Commuter train hits car on tracks; 21 hurt
A commuter train slammed into a car at a crossing in front of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on Saturday, seriously injuring the driver and the train operator.
The train was heading east toward downtown shortly before 11 a.m. when the car’s driver tried to make a left turn across the tracks from a major thoroughfare, authorities said.
The car, a silver Hyundai, was all but demolished. The driver was taken to a hospital and “was in extremely critical condition,” fire Capt. Daniel Curry said.
The train’s operator was also badly hurt, Curry said. He said that 19 passengers on the train suffered lesser injuries, mainly cuts and bruises. Eight were taken to hospitals, and the others were released.
The cause of the crash was under investigation. But Metro supervisor Diljiat Sandhu said it appeared the car’s driver didn’t see the approaching train when he was trying to turn left at a grade crossing.
— Associated Press
One indicted in noose incident at Ole Miss
The Justice Department has indicted a former student after a noose was left on a statue of James Meredith on the campus of the University of Mississippi.
Graeme Phillip Harris of Alpharetta, Ga., has been indicted on one count of conspiracy to violate civil rights and one count of using a threat of force to intimidate African American students because of their race or color, the Justice Department said.
The indictment is connected to a February 2014 incident in which a noose and a former Georgia flag featuring the Confederate battle emblem were placed on a Meredith statue near the main administration building at Ole Miss. Meredith, an African American, helped integrate the university more than 50 years ago.
Harris, who is white, was an Ole Miss student when the noose was left on the statue. University spokesman Danny Blanton said Friday that Harris is no longer enrolled and that university officials turned the case over to federal prosecutors.
— Associated Press
7 injured in shooting at spring break party
Seven people were injured in an early-morning shooting Saturday at a spring break party on the Florida Panhandle, police said.
Multiple 911 calls flooded in just before 1 a.m., reporting the shooting at the house party in Panama City Beach, and deputies found a sprawling crime scene with victims inside and outside the home, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office said.
David Jamichael Daniels, 22, of Mobile, Ala., was charged with seven counts of attempted murder and jailed awaiting a first court appearance. A .40-caliber handgun believed to have been used was found in the yard of a nearby home, authorities said.
At least three were critically injured, authorities said: Kearria Freed, 20; Devanta Moore, 21; and Henton Franklin, 22. Three others were listed in stable condition, and a seventh victim was undergoing surgery Saturday.
Three of the injured are students from Alabama A&M University in Florida for spring break, university spokesman Jerome Saintjones said.
— Associated Press
Boston officer remains in coma: A Boston police officer remained in a medically induced coma Saturday, a day after he was shot in the face during a traffic stop, the city police commissioner said. Officer John Moynihan, 34, was in critical condition, Commissioner William Evans said. Moynihan and five other officers, traveling in two cars, stopped a car Friday night after reports of shots fired, Evans said. He said video from the scene shows Moynihan approaching the driver’s door, and the suspect, Angelo West, 41, of Boston, suddenly pulled a gun and shot Moynihan at point-blank range. Evans said West continued firing at the other officers as he tried to flee and was killed when police returned fire.
Bird flu found in Minnesota: An outbreak of a deadly bird flu strain spread to one of the top poultry producing counties of Minnesota, government officials confirmed on Saturday, raising fears that the highly contagious disease could seriously damage the poultry industry. The highly pathogenic H5N2 strain of avian influenza has infected a third turkey farm in the state, this time a commercial flock of 39,000 birds in Stearns county in central Minnesota. The county is No. 2 in turkey production in Minnesota and is also one of the state’s top chicken and egg producers.
Yosemite park vista opens: A road leading to spectacular views of California’s Yosemite National Park opened to drivers on Saturday, marking the earliest date for the occasion in at least 20 years. Glacier Point Road takes drivers to a lookout perched at 3, 214 feet above the valley floor, where visitors can view spectacles such as the Half Dome rock and Yosemite Falls. The road closes each winter blocked by snowfall. This year’s opening is the earliest listed in records dating back to 1995 published on the park’s Web site.
— From wire reports
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