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Car strikes Road Ranger truck; five injured

FORT LAUDERDALE

car Strikes Road Ranger truck

Authorities are investigating the cause of a crash that injured five people when a car slammed into a Road Ranger truck that was helping a Florida Highway Patrol trooper's disabled car.

Road Ranger Gilberto Franco was standing next to his truck against the median wall on Interstate 95 on Saturday morning when he was hit.

FHP says 40-year-old Beau Durling's car left the road and slammed into the back of the truck, pinning Franco between his truck and the wall. The car then swerved, hitting another vehicle on the road.

Franco and Durling had serious injuries. Three other passengers had minor injuries.

Drivers are required to slow down or move over to other lanes of traffic where possible when they see law enforcement officers or emergency personnel along highways.

DAYTONA BEACH

Lifeguards rescue 200 swimmers

Strong rip currents are keeping lifeguards busy in Daytona Beach.

On Saturday, lifeguards made about 200 rescues when swimmers were caught in strong rip currents.

Among the most serious rescues, according to Beach Patrol Capt. Scott Petersohn, was a 14-year-old girl pulled from the water and listed in critical condition at a hospital. And another swimmer was found face down in the water late Friday — after hours. The person was taken to a hospital, where he was in a coma.

Petersohn says the weekend's rescue activity is "way off the scale." The county planned to keep 88 lifeguard towers open Sunday for rescues.

Anyone caught in a rip current should swim parallel to shore until they are out of the current's pull.

MIAMI

Owner charged in escape of tiger, ape

The president of Miami's Jungle Island has been charged with two misdemeanors following the brief escape of a gibbon and a tiger.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission determined Saturday the ape escaped due to human and mechanical error, and the cage in which the tiger was kept does not meet state requirements.

Bern Levine is charged with two second-degree misdemeanors for conditions resulting in the animals' escape. The park issued a statement saying operators "maintain that the fence surrounding the enclosure exceeds state regulations," but they will take any recommendations from the wildlife commission very seriously.

The tiger's owner is charged with one count of maintaining captive wildlife in an unsafe condition, resulting in threats to public safety.

The Bengal tiger scaled a 14-foot fence late last month, possibly to chase the ape that also got out of its habitat.

DELAND

Small-plane crash leaves one dead

Federal authorities have not yet identified the passengers of a small plane that clipped a power line and crashed in Central Florida, killing one passenger.

The plane's second passenger was taken to the hospital. The person's condition has not been released.

Authorities say the single-engine plane clipped a power line shortly after takeoff and flipped, crashing on U.S. 92 in DeLand on Saturday afternoon.

Car strikes Road Ranger truck; five injured 09/05/10 [Last modified: Sunday, September 5, 2010 11:06pm]

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