LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Authorities are investigating the cause of a freight train derailment in southern New Mexico that killed three railroad employees when the train’s locomotive plunged 40 feet down a ravine.
Police on Sunday identified the three as 38-year-old Donald White, 60-year-old Steven Corse and 50-year-old Ann Thompson. White lived in Silver City, N.M., and Corse and Thompson lived in the northern Arizona community of Paulden.
No other people were on the train.
State Police spokesman Emmanuel T. Gutierrez said it’s unknown what caused or preceded Saturday afternoon’s derailment near the community of Bayard, about 75 miles northwest of Las Cruces.
The eight rail cars being pulled by the locomotive weren’t forced into the ravine. Instead, they remained either on or near the tracks. At least half of the eight train cars had tilted on their sides, but none of the iron ore being carried by the train had spilled out.
Photos taken by investigators show the locomotive on its side in the ravine.
The train was operated by Southwest Railroad Inc.
Speed a factor in Walker’s fatal accident
LOS ANGELES – Investigators sought to determine the cause of a fiery crash that killed “Fast & Furious” star Paul Walker while the actor’s fans erected a makeshift memorial Sunday near where the Porsche he was riding in smashed into a light pole and tree.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said speed was a factor in Saturday’s one-car crash, though it will take time to determine how fast the car was going.
The crash also killed Walker’s friend and financial adviser Roger Rodas, according to Walker’s publicist, Ame Van Iden. She said Walker was a passenger in the 2005 red Porsche Carrera GT when they drove away from a fundraiser in the community of Valencia, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
Sheriff’s deputies found the car engulfed in flames when they arrived at the site of the crash, near the fundraiser at Rodas’ sportscar dealership. Officials have not identified either person found in the car.
Walker and Rodas had thrown a fundraiser benefiting victims of the recent typhoon in the Philippines. The event was held by Reach Out Worldwide, a charity Walker founded in 2010 to aid victims of natural disasters. The fundraiser and toy drive took place at Rodas’ custom car shop.
Biden to visit DMZ during Korea trip
WASHINGTON – Vice President Joe Biden is preparing to visit the Demilitarized Zone, the heavily armed border between South Korea and North Korea.
The White House is releasing details of Biden’s itinerary for his weeklong trip to Asia aimed at showing the U.S. remains focused on the region. Biden departs Sunday for Japan, China and South Korea.
Biden will visit the DMZ on Saturday following a ceremony honoring U.S. troops who died during the Korean War, which ended 60 years ago. The border visit will likely highlight the conflict over North Korea’s nuclear program.
Two Amish die in buggy-vehicle collision
PITTSBURGH – State police say a mother and her daughter died in a fatal collision between a truck and a horse-drawn Amish buggy in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Authorities say 34-year-old Mary Byler, of New Wilmington, and her 11-year-old daughter, whose name was withheld, died in the crash Saturday. Byler’s husband, 35-year-old William Byler, was seriously injured and flown to St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, Ohio.
Emergency dispatchers say the incident happened late Saturday afternoon, about 60 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. The truck was driven by 36-year-old Matthew Coulter, of Pulaski. His condition wasn’t available.
Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene by Mercer County Coroner Brad McGonigle.