Police: Sneezing fit caused NY woman to crash car (AP)

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NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. – Police in New York say a woman had a sneezing fit that caused her to drive off a road, crash into several trees and plow through a fence.

Authorities say 62-year-old Mary Jane Amelio (uh-MEEL’-ee-oh), of Clinton, was driving Thursday morning in New Hartford, near Utica, when she began to sneeze.

New Hartford police say her car left the road, hit several small trees and crashed through a fence before coming to a stop.

Amelio was taken to a hospital, where she was listed in fair condition after suffering injuries to her head, neck, back and leg.

Police say she was ticketed for failure to keep right.

‘Duck Man’ catches five ducklings before they crash to earth

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To the mother duck, positioning her nest 15 feet above street level must have seemed like an ideal way of protecting her brood from predators.

The only problem was how to get the ducklings back to the (very hard) ground and on to water in one piece once they were hatched.

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Enter Joel Armstrong, a bank official also known as ‘Duck Man’. With skills an England goalkeeper could only dream of, Mr Armstrong caught all five ducklings in quick succession as they tumbled from their nest high above the concrete pavement.

Saved from injury and possible death, the ducklings were placed on the ground next to mum and then guided by Mr Armstrong the quarter of a mile through busy traffic to the nearest river.

The ducklings’ remarkable journey of survival was captured last week by a Sunday Telegraph photographer, who followed their progress from the nest to their first swim in the water.

The series of photographs show the ducklings, still unable to fly, tumbling from a building ledge and being caught by Mr Armstrong before they hit the concrete.

As crowds gather, they walk along the pavement, cross three roads and then jump into the water. In the final shot they swim into the distance to live (hopefully) happily ever after.

Mother duck laid her eggs in the middle of June in a nest overlooked by Mr Armstrong from his office window.

Each day, Mr Armstrong would go to work at Sterling Savings bank in the American town of Spokane in Washington State and wait patiently for the eggs to hatch.

“Once the last one hatches, I know I have about 24 hours before it’s time for them to leave the nest,” explained Mr Armstrong, 44.

“When mother duck starts looking down, I run out of the office and wait for the ducklings to jump. The mother jumps first, quacks at the ducklings above and they follow.

“The tricky part this time was when two jumped at pretty much the same time. Luckily I am ambidextrous and I caught one in one hand and one in the other.”

Mr Armstrong, a father-of-two who admits to better than average hand-eye co-ordination, has had practice at duckling-catching, having performed his heroics twice before in 2008 and again last year.

He’s not sure if it’s the same duck laying eggs each time, admitting: “They all look the same.”

To date he has caught 26 ducklings in three years. And no, he hasn’t dropped one yet.

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