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Air Force instructor pilot killed when ejection seat activated on ground

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An Air Force instructor pilot was killed Tuesday, when the ejection seat activated while the aircraft was still on the ground, the military branch said.

The unidentified pilot was assigned to the 80th Flying Training Wing at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, the Air Force said in a statement to Fox News Digital.  

The pilot was inside a T-6A Texan II, a single-engine two-seat aircraft that serves as a primary trainer for Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps pilots. The ejection seat activated during ground operations, the Air Force said. 

AIR FORCE AIRMAN FATALLY SHOT WHEN FLORIDA DEPUTIES BREACHED WRONG APARTMENT, ATTORNEY SAYS

A T-6A Texan II is used to train specialized undergraduate pilots at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., in April 2018. An Air Force instructor pilot in Texas was killed Tuesday, when the ejection seat in the aircraft activated while on the ground.  (Department of Defense)

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The pilot’s name was withheld until notification of the next of kin. 

Ejection seats have been credited with saving pilots’ lives, but they also have failed at critical moments in aircraft accidents, The Associated Press reported. Investigators identified ejection seat failure as a partial cause of an F-16 crash that killed 1st Lt. David Schmitz, 32, in June 2020.

Air Force aircraft in the sky

A team of T-6A Texan II’s fly over Texas. (Department of Defense)

In 2018, four members of a B-1 bomber crew earned the Distinguished Flying Cross when, with their aircraft on fire, they discovered one of the four ejection seats was indicating failure. 

Instead of bailing out, all the crew decided to remain in the burning aircraft and land it, so they all would have the best chance of surviving. The crew survived.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Los Angeles, Ca

Responders find 1 dead in South El Monte building fire

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Responders find 1 dead in South El Monte building fire

An investigation is underway after one person was found dead inside a commercial fire that erupted in the San Gabriel Valley overnight.

The blaze was reported just before 11:30 p.m. on Rush Street near Edwards Avenue in South El Monte.

Responders arrived to find heavy smoke and fire coming from the building.

One person was found dead following a fire in South El Monte that erupted on May 26, 2024. (RMG News)

A portion of the roof collapsed during the firefight and crews were forced into a defensive mode at one point, a Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesperson told KTLA.

The spokesperson later confirmed that one person was found dead inside the building which houses several businesses.

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No information regarding the identity of the victim has been released.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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Southwest

Wife of rodeo star Spencer Wright shares tragic update on three-year-old son Levi after river accident

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Kallie Wright, wife of rodeo star Spencer Wright, shared a heartbreaking update on their three-year-old son, Levi, who is in critical condition after an accident in the Utah River.

Levi nearly drowned and was feared brain-dead after he fell off a toy tractor into the river on Tuesday. Though he woke up briefly on Friday, the boy’s mother said on Friday the family is “shattered” after seeing the MRI result. 

“The MRI wasn’t good, we’re shattered but it is just images that suggest a certain quality of life,” wrote Kallie Wright, who has been posting updates about her son on Facebook. “Our real teller of all will be what Levi does over the course of a few days.”

Levi was admitted to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City after his accident on Tuesday. Although the MRI results appeared discouraging, there were signs of progress earlier that gave the family hope. 

RODEO STAR SPENCER WRIGHT’S SON AWAKE AFTER PREVIOUSLY BEING CONSIDERED BRAIN-DEAD FOLLOWING RIVER ACCIDENT

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Spencer Wright, 33, is ranked No. 40 in the world in saddle bronc riding. His three-year-old son Levi remains in critical condition after falling into the Utah River on his tractor. (STACIE SCOTT/THE DESERET NEWS VIA AP)

Family friend Mindy Clark, who has also posted updates about the boy on social media, shared Friday that Levi’s EEG monitor showed brain activity when he heard his sister’s voice telling him “how she was hoping he’d get better and couldn’t wait for him to come home.” The monitor also reacted when the family played him dinosaur sounds from one of his favorite books and when his mother kissed him, Clark said.

Wright asked for prayers as the family continues to seek the best medical opinions and care for Levi.

“Please continue to pray! I’m not giving up on my baby just yet,” she wrote. “I’m working on getting any and all neurologists or other educated professionals with expertise in this area who are willing to view his MRI. Then just seeing what my strong boys does in the next few days. You might not hear from me for a few days, we are going to focus on our Beans!”

Levi was playing outside his family’s Beaver County home on Tuesday when his mother briefly went inside. By the time she returned, the toddler was nowhere to be found.

