Saturday, July 28, 2007

Tillman's Death Raised Suspicions of Army Doctors

SAN FRANCISCO -- Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether his death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press.

Tillman, an Army Ranger and former pro football player, was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004. The doctors who examined his body said the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared Tillman was cut down by an M-16 fired from just 10 yards or so away.

Eventually, the Pentagon conducted a criminal investigation and ruled that Tillman's death at the hands of his comrades was a friendly-fire accident.

The medical examiners' suspicions were included in documents released to the AP by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

* * *

· Vice President Cheney will undergo minor surgery today to replace the battery in the defibrillator in his chest, a spokeswoman said. Doctors must replace the entire device to replace the battery, Megan McGinn said. The defibrillator was implanted in June 2001 to shock Cheney's heart if he experiences an irregular heartbeat.

· PEORIA, Ill. -- Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) said he plans to retire from Congress after his seventh term ends in January 2009. LaHood, a former teacher, said he announced his retirement early to give prospective candidates time to launch their campaigns. The 18th Congressional District seat has been held for nearly half a century by just two men -- LaHood and former House minority leader Robert H. Michel.

· The National Transportation Safety Board never interviewed the lone survivor of last summer's deadly Kentucky plane crash, the jet's co-pilot, because his doctor said his injuries were too severe. The board determined that the pilots were most responsible for the crash of Comair Flight 5191, and board member Deborah Hersman said she did not think there would have been any change in that finding even if James Polehinke had talked with investigators.

· MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- A sport-utility vehicle traveling the wrong way on an interstate highway collided head-on with a Greyhound bus, killing the SUV's driver and injuring 46 people, police said. Authorities were not certain why the SUV was traveling north in the southbound lane on Interstate 65. The accident was the second such incident in Montgomery in four months. On March 31, a car heading the wrong way on Interstate 85 collided with a Greyhound bus, killing the car's driver and injuring 20 people.

· ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The body of one of two sewer workers who were apparently swept away when water surged through the underground system was recovered from the Mississippi River by rescue workers. Crews planned to continue searching Saturday for the other man. Nearly half an inch of rain fell in St. Paul in about 30 minutes Thursday.

· LODI, Calif. -- A gas station cashier who was held up on the job and helped police track down the robber has been fired. The company that owns the station said Cynthia Lopez lost her job because her cash drawer was $16 over its $50 limit.

-- From News Services

© 2007 The Washington Post Company