- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 25, 2008

Helicopter crash kills 3 on tour

LOS ANGELES — A tour helicopter crashed in rainy weather on an island off the Southern California coast yesterday morning, killing three people and injuring three others, a county sheriff’s deputy said.

The helicopter went down on the west end of Santa Catalina Island near Two Harbors, causing a small fire that was quickly doused, authorities said. Helicopters airlifted two women and a man to mainland hospitals.

Two of the injured were in critical condition, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said. The crash killed two men and one woman immediately, said fire officials. Their identities were not released.

Federal Aviation Administration records show the helicopter departed from Long Beach and was scheduled to return to that city. The crash occurred less than an hour after the helicopter picked up passengers on the island. The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

Mom chases down bicycle thief

SEATTLE — Pauline Goldmeier did her best imitation of an episode of the TV series “Cops” when she chased down several bicycle thieves, the Seattle mother says.

The 41-year-old legal secretary said when she saw teens apparently trying to steal her bicycle, she decided she would no longer be a victim and pursued the suspects in her car, the Seattle Times reported yesterday.

“They had no idea whose bike they were stealing,” said the mother of two. “I’ve had a lot of things happen to me, and I’m tired of it.”

Mrs. Goldmeier had been carjacked and kidnapped 13 years ago in Seattle and had only escaped that predicament by leaping from a moving car — while pregnant.

In the latest crime, Mrs. Goldmeier said she eventually caught up with the teen who was riding her stolen bicycle and took action.

“He was laughing at me,” she said. “But I floored it and literally cut him off a few feet from his face. He stopped laughing then and jumped off the bike.”

She and her husband tracked down several suspects and three were later arrested.

Craft prepares to land on Mars

PASADENA, Calif. — After a nearly 10-month journey, a NASA spacecraft will land softly today on the northern polar region of Mars, if all goes as planned.

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