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Man in fatal trench collapse expressed fears in Facebook post

Published: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 @ 1:57 PM
Updated: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 @ 11:16 AM

OSHA investigating Washington Twp. trench death

A man who died after becoming trapped in a collapsed trench June 15 was identified as James Rogers, 33, of Winchester, Ohio.

  • Rescue crews had no contact with victim
  • Body of victim found several hours after trench collapse
  • Accident happened at new home construction site
  • OSHA investigating the incident


UPDATE @ 10:56 a.m. (June 21)

A little more than a month before his death, Rogers posted on Facebook that a 12-foot-deep sewer hole he was working in caved in 10 minutes after he got out of it.

“Never again ant worth it,” Rogers wrote on May 10.

Rogers died June 15 after a trench he was in collapsed at a Washington Twp. construction site.

Rogers’ visitation is scheduled for 5-8 p.m. Wednesday at Newcomer Funeral Home, 4104 Needmore Road. The funeral service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

UPDATE @ 1:20 p.m. (June 18)

The family of James Rogers say the trench collapse that led to the man’s death could have been avoided, and they plan to take action to ensure it doesn’t happen again, according to a statement released today.

A friend, speaking on behalf of the family, said occupational safety regulations were not followed at the construction site where the fatal incident occurred.

Statement on behalf of the family of James Rogers:

“The family of James Rogers would like to express their deepest gratitude to all of the police, fire, EMTs and rescue workers that worked so hard to try and save James. Their compassion and understanding gave us comfort on a day where unbearable sadness and pain were felt so deeply by his family and by all who loved James. As we search for a way to find peace and honor his memory we intend to pursue legislation that will ensure this kind of tragic and preventable death never again leaves another family without their loved one. Funeral arrangements are pending and friends of the family have started a gofundme page to help with burial expenses and to help provide for his two small children.”

The investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is ongoing.

UPDATE @ 1:10 p.m. (June 17)

The employer of the man killed Wednesday after a trench collapsed on him “admitted to the investigators that he did not tell the truth” about the hole’s depth, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office records show.

The body of KRW Plumbing worker James Rogers was recovered several hours after a trench he was in collapsed at a Washington Twp. construction site Wednesday afternoon.

This news organization obtained the sheriff’s office report today.

KRW Plumbing officials initially told deputies the trench was seven feet deep.

When Occupational Safety and Health Administration representatives arrived, KRW officials “admitted the trench was 12 feet deep,” according to Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office records.


Rogers was found dead after crews spent hours searching for him as he was trapped on Claxton Glen Court near Marshall Road at a new home construction site.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is now investigating whether a contractor working at a new home construction site was following the proper safety protocol, officials said.

According to OSHA, a trench five feet or deeper requires a protective system unless the excavation is made entirely in stable rock.

This news outlet is working to find out from OSHA if there was a protective system in place, since the trench was deeper than five feet in some sections, according to firefighters.

This news outlet also made several attempts to reach the construction company and was hung up on twice by the receptionist.

Michael Guadagno, captain at Washington Twp. fire and coordinator of the regional technical rescue team, said the trench Wednesday was one of the deepest his team has encountered. It was 10 to 12 feet at its deepest prior to the collapse.

“It’s one of the deepest we’ve come into contact with,” Guadagno said.

In fact, the rescue team’s equipment is only made for trenches eight feet deep. He said the team had to custom build shoring while on site.

“When we got there everybody went to work immediately trying to make their rescue; it was determined that he was buried to a significant depth,” Guadagno said.

Then it turned to a recovery effort, and the team made preparations including setting shoring and other protective measures to avoid further collapse.

Rogers was laying piping in the trench made of hard-packed clay when the collapse happened. He was described as a construction worker and the father of a young child.

A portion of Marshall Road was closed for hours Wednesday as more than two dozen safety vehicles responded shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday and area residents, friends and family of the victim gathered, watching anxiously as the scene unfolded.

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From musicians to medicine: AF Marathon recruiting army of volunteers

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 6:10 PM

            Air Force Marathon volunteer Brian Childers, of Portsmouth, hangs race day medals at the finish line at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in September 2016. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF FILE PHOTO
Air Force Marathon volunteer Brian Childers, of Portsmouth, hangs race day medals at the finish line at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in September 2016. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF FILE PHOTO

From musicians to people handing out medals, an army of volunteers run the Air Force Marathon.

