Archive for Saturday, August 11, 2001

Nation Briefs

August 11, 2001


LAS VEGAS: Crash with tour bus kills pickup truck driver

One driver was killed and 14 people injured Friday after a pickup truck crashed into a shuttle bus carrying Japanese tourists on an interstate near Las Vegas, authorities said.

The driver of the pickup truck died in the crash, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Alan Davidson said.

Davidson said the man driving the pickup, who was not immediately identified, was heading south on Interstate 15 toward Las Vegas when he lost control of his truck and crossed the dirt median into the path of the northbound bus.

Texas: President announces ambassador nominees

President Bush said on Friday that he plans to nominate John D. Ong, chairman emeritus of the B. F. Goodrich Co., to be U.S. ambassador to Norway.

Ong stepped down as chairman of the Goodrich board of directors in 1997 after 36 years with the company.

Bush, in Crawford for vacation, said he also will nominate Ralph L. Boyce, a career Foreign Service officer, to be U.S. ambassador to Indonesia. Boyce is currently deputy assistant secretary of State for Southeast Asia.

Ohio: Officials release cause of deadly fair explosion

A low-water level caused last month's explosion of an antique steam-powered tractor that killed five people at a county fair, investigators said Friday.

The tractor exploded when a gush of water hit red-hot metal, causing a rapid expansion of steam.

It is not known why the water was low enough to allow the metal to overheat. Investigators said it could have been caused by operator error, mechanical failure or a combination of both.

The July 29 explosion sent steam, hot water and shrapnel flying for hundreds of yards. Besides the dead, about 50 people were injured at the Medina County Fair, about 35 miles southwest of Cleveland.

Seven people remained hospitalized Friday.

SAN FRANCISCO: Air traffic controller admits to bank heists

The president of the air traffic controllers' union at the San Francisco airport admitted in an affidavit Friday that he was the so-called "Robust Robber" suspected of robbing up to nine banks, his lawyer said.

Rick Davis, 43, who earned about $120,000 a year, allegedly told detectives he robbed banks to fly his children to and from Hawaii to visit him and to pay child support.

He was charged with bank robbery after his arrest Aug. 3 in Concord. Authorities said an off-duty police officer noticed Davis handing a note to a teller at a Bank of America branch. The robber left the bank with $3,199 but was arrested shortly afterward.

The nickname "Robust Robber" came from the thief's stocky build. Davis is heavyset and 5-foot-7.

The FBI alleges Davis has robbed nine banks of about $60,000 since Oct. 17, 2000.

Arizona: Helicopter crashes near Grand Canyon

A helicopter crashed Friday near the Grand Canyon, killing six people, authorities said. A seventh person was seriously injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the cause of the crash was not known. The AS350 helicopter departed from Las Vegas and went down about 2:35 p.m.

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