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• CAR PLOWS INTO HOME IN MERCED KILLING 2: MERCED (AP) — Police in the Central Valley say two people died when the car they were in crashed into a home and caught fire.

Investigators are trying to identify the bodies, which were badly burned in Wednesday’s crash in Merced.

Merced Fire Battalion Chief Shawn Henry says the car cut off a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. gas meter and struck the home’s electrical panel. That triggered a fire that burned for more than two hours before it was extinguished.

No one was inside the home.

Witnesses tell said they saw the driver slumped over and the passenger reaching for the steering wheel before the crash. They estimated the car’s speed at 35 to 40 mph.


• WOMAN STRUCK BY LA BEACH MAINTENANCE VEHICLE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities say a 49-year-old woman was struck and seriously injured by a maintenance vehicle while sunbathing on a Los Angeles County beach.

Carol Baker of the Department of Beaches and Harbors says the accident happened late Wednesday morning on Via Marina Peninsula beach just north of Marina del Rey Harbor.

Baker tells City News Service the driver of the SUV, described as a veteran county employee, did not see the woman, who was face-down in the sand.


• MAN ELECTROCUTED BY DOWNED POWER LINE IN WHITTIER: WHITTIER (AP) — Authorities say a man was electrocuted when he came into contact with a downed power line in the backyard of his Los Angeles County home.

Coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter tells City News Service that 45-year-old Juan Nieves died Thursday morning at the scene in Whittier.

According to a preliminary investigation, Nieves heard a sound in his yard that may have involved a problem with a transformer. The sheriff’s department says when Nieves went outside he came into contact with the downed line.