ANCHORAGE, Alaska – An Alaska State Troopers helicopter carrying two troopers and a rescued snowmobiler crashed Saturday night in the south-central part of the state, and no survivors have been found, an agency spokeswoman said.
Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said the crash site was spotted Sunday, but she could not immediately confirm that the three on board were killed.
Wreckage of the helicopter burned, but Peters said it was not known how the fire started or how long it lasted. The helicopter was on a mission to pick up a snowmobiler stranded near Larson Lake 7 miles east of Talkeetna in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
The helicopter picked up a trooper and began a search, spotting the snowmobile and landing just before 10 p.m. It took off with the snowmobiler and was supposed to meet medics near Talkeetna but did not arrive.
Peters said it’s not known if weather was a factor in the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.
Hearing set for driver in deadly crash
An 18-year-old man is scheduled to make an initial court appearance today on suspicion of driving under the influence after authorities say he rear-ended a van in southern Nevada, causing a crash that killed five Southern California family members and injured two others.
Jean Soriano of California was being held without bail Sunday in the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas pending the hearing. He also was booked Saturday on charges of failure to decrease speed or use due care, and driving without a driver’s license.
The Clark County coroner’s office identified the five victims Sunday as Genaro Fernandez, 41, of Norwalk, Calif.; Raudel Fernandez-Avila, 49, and Belen Fernandez, 53, both of Lynwood, Calif.; and Angela Sandoval, 13, and Leonardo Fernandez-Avila, 45, both of Los Angeles.
The victims were among seven family members who were in the van, authorities said. The other two were taken to the University Medical Center in Las Vegas with non-life-threatening injuries.
According to the patrol, Soriano’s sport utility vehicle struck the van from behind early Saturday, causing both vehicles to roll on Interstate 15 near the Arizona line, some 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
Soriano and his 23-year-old passenger were treated at the medical center and released Saturday.
Four hurt in crash, attack at Wal-Mart
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Four people were hurt Sunday when a driver crashed his car into a Wal-Mart and then assaulted customers inside, officials said.
The man hit two cars in the parking lot at about 11:15 a.m. with his red Oldsmobile Cutlass sedan then crashed through the storefront near the pharmacy and collided with a beer display before stopping, police and witnesses said.
The unidentified driver then got out of his car and used a blunt object to attack people, San Jose police Officer Albert Morales said. The driver was arrested when officers arrived.
Investigators have not determined how fast the driver – described as a man in his 30s – was going at the time of the crash but the car went about 20 feet into the Wal-Mart Supercenter that had about 70 people inside in San Jose, Morales said.
One person suffered what Morales described as serious injuries. He did not know the extent of the injuries to the three other people but said they were not life-threatening. The injured included a store employee.