Dec 8 2004, 07:50 PM
Our thoughts are with those lost, and those they leave behind.
Dec 9 2004, 12:39 AM
An update posted on the JPL homepage:
Update on JPL Vanpool Accident
4 PM PST, 12/08/2004
This morning at approximately 6:30 a.m. a JPL vanpool carrying ten people went off the road and down an embankment in the Angeles National Forest. On board were six JPL employees, two contractors and two NASA employees.
This morning we informed you that seven employees were injured and that there had been three fatalities. At that time the names of the deceased had not been confirmed. Since then next of kin have been notified and the names are being released by county officials.
The names of the deceased are:
Dorothy Forks, an employee in JPL's Human Resources Department. (14 years)
Jane Galloway, a manager in JPL's Business Operations Office. (10 years)
And Kerri Lynn Agey, an administrator for Wackenhut Security, a contractor here at JPL.
We are deeply saddened by the loss of these members of the JPL family. To their families and loved ones, we want to express our deepest condolences.
It takes all kinds of people to explore the solar system. Some of them are engineers, some scientists. But these accomplishments are made possible by the contributions of all of the professionals at JPL. The loss of Dorothy, Jane and Keri is deeply felt by us all.
In regards to the 7 injured, we have been in contact with the hospitals throughout the day. Two have been released from hospital. One is expected to be released shortly. Two are listed as in ‘Fair' condition. And two are ‘Critical but Stable.'
We have followed the news report throughout the day, and we want to especially give thanks to the law enforcement and rescue team members who did such an outstanding job on this rescue operation. They worked under very difficult and dangerous conditions.
I spoke with one of the injured who told me over and over again about the expert and caring way the rescue team performed. We especially want to give thanks for the California Highway Patrol officers who were first on the scene: Mike Ulloa, Jeff Will, and Dan Oxley. They are just 3 of 100 who supported the rescue.
JPL may be the best in the business in flying robotic spacecraft, but no one is better at what they do than our law enforcement and rescue teams. They are our heroes. We can't thank them enough for what they have done today.
The statement above from JPL was read to reporters this afternoon by Blaine Baggett, executive manager of JPL's Office of Communication and Education.