May 1 is the first day to register to join a horde of 2,400 volunteers needed to jump start the Sept. 15 event that may draw as many as 15,000 runners from all 50 states and around the world to run a 10K, half- and full-marathons at Wright-Patterson. The marathon’s 5K race is set for Sept. 14 at Wright State University’s Nutter Center.

Volunteers also help run the Sports & Fitness Expo on Sept. 13-14, which attracts 30,000 people every year to the Nutter Center.

“From pre-race, behind-the-scenes opportunities to race day, finish line jobs, our volunteers are the key toour success — we couldn’t have this marathon without them,” Jeannette Monaghan, a volunteer coordinator, said in a statement.

Entertainers, such as DJs, bands and solo acts, are among volunteers the marathon wants to bring on the course, she said.

Volunteers may check available positions and register online at


Air Force Marathon director leaves

Wright-Patterson gets new commander

Rare Wright brothers propeller headed from Dayton to Colorado museum

Famous WWII plane Memphis Belle exhibit still a secret: Five things to know

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Family, friends remember Middletown police chief as ‘a real showman’

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 4:02 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 4:32 PM

            In this 2006 file photo, Russell Dwyer is pictured at the WPFB radio station in Middletown, where he was the news director. Dwyer, a former Middletown police chief, died April 23. He was 80.
In this 2006 file photo, Russell Dwyer is pictured at the WPFB radio station in Middletown, where he was the news director. Dwyer, a former Middletown police chief, died April 23. He was 80.

There were two sides to Russell Dwyer. He was a cop and a comic.

Dwyer, who served as Middletown’s police chief from 1975-87, died Monday night. He was 80.

Longtime friend Ann Mort, who, along with her husband, Dick, frequently traveled with the Dwyers and other couples to Middletown basketball and football games, said he was “a real showman.”

MORE: Read more local obituaries

After Middie games, they went to Lakeside Inn, pushed tables together in the dining room, and danced and sang songs playing on the jukebox.

“Russ was fun,” Mort said. “He could have been a stand-up comic.”

He had a serious side, too. Mort said Dwyer enjoyed it when Middletown police officers wore their dress uniforms and hats.

“He was proud to be a policeman,” she said.

Dwyer graduated from Franklin High School, attended Miami University, and was later awarded the Bishop Medal and was a graduate of the FBI Dignitary Protection Academy. He retired after 27 years of service from the City of Middletown/Division of Police, where he served as police chief for 13 years.

He was involved with many organizations and held various positions within the Middletown community; secretary/treasurer for the International Association of Chiefs of Police; secretary/treasurer for the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police; founder of the Narcotics Division for the City of Middletown; founder of Safety Town; founding committee for the All American Weekend; member of the Chamber of Commerce; member of the Rotary Club; director of safety at Bob’s Truck Service; director of safety and vice president for Excel Trucking; news director for WPFB radio; and a member of the Madison Athletic Boosters.

Rodney Muterspaw, Middletown’s police chief, said he met Dwyer after he had left the department. Every time, Muterspaw said, Dwyer took “a real interest” in his career.

“Always came up to shake my hand and said, ‘hello,’ which meant a lot to me as a new officer,” Muterspaw said.

One of Dwyer’s sons, Anthony Dwyer, chief deputy of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, grew up knowing athletics and police work because of his father. He said his father was “totally committed” to Middletown and the Middletown Police Department.

Russ Dwyer golfed, pitched softball with the police department team and refereed football games for years, his son said.

He also saw his father’s profession at an early age, sneaking down at night when officers returned telling “war stores” from their shifts.

“I didn’t aspire to be a police officer. Not at first,” Anthony Dwyer said. But after college, he took a job in the county jail and moved onto patrol officer then detective.

“I was hooked,” Anthony Dwyer said. “Later in life he told me he was proud of me for what I had accomplished.”

He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Patricia Dwyer; children Anthony Dwyer (Molly), Robert Dwyer, Dennis Cox (Kathy) and Dana Stephens (Matt); sisters Norma Baird and Crystal Harsha (Ron); brothers Roger Dwyer (Kathy), Ralph Dwyer (Joyce) and Paul Dwyer (Marty); eight grandchildren, Russell Dwyer, Anthony Dwyer, Dylan Dwyer, Brandon Dwyer, Ashley Cox, Allison Cox, Alex Cornele and Lucas Cornele; four great grandchildren, and a very special caregiver, Mariah Smith.

