What a shit week for deaths! I struggled to find anyone noteworthy in the Wiki listings up until 11am on Sunday when Johnny Briggs was announced; you’d think that there would be one or two we’d know, especially since we’re still in the middle of a pandemic! Anyhow, read on…
Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Ronald Pickup, 80, English actor (Darkest Hour, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Mission).
- Peter Gotti, 81, American mobster (Gambino crime family).
- Mike Burns, 84, British-born Irish newscaster (RTÉ News at One, This Week, World Report).
- Johnny Briggs, 85, English actor (Coronation Street, Man About the House, Carry On England)
In Other News
Tiger Woods is “fortunate to be alive” following a serious car crash in California, police said on Tuesday. The golfer was conscious and had serious injuries to both legs when found at the crash scene. Authorities said the 45-year-old was in a “serious” condition but was able to communicate with them when they arrived on the scene in Rancho Palo Verdes, California. His car was going downhill on a steep and winding road when it crossed the centre, crashed into the curb and rolled over several times into brush and a tree. A neighbour who lives about 15 metres (50 ft) from the accident spot, a notoriously dangerous stretch of road in the area, called 911 at 7:12am local time. Authorities say that the airbags deployed inside the Genesis GV80 SUV, which was loaned to Woods for the week, and that he had been wearing a seatbelt. Fire chief Daryl Osby said that firefighters used pry tools and an axe to remove Woods from the car through the windscreen. Sheriff Alex Villanueva told a press conference that deputies had found “no evidence of impairment” from drugs or alcohol at the crash site. “No impairment was found at this time but it will be the subject of the investigation,” he said. “It would have been a fatal if the interior of the Genesis GV80 SUV had not remained intact in the crash. The interior of the car was intact which kind of gave him the cushion to survive,” said Mr Villanueva. Mr Villanueva added that there were no signs of braking or skid marks on the road and that it appeared Mr Woods had been “going at a relatively greater speed than normal. Because it is downhill, it slopes, and also it curves. That area has a high frequency of accidents. It’s not uncommon.”
Deputy Carlos Gonzalez was the first officer on the scene and described Mr Woods as “calm and lucid” when he spoke to him. “Unfortunately, Mr Woods was not able to stand up under his own power. Mr Woods was seated in the driver’s seat, I made contact with them and made sure he was able to speak to me,” he said. “He seemed calm and lucid at that time. I kept him calm until LA County Fire arrived on the scene. I spoke to him, I asked him what his name was and he said his name was ‘Tiger’. And at that moment I immediately recognised him. I asked him if he knew where he was, what time of day, to make sure he was oriented. He seemed as though he was lucid and calm. He did not seem concerned about his injuries at the time, which is common in traffic accidents when people are in shock. It’s a traumatic experience. It’s not uncommon for people to be focused on unimportant things or even if they are in pain, they may not feel it until much later.” The deputy added that Woods was wearing a seatbelt may have contributed to saving his life. Woods was due to tape two “teaching lessons” at the Rolling Hills Country Club with NFL quarterbacks Drew Brees and Justin Herbert when the accident happened. Officials said there was also a second vehicle accident caused by people slowing to see what had happened, but no one was hurt.
Former Scotland, Manchester United and Leeds United defender Gordon McQueen has been diagnosed with vascular dementia, his family have confirmed. The 68-year-old, whose career began at St Mirren, played 30 times for Scotland and won the English First Division with Leeds and FA Cup at Manchester United. McQueen went on to manage Airdrie and coach at Middlesbrough, before working as a television pundit. His family said that the former centre-back was formally diagnosed in January. “As a family we felt it was important to let people know, particularly if raising awareness can help others in similar situations,” they said in a statement. “Whilst as a family we’ve found it hard to come to terms with the changes in dad, he has no regrets about his career and has lived life to the full. He had unforgettable experiences in his playing days with Scotland, Manchester United and Leeds United, and also took so much from his coaching and TV work in more recent times.” The family statement, attributed to McQueen’s wife Yvonne, daughters Hayley and Anna, and son Edward, said that McQueen “wants footballers of today’s generation to know there may be risks with persistent heading of the ball”.
A rooster that had been fitted with a knife for an illegal cockfight has killed its owner in southern India. The bird’s owner was impaled in the groin by the knife as the animal tried to escape. The man died on the way to hospital from a loss of blood. Police are now searching for 15 more people involved in the event, which took place in the village of Lothunur in Telangana state earlier this week. The animal was held at a police station before being transferred to a farm. Police said the animal was being readied to take part in a fight when it tried to escape. Its owner attempted to catch it but was struck by the 7cm-long knife on the animal’s leg during the struggle. Those involved in the event face charges of manslaughter, illegal betting and hosting a cockfight. Cockfighting was made illegal in India in 1960 but fights are still relatively common in rural areas such as Telangana with many falling around the Hindu festival of Sankranti. It’s not the first time an owner has been killed by their rooster. Last year a man in Andhra Pradesh died after he was hit in the neck by a blade attached to his rooster.
On This Day
- 1935 – DuPont scientist Wallace Carothers invents nylon.
