News briefs

Man dies when he crashes his motorcycle near Madera

A man died when he crashed his motorcycle Thursday afternoon near Madera, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The man, who was not identified, was traveling on Arizona Avenue near Mattingly Street about 4 p.m. when he lost control of the motorcycle.

Man killed when he is struck by train in downtown Madera

A man was killed when he was struck by a train Thursday in Madera, according to Madera City Fire Department reports.

The victim was crossing the tracks about 2:30 p.m. near 9th and E streets in downtown Madera when he was struck.

He has not been identified.

Tulare Co. deputies investigate molestation of boy, 8, by teen

Tulare County sheriff's deputies are investigating the molestation of an 8-year-old by a 13-year-old boy in Ivanhoe.

The teen is believed to have molested the younger boy early Thursday, deputies said. The 13-year-old was placed in protective custody because he also said he was molested as a child.

The identities of the children are being withheld because of their ages.

Shafter orchard worker killed when tractor falls on him

Kern County fire authorities say a worker in a Shafter almond orchard died Thursday afternoon when a tractor fell on him.

The worker was driving a front-end loader, scooping up brush into piles to be burned. Kern County Fire Department spokesman Sean Collins said the heavy machinery suddenly fell into a gully, trapping the worker beneath it. Paramedics couldn't revive the man when they arrived and he was pronounced dead. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating.

Three Fresno men arrested, accused of stealing two pickups

Madera County sheriff's deputies arrested three Fresno men Wednesday and accused them of breaking into a Madera farmer's garage and stealing two pickups.

The grower was working on his land early Wednesday and returned home before 9 a.m. to find his garage rifled and the pickups gone.

"Madera is a small town," sheriff's spokeswoman Erica Stuart said. "Word got out that two trucks were missing."

A Madera witness got the word and spotted two men and one of the stolen trucks about 2 p.m. at a store on Avenue 8 and Road 201/2. Deputies followed the pickup south to Fresno on Highway 99. They stopped the truck and arrested Alex Valles, 26, and Brandon Ramos, 28, on Highway 99 near the Shaw Avenue exit about 2:24 p.m.

Less than an hour later, authorities found the second truck and stopped the driver at Ashlan and Polk avenues. They arrested Charles Wentworth, 19.

The three were taken to Madera County Jail on suspicion of vehicle theft, burglary and conspiracy. Valles also faced a charge of violating terms of his parole.

One killed in solo-vehicle crash on Hwy. 99 near Livingston

One man was killed in a solo-vehicle crash Thursday on Highway 99 at Collier Road near Livingston.

Livingston police and the California Highway Patrol have not released the name of the man, who was the driver.

CHP spokesman Shane Ferriera said the incident happened after Livingston police were in pursuit of a 1987 Ford Mustang on northbound Highway 99.

Ferriera said the driver of the Mustang was traveling at a high rate of speed in the fast lane and tried to pass a slower car. He lost control of the Mustang, which went through a guardrail and rolled down an embankment, Ferriera said.

A passenger in the Mustang, 23-year-old Sergio Acosta of Merced, was taken to a Modesto hospital with major injuries.

Life support pulled from man who was shot, critically injured

Life support has been unplugged from a man who was shot and critically injured Dec. 9 in an apparent drive-by shooting on Crawford Street in Winton, the Merced County Sheriff's Department said Thursday.

Sheriff's spokesman Tom MacKenzie said Jerry Hunwardsen, 26, of Winton had remained on life support in a hospital despite being declared brain-dead weeks ago. Life support was removed Tuesday.

No suspects have been arrested.


Sanger mobile home heavily damaged by morning blaze

A mobile home in Sanger was heavily damaged in an early morning fire Thursday, but three residents escaped unharmed, a Fresno County Fire Protection District spokesman said.

The fire started about 12:30 a.m. in the attic of the home near North Riverbend and East Ashlan avenues. The cause of the fire is under investigation. A resident of the home saw the ceiling on fire when he got up to check the wood stove, said fire spokesman Chris Christopherson. Names of the residents were not released. The fire destroyed the home's living room and kitchen.


Man gets 2 years for ID theft

A Fresno man convicted of identity theft was sentenced Thursday in Madera County Superior Court to two years in prison. Ahzad Moses Ohanesian, 50, was arrested in March after trying to obtain a cash advance at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino using a stolen credit card and counterfeit driver's license.