Funeral services are at 10 a.m. Friday at Breitenbach Anderson Funeral Home, 517 S. Sutphin St. Burial will be in Springboro Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Staff Writer Lauren Pack contributed to this report.

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Shelby County fatal buggy crash: Victims remain hospitalized, one child in critical condition

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 10:24 AM
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 5:57 PM

Steve Baker talks to Larry Hansgen about the fatal buggy crash in Shelby County.

UPDATE @ 5:50 P.M. (April 25)

The two children that were thrown from a horse-drawn buggy, after a car hit them, are still being treated at Children’s Hospital in Dayton. Elmer Schwartz, 18-months old, is in fair condition and Ester Schwartz, 4-months old, is in critical condition. The children’s mother Sarah Schwartz was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash and their father Henry Schwartz was transported from the scene of the crash to Miami Valley Hospital in critical condition. 

UPDATE @ 2:35 p.m.: 

Deputies have identified the victims of a fatal crash involving a horse-drawn buggy in Shelby County Friday night. 

Sarah Schwartz, 23, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Ohio 47 near the Logan, Shelby county line around 9:10 p.m. Friday, according to a media release from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. 

Sarah’s husband, Henry Schwartz, 26, and their two children, Elmer, 18-months, and Ester, 4-months, were all ejected in the crash, deputies said. 

Elmer and Ester were transported by a CareFlight medical helicopter to Dayton Children’s Hospital and remain in critical condition. 

Henry was transported to Miami Valley Hospital where he is also listed in critical condition, deputies said. 

Earlier, the Steven Eugene Hunter, who deputies have accused of fleeing the scene of the crash, made an initial court appearance in a Shelby County court. Hunter’s bond was set at $150,000. 


A man accused of leaving the scene of a fatal crash involving a horse-drawn buggy in Shelby County made an initial court appearance Monday morning. 

FIRST REPORT: SUV hits buggy: Woman killed, husband, 2 infants critical

Steven Eugene Hunter, 42, has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident in connection to the crash that killed a 23-year-old woman Friday night. 

Steven Hunter

Hunter’s bond was set at $150,000, per the request of the county prosecutor, during the arraignment in Sidney Municipal Court. 

Additional details about the crash have not been released by investigators. At last check, three people, including two children and a man, were all in critical condition at Dayton hospitals. 

We’ll update this page as new details become available. 

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Dayton woman ID’d as ‘aggressive’ driver killed in Riverside head-on collision

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 4:02 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 5:35 AM

Several ambulances and the coroner responded to a multi-vehicle accident on Woodman Avenue on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Update@1:12 p.m.:

No violations for Adams show up in recent Dayton police or municipal court records or any Montgomery County court files, according to a background check.

That check found Adams had multiple violations in Miamisburg in 1996, including, a stop sign violation, improper lane usage, DWI of .147 andspeeding (40 in 25 zone) and driving under suspension which was amended to no operator’s license.

This news organization found no recent violations for her.

First report:

A 46-year-old woman killed in a head-on collision in Riverside Tuesday afternoon has been identified.

Alpha Adams, of Dayton, has been identified as the driver killed in the crash on southbound Harshman Road, according to the Montgomery County Coroner's Office. 

An autopsy on the Woodman Park Drive resident is scheduled for today.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Arrest made in drug case

Witnesses said she was driving erratically, “being aggressive and making hand gestures” just before she was involved in a head-on collision on southbound Harshman Road near Airway Road and Woodman Drive at about 3:45 p.m., Riverside police Sgt. Dave Crigler said.

Witnesses said the woman appeared to be driving erratically on Harshman, headed toward Airway, when she sideswiped a school bus, then hit a second vehicle as she continued on.

She drove left of center as she approached the intersection at Airway Road, striking another vehicle head-on, the sergeant said.

Three other people were injured in the accident that involved as many as eight vehicles, he said, and they have been taken to different hospitals.

One person was killed and three people were injured in a multiple-vehicle accident Tuesday on southbound Harshman Road, near Airway Road, in Riverside. (Jim Noelker/Staff)

There were no children on the school bus, Crigler said.

“We don’t exactly know what the hand gestures were,” the sergeant said.

Zeke Bowling, whose girlfriend was driving one of the vehicles struck in the incident, said she was taken to a hospital and his daughter and son were also in the girlfriend’s vehicle.

Bowling characterized the fatality was the result of a road rage incident.

Crigler said he could not confirm whether the fatality was the result of road rage.

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