- 1947 – February 28 Incident: In Taiwan, civil disorder is put down with the loss of an estimated 30,000 civilians.
- 1953 – James Watson and Francis Crick announce to friends that they have determined the chemical structure of DNA; the formal announcement takes place on April 25 following publication in April’s Nature.
- 1954 – The first colour television sets using the NTSC standard are offered for sale to the general public.
- 1958 – A school bus in Floyd County, Kentucky hits a wrecker truck and plunges down an embankment into the rain-swollen Levisa Fork river. The driver and 26 children die in what remains one of the worst school bus accidents in U.S. history.
- 1975 – In London, an underground train fails to stop at Moorgate terminus station and crashes into the end of the tunnel, killing 43 people.
- 1983 – The final episode of M*A*S*H airs, with almost 106 million viewers. It still holds the record for the highest viewership of a season finale.
- 1993 – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents raid the Branch Davidian church in Waco, Texas with a warrant to arrest the group’s leader David Koresh. Four ATF agents and six Davidians die in the initial raid, starting a 51-day standoff.
- 2013 – Pope Benedict XVI resigns as the pope of the Catholic Church, becoming the first pope to do so since Pope Gregory XII, in 1415.
- 1998 – Dermot Morgan, Irish comedian and actor (b. 1952).
- 2011 – Jane Russell, American actress and singer (b. 1921).
- 2016 – George Kennedy, American actor (b. 1925).
- 2019 – André Previn, German-American pianist, conductor, and composer. (b. 1929).
- 2020 – Freeman Dyson, British-born American physicist and mathematician (b. 1923).
What will happen when Prince Philip dies?
After marrying in 1947, the Duke of Edinburgh has been the longest-reigning consort in British history, standing beside The Queen for over 73 years. At the age of 99, the Duke has rarely been seen in public in the past few years, but earlier this week it was reported he was admitted to hospital ‘as a precautionary measure’.
We know Buckingham Palace is prepared with two very different protocols when the Royals die. The plan in place for when the Queen passes is known as “London Bridge is Down.” But what will happen when Prince Philip dies?
The Dukes not-so-secret codename is called “Operation Forth Bridge”. The name refers to a railway bridge linking Edinburgh to Fife.
When Philip pegs it, the Lord Chamberlain will consult with the Prime Minister, and then seek the Queen’s specific wishes regarding the death announcement. The rest of the world won’t find out the news until Buckingham Palace officially announces it to the media, most likely through the BBC, probably within hours. If the death occurs overnight, it is expected the death announcement will come at 8am. The UK will then enter a period of national mourning, where flags will be lowered to half-mast.
During this time the Queen will be given an eight day period of mourning where she is able to forgo her Royal duties and let someone stand in her place if needed. Following this time, she will likely return to her role but behind closed doors. Britain will then enter a 30 day mourning period. Once this longer period of mourning is over, the Queen will return to more public Royal duties and appearances.
As he is the Queen’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh is entitled to a full state funeral. But in typical Prince Philip style, he has apparently requested for people to not ‘make a fuss’ over his funeral, so although he is entitled to a large funeral, it’s unlikely to happen.
Philip, who is currently fighting an infection, has been closely involved in the arrangements for his funeral. They are being co-ordinated by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office at Buckingham Palace. Based on Prince Philip’s wishes, it is believed only family, friends and heads of state from Commonwealth countries will be allowed to attend the funeral. Once it comes to laying his body to rest, his body will be buried in the grounds of Windsor Castle in Frogmore Gardens. This is a very personal place for the Queen and Prince Philip as it’s closed off to the public and is often where she walks her dogs.
Codenames have also been used in the past relating to plans for their funerals. These codenames were first invented so that switchboard operators couldn’t learn of Royal deaths ahead of any public announcements. For example, when King George VI passed away in 1952, the phrase “Hyde Park Corner” was used to communicate with government officials about his death.
For 21st century Royals, bridges have been used as codenames. For Queen Elizabeth, Operation London Bridge will be used for her death and funeral. Operation Tay Bridge was the name used for the Queen Mother and Diana’s deaths. Operation Menai Bridge refers to the funeral plan for Charles, Prince of Wales. Let’s see if they survive the week…
Last Week’s Birthdays
John Turturro (64), Rae Dawn Chong (69), Mercedes Ruehl (73), Stephanie Beacham (74), Kate Mara (38), Adam Baldwin (59), Timothy Spall (64), Richard Coyle (49), Chase Masterson (58), Bill Duke (78), Michael Bolton (68), Téa Leoni (55), Sean Astin (50), Lee Evans (57), Daniel Kaluuya (32), Billy Zane (55), Ben Miller (55), Edward James Olmos (74), Dennis Waterman (73), Emily Blunt (38), Dakota Fanning (27), Kelly Macdonald (45), Samara Weaving (29), Josh Gad (40), Thomas Jane (52), Drew Barrymore (46), Jeri Ryan (53), Kyle MacLachlan (62), Julie Walters (71), James Hong (92), Josh Helman (35), Sheila Hancock (88), and Nigel Planer (68).