voluntary, with incentives such as discounts and entry into raffles for homes and cars.

You d best hope to win a car in the raffle, because buying one might be difficult. The last car company in Venezuela, Toyota, closed shop this year after it was denied permission to remit payment for the handful of cars purchased this year. Ford wasn t doing too good either selling a total of two cars last month.

Venezuelans looking for a car must buy second hand. And wouldn t you know? Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro signed an edict to regulate the price of used cars in the government s latest measure to combat inflation.

The legislation, which has yet to come into effect, would allow the government to set car prices, ensure that used car prices don t exceed new car costs and provide licenses to individuals to import a vehicle using an account in euros or dollars with a state bank, Maduro said in a national address. Pretty soon they ll be convoying beaters through the streets like they were priceless artifacts. Literally.

It s not inconceivable because Venezuelans are now trying to supplement their comestibles from street vendors, just as if New Yorkers, unable to buy groceries, were forced to resort to eating from pretzel and hot-dog stands. But the Venezuelan government, with more half a million price control regulations under their belt have got that loophole covered already with another regulation. CARACAS The Venezuelan government ordered Tuesday that sidewalk vendors may only sell basic foods if they respect price controls and guarantee the necessary conditions of hygiene and healthfulness.

Foods subject to the government resolution are rice, pre-cooked cornflour, wheat flour, pasta, beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, goat and pork. Also included are canned sardines, tuna and mackerel; powdered whole milk, pasteurized and sterilized with a long shelf life; cheese, eggs, soy milk, edible oils except olive oil; margarine, legumes, sugar, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, ground coffee, coffee beans, and salt. The official resolution allows 30 days for sidewalk vendors to conform to the official measure, and says that whoever infringes it will be penalized with the confiscation of their goods.

SADA s going to be pretty busy chasing down the arepa vendors. I m going to go out on a limb here and predict that the street food price controls are not going to work, whatever PhDs in Marxist economics think. But I will leave explanations of the Law of Supply and Demand under socialism to the experts at the Guardian.

The more interesting question is the absence of the demand for common sense. To wit: why doesn t the Chavez government wise up? What keeps the feedback loop from working in Venzuelan politics?

You would think that disastrous experience with price controls would lead to less of it and to an increased supply of common sense. But the contrary is happening: instead the greater the disaster the bigger the demand for more imbecility. The problem is not confined to the Venezuelans.

For example Charles Krauthammer at the Washington Post noted that Obama administration s signature Mideast Peace Initiative has failed dismally. Which should be no surprise. But the fact that it is no surprise is itself the surprise.

Krauthammer lists out the string of disasters. And the punchline is that they were going to try it again. First, John Kerry convenes against all advice and holding no cards Geneva negotiations to resolve the Syria conflict and supposedly remove Bashar al-Assad from power.

The talks collapse in acrimony and confusion. Then, even as Russian special forces are taking over Crimea, Kerry goes chasing after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov first to Paris, then Rome, then London offering a diplomatic offramp. Lavrov shrugs him off.

Russia annexes Crimea. The crowning piece of diplomatic futility, however, is Kerry s frantic effort to salvage the Arab-Israeli negotiations he launched, also against all odds and sentient advice. He s made 12 trips to the region, aiming to produce a final Middle East peace within nine months.

It is month nine. The talks have gone nowhere. But this has been a fool s errand from Day One.

There never was any chance of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas concluding a final peace . How come Kerry couldn t see this coming? The real shocker is that, after everything that had gone before, the Obama administration actually expected this to work, just as Nicolas Maduro thinks that fingerprinting Venezuelan supermarket buyers will put food on the shelves.

Pardon my skepticism, but it probably won t. However, that s beside the point. The real head scratcher is why they thought it would work at all?

One possible answer is that once a ruling elite buys into a paradigm then all solutions have to be found within the paradigm space. It s useless to argue why doesn t Venezuela leave the producers alone because that option is not on the table within the terms of their mental system. The only levers Venezuela actually has are the ones they allow themselves to consider.

They have hired millions of bureaucrats to implement their price control system and that s all they can do. To accept price controls are a failure is to accept they and all their useless functionaries are failures and to dismantle themselves. That s never going to happen while a single Venzuelan Boliver remains left to debase.

Similarly the Obama administration s foreign policy model cannot be fixed except within its own terms of reference. They know like the Chavistas that they re always going to be re-elected, perhaps not only in spite of their failures but in some sense because of them. So this is not the end of the Mideast Peace Process.

Rather, it can only the beginning. Abbas and Putin know this for a dead cert: that Kerry will be back, so they re going to bilk old JFK for all he s worth. Which only goes to show that perhaps Chavez was right after all.

Perhaps there is no Law of Supply and Demand. If there were a homo economicus, if the rational actor of market theory really existed, then neither Obama nor Chavez would even be elected. Those who criticize president Obama s lack of belief in American exceptionalism should look at the counterargument from his point of view.

If America is so exceptional then how come I am president? The real problem with believing in the Law of Supply and Demand is accounting for the existence of an apparently endless market for stupidity. Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends?

They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document. The War of the Words for $3.99 , Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres Rebranding Christianity for $3.99 , or why the truth shall make you free The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99 , reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99 , why government should get small No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99 . Fiction.

A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.

Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99 , how China is restarting history in the Pacific Tip Jar or Subscribe or Unsubscribe

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Belmont Club The Market For Common Sense – PJ Media


How epic videos helped Volvo Trucks find new audiences

Posted on: March 24, 2014 In August 2012 Volvo Trucks started out on a journey which would end with one of the most-viewed online videos of all time. The Ballerina Stunt (Live Test One) was the first of six high-quality videos that the manufacturer commissioned to showcase the strength, agility and precision of its trucks. The series was designed to raise the profile of the brand and penetrate new markets and it would, ultimately, create an online sensation that must surely have exceeded the company s wildest expectations.

The Ballerina stunt involved record-breaking highline artist Faith Dickey walking between two trucks as they sped towards a tunnel on a closed motorway in Croatia. Like the last in the Live Test series, a key message from the video is about the accuracy of the trucks speed and Dynamic Steering controls. It has now been watched nearly ten million times.

Volvo Trucks then moved its film crew, stunt coordinators, drivers and medical staff from Croatia to Spain. It also recruited the help of an unusual new team member to steer an FMX from the bottom of a quarry in Ourense to the top Charlie the hamster. He was coaxed with food to run in a cage attached to the steering wheel to drive the truck in The Hamster Stunt (Live Test Two).

Staying in Spain, Volvo then raced an FL through the streets of Rodrigo chased by bulls in The Chase (Live Test Three). The Hook (Live Test Four) is a shorter video and simply involves Volvo Truck President Claes Nilsson telling us that the new FMX is robust. Simple, that is, until the single helicopter shot pulls back to reveal him standing on the grille of an FMX as it dangles over Gothenburg port.

The Technician (Live Test Five) features Volvo s Roland Svensson s 275mm head, an important dimension considering the clearance with the FMX that drives over him. The coup de grace of the series is delivered by Jean-Claude Van Damme in The Epic Split (Live Test Six). Another showcase of speed and steering control, the video has been viewed 71,128,998 at the time of writing (07:45 on Wednesday 26 March), so it will be interesting to see how many more views it has by the time you read this.

There was no automatic control of the trucks in the one-shot video, so it s a real testament to the skill of the drivers that they were able to marshal their abilities and the accuracy of the Dynamic Steering. The steering motors receive 2,000 signals a second from sensors, but it was still in the hands of the drivers to keep Van Damme upright. His feet weren t fixed to the mirrors, as is commonly thought, but Video Director Andreas Nilsson did tell the Wall Street Journal that there was a safety rig to make sure they didn t kill the Muscles from Brussels if he fell.

There were lots of rehearsals, of course, but the final result is from the first, seamless take which had to be shot in a 15-minute window to catch the sunrise at its best. The tension was really high, said Nilsson. I saw a tough stunt coordinator swell up after we nailed it.

That might actually be the nicest memory from the shoot. Ten million watched Faith Dickey in the next most viewed of the series in which numbers dip below a still highly creditable one million for Roland Svensson. Volvo must have expected Van Damme to do well, but could it really have predicted more than 70 million views?

How does Volvo gauge its success beyond bald YouTube viewing numbers? How quick was the impact? Volvo s Marie Vassiliadis is responsible for the PR and Marketing around the project and said, It is by far our biggest communication success and we are still overwhelmed by it.

We measure in terms of likes, favorites, comments and shares. The Epic Split was released on YouTube on 14 November and within the first 24 hours it had been viewed more than 6.5 million times and shared more than 32,000 times. On 15 November it became the most shared film on YouTube.

The Epic Split became the most viewed automotive commercial on Youtube ever when it reached more than 59 million views four weeks after the launch. Besides music videos it s one of the most viewed videos ever, which is all very nice, but how does it help to sell trucks? The world is changing, says Volvo, so it wanted to plug into new audiences in an innovative manner.

We wanted to create a campaign that communicated our trucks in a new and spectacular way, and so the Live Tests were born, says Vassiliadis. The goals with the campaign were twofold building brand awareness among broad target groups and to pave the way for sales to our core target groups. Our ambition is that the engagement the film has spurred will drive both awareness and demand for our trucks.

We have had an incredible upsurge of interactions and awareness in social media and through our websites as well as via our global network of dealers. Building brand awareness broadly has helped pave the way for sales since it potentially influences the purchase decision among our core target groups. Still, you can t directly count truck sales that are attributable to the campaign as easily as you can count YouTube views and, unfortunately for Volvo Trucks not with the same kinds of numbers.

When much of Volvo Trucks marketing material in the UK focuses around the importance of running costs, hasn t the project simply been a very expensive way to brand build? Besides recruiting the talents of people like Van Damme, the production values on the videos are incredibly high. It will have taken months of planning to execute each, so it can t have come cheap.

We do not disclose any budget figures, Vassiliadis says, but compared to traditional advertising, this is a very cost effective way of communicating and reaching a wide target audience. When we look at the return on investment of the whole viral campaign, we can see that our communication strategy has been extremely cost efficient. Is this now the end of the road for the series?

After notching up the most-watched automotive video, with numbers that Top Gear would be envious of, it would be hard to top.

We can t reveal anything of future plans but we can say that we will continue to be innovative in our communication, comes an ironically very standard reply.

Watch this space

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How epic videos helped Volvo Trucks find new audiences


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