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Two Men Struck/Killed By Train; Contractor Gets Probation; No Public Defender for Tollefson
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 05/18/14 3:13 am | updated: 05/18/14 3:13 am
Two men were stuck and killed by a freight train in Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County. It happened around 7:30 am near the abandoned Valley Forge National Historical Park/ Port Kennedy train station. The Norfolk Southern train contained 3 locomotives and 36 cars. The 4,500 ton train was on it's way from Bucks County to Chicago. The two men were walking together on the tracks when they were hit from behind. This area of King of Prussia, near the old station, is popular with train enthusiasts wishing to get a glimpse of locomotives. They say that from that side of the tracks it can be hard to hear train traffic and that the curve in the rails creates a blindspot to approaching trains. The identities of the two men have not yet been released and investigators are still trying to determine what they were doing out there.

A New York City contractor who defrauded Superstorm Sandy victims in New Jersey avoided prison yesterday at sentencing. 52-year-old Frank Lewery of Staten Island was sentenced to five years of probation, on the condition he pays back $30,740 in restitution. Lewery took deposits from homeowners in Rumson, Monmouth County, but never made the repairs. He plead guilty in March to charges of theft and failure to register as a contractor.

A Bucks County Court judge ruled on Friday that Don Tollefson does not qualify for a public defender. He must hire private counsel to help defend himself against the felony fraud charges. Tollefson was arrested in February for allegedly selling $100,000 worth of bogus sports/travel packages at charity events around the area. Tollefson's current finances are not great. He makes $2,654/month in disability, $1,200 in savings, and has a $100,000 credit line that is behind payments. His wife makes $70,000-a-year. The judge says that's not enough to get a public defender, so he'll have to hire his own by a May 29 preliminary hearing at Warminster District Court.

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