• 2 DEAD, 5 HURT AFTER VAN CRASHES ON HIGHWAY 99: FRESNO (AP) — Two men died and five others were hospitalized with injuries early Saturday after a van carrying farmworkers overturned on a Fresno highway, authorities said.
The California Highway Patrol said the Ford Windstar was going at the speed limit to a farm field near Kingsburg when tread separated from the left rear tire. The driver lost control of the van and it flipped before stopping across Highway 99’s right lane and shoulder.
Killed in the 5:30 a.m. crash were Raul Dominguez Solis, 29, and Jose Guadalupe Zermeno, 64, both of Fresno, the county coroner’s office said.
Solis was not wearing a seat belt, but Zermeno was, the CHP said.
The five others — four men and one woman — suffered moderate injuries.
In 1999, a crash in Fresno killed 13 tomato pickers who were riding in a farm labor van without seat belts.
At the time, certified farm vehicles were excluded from a law that made it illegal in California to have anyone ride without proper seats and seat belts. Uproar over the loophole led to the passage of a state law that required farm vehicles to be equipped with seat belts for all passengers.
• SMALL PLANE MAKES EMERGENCY LANDING ON HIGHWAY: SANTEE (AP) — The pilot and passenger of a small plane have escaped injuries after making an emergency landing on a San Diego County highway.
The California Highway Patrol says the plane landed on the wide median of State Route 52 near the intersection with State Route 125 in Santee around 6 p.m. Saturday.
KFMB-TV reports the pilot took off from Gillespie Field and was heading to Oceanside when the plane had engine trouble.
He told investigators he had no choice but to land on the freeway.
• NATIONAL GUARD RESCUES ILL CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER: SAN DIEGO (AP) — The California Air National Guard has rescued a man who fell seriously ill on a cruise ship hundreds of miles off the coast.
The agency says crew of the Holland America line’s Westerdam contacted authorities for help late Saturday and changed course to reduce the distance to shore.
National Guard aircraft reached the ship Sunday about 300 miles from Southern California.
The 73-year-old passenger, who suffered kidney failure, was flown to a hospital in San Diego for further treatment.
The National Guard crew was deployed from North Island Naval Air Station, Coronado.