- - Monday, July 11, 2011

MAINE

Amtrak train slams into truck; fire erupts

NORTH BERWICK — An Amtrak train traveling at 70 mph smashed into a tractor-trailer Monday in a fiery collision that killed the truck driver, injured a half-dozen other people and sent flames more than three stories high, a witness and officials said.

Witnesses reported that safety lights were flashing and gates were down at the intersection when the tractor-trailer crossed into the path of Amtrak’s Downeaster about 11 a.m., said Police Chief Stephen Peasley. None of the train’s 112 passengers or three crew members had life-threatening injuries.

One witness said the tractor-trailer driver slammed on the brakes, Mr. Peasley said. “From what I’ve been told, it appears that it skidded through the intersection.” There were about 200 feet of skid marks on Route 4 leading to the impact.

The truck driver, identified by police as Peter Barnum, 35, of Farmington, N.H., was thrown from the cab. He was working for Triumvirate Environmental Inc., a trucking company based in Massachusetts.

NEW JERSEY

Stun gun found in jet after arrival

NEWARK — It does not appear that a stun gun found aboard a JetBlue plane that landed late Friday in Newark was intended to be used in an attack, an FBI spokesman said Monday.

Bryan Travers, a spokesman for the FBI’s Newark office, said information from the investigation so far suggests that no attack was imminent. He would not detail why investigators think that.

The stun gun was found by a crew that was cleaning Flight 1179 from Boston about 10:20 p.m. Friday, after the flight had landed and all 96 passengers were off the plane.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police removed the stun gun from the plane and handed it over to the federal Transportation Security Administration, which is responsible for screening passengers.

CALIFORNIA

Conservatives in San Diego talk of creating new state

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Thirteen mostly conservative California counties would break away to create a 51st state known as South California under a proposal by an elected official that would have to clear major hurdles to succeed.

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