Local briefs: One killed in Madera County car crash

May 12, 2009 

One person was killed in a three-car accident Tuesday afternoon in Madera County.

The California Highway Patrol responded to the accident about 5:15 p.m. at the intersection of Avenue 7 and Avenue 12, just east of the Chowchilla Canal.

Few details were available, but dispatchers said that two of the cars hit head-on. One person died at the scene. Conditions of the other drivers were not available.

Burglars make off with $14,000 in chemicals

Bee Sweet Citrus reported a burglary of $14,000 worth of farm chemicals from a storage facility on the 13700 block of Avenue 432 near Orosi.

The burglary occurred sometime between Saturday and Monday, the Tulare County Sheriff's Department reported.

Anyone with information is asked to contact detective Gary Marks at (559) 733-6218 or (559) 740-4300.

Minor injuries in Visalia district school bus crash

Two Visalia Unified School District buses collided Tuesday morning in Goshen, sending both drivers and three students to the hospital with complaints of minor pain.

The accident happened about 7:30 a.m. when a bus going southwest on Road 69 failed to yield the right of way to the second bus, which was northbound on Camp Drive, said officer Scott Harris of the Visalia office of the California Highway Patrol.

Damage to the buses was minor, he said.

Courts

Man gets life sentence for killing during robbery

A 36-year-old man was sentenced Tuesday in Fresno County Superior Court to life in prison without parole for killing a Fresno man in 2001.

Fernando Limon apologized to the family of the victim, Jorge Perez, 32, who was stabbed to death in his home.

A jury in March convicted Limon of first-degree murder during the commission of a robbery.

During his trial, Limon testified that Perez had tried to molest him and kill him with a knife. During a struggle, Limon said, he stabbed Perez several times and slit his throat on July 29, 2001. He then took off in Perez's car and took with him the victim's wallet, checkbook and Sony PlayStation.

Clovis man charged with leaving accident scene

Charges were filed Tuesday against a man who ran away from an accident that police say he caused, leaving three children inside the crashed vehicle.

Richard James Riley, 34, of Clovis, was driving a Toyota 4-Runner on the 1900 block of Applegate Avenue about 9 p.m. Friday when he crashed it, police said.

He will be arraigned today in Fresno County Superior Court on suspicion of DUI driving, three counts of child endangerment, hit-and-run driving and driving a stolen vehicle.

Investigators determined that Riley picked up the children, two 13-year-olds and his 10-year-old son, from Red Bank Elementary's carnival minutes before the crash.

Officials said Riley lost control of the 4-Runner on a neighborhood street, causing it to roll on its side. Riley remains in Fresno County Jail. His bail is set at $128,800.

Fire

Fire at Corcoran church destroys roof; none hurt

A fire at a Corcoran church that started in the attic during renovation work destroyed the building's roof Monday.

The First Missionary Baptist Church at Hale and Patterson avenues had $175,000 in damage in the blaze, which happened shortly before 6 p.m., said Mike Virden, assistant chief for the Kings County Fire Department.

Two church members were using a cutting torch to cut protruding beams near the roof when the heated metal of a truss ignited a wood portion of the attic, Virden said.

The roof sagged but did not collapse. No one was injured.

Also ...

Madera Co. hospital lifts swine flu restrictions

Children's Hospital Central California in Madera County announced that it will lift visitor restrictions today that were put into effect last month in the wake of the swine flu outbreak.

The hospital had said that no child younger than 12 could visit patients, and only two adults could stay in a room with a patient.

With the exception of Tulare County, no swine flu cases have been reported in the central San Joaquin Valley.

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