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RODEO STAR SPENCER WRIGHT’S THREE-YEAR-OLD SON HOSPITALIZED AFTER FALLING INTO UTAH RIVER ON TOY TRACTOR

Spencer Wright rodeo performance

Spencer Wright competes on the Saddle Bronc Riding BP Super Series I, Round 2 during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in Houston. (Marie D. De Jesus/Houston Chronicle via Getty Images)

“I need everyone in Beaver to come to my house and help find my son in the water,” she posted on Facebook during the search.

Although they didn’t disclose the child’s name, the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a statement that it had received a call about a boy who had fallen into the river off a toy tractor around 6 p.m. that day. He was found unconscious in the water about a mile downstream, Clark told KUTV. 

“[Kallie] saw his little tractor overturned and immediately dialed 911 and jumped into the water to find him,” Clark told KUTV. “We don’t know how long he had been in the water, but he had been carried quite a ways.”

Initially, the family’s outlook was grim, but testing performed Wednesday began to lift their hopes. 

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PENNSYLVANIA DAD DEMANDS ANSWERS AFTER SON, 5, HAS TEETH KNOCKED OUT IN BLOODY ASSAULT AT SCHOOL, LAWYER SAYS

Wright family pose for photo

Stetson Wright, Jesse Wright, Ryder Wright, Rusty Wright, Spencer Wright and Cody Wright pose onstage during the “Outside the Barrel” with Flint Rasmussen show during National Finals Rodeo’s Cowboy Christmas at the Las Vegas Convention Center on December 7, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mindy Small/FilmMagic)

“Our doctor was a little taken aback by her exam as they came in the room to end care. She felt strongly that we needed to give him more time,” the family said Wednesday. “Now this doesn’t mean that in 12 hours we won’t be right back in the same position with him in my arms preparing for goodbye but it does mean we have time for a miracle…. Don’t give up on my boy just yet.” 

Clark wrote that the family is “unbelievably humbled” by the love and prayers they’ve received since the child was injured.

The toddler’s father, 33-year-old Spencer Wright, is ranked No. 40 in the world in saddle bronc riding. He and his three brothers made history in 2014 when all four qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Wright ultimately won the championship.

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The family was the subject of the book “The Last Cowboys” and has been featured on an episode of “60 Minutes.” 

Earlier this year, Wright won the Rio Grande Livestock Show and Rodeo in Mercedes, Texas.

Fox News’ Christina Coulter contributed to this report.

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Los Angeles, Ca

Cars intentionally torched by arsonist in Southern California neighborhood

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Cars intentionally torched by arsonist in Southern California neighborhood

An arson investigation is underway after several cars were torched in Los Angeles’ Chinatown neighborhood overnight, police confirmed to KTLA.  

Neighborhood residents who live between North Bunker Hill Avenue and Bartlett Street awoke at around 4:30 a.m. Sunday to flames engulfing several of their cars parked at the curb.  

“I get outside and it’s like the world is on fire,” Daniel Finnerty told KTLA’s Rachel Menitoff. “The apocalypse is happening in my front yard.”  

Residents who spoke with KTLA said it’s not uncommon to come across scenes like this, random and destructive fires, but this time someone was targeting people’s cars.  

“You got a car down there in flames and then up a block, you just hear boom, and I assume it was a tire exploding,” Finnerty added. “It’s crazy stuff.”  

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Unfortunately, Cecelia Martinez’s family car went up in the blaze.  

“My biggest fear was that the cars were going to explode because I had just put gas in my car,” she explained. “I don’t have a car right now. Yeah, insurance will pay, but what happens to all of the memories that we had in that car. It was our family car.”  

  • Multiple cars torched in L.A.'s Chinatown neighborhood
  • Multiple cars torched in L.A.'s Chinatown neighborhood
  • Multiple cars torched in L.A.'s Chinatown neighborhood

Thomas Conrad told KTLA that he believes the fires could be the work of someone living in a nearby homeless encampment.  

“Here we go again,” he said when asked what he thought of the situation. “It’s a thrill to commit crimes knowing you probably won’t get caught and if you do, you get the proverbial slap on the wrist.”  

Investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department spent time at the scene collecting evidence, saying arson was to blame for the charred destruction left behind.  

“It’s not what they did,” Johana Martinez said. “It’s more about the car they took from us. It’s really going to hurt because they don’t know the sacrifices my parents made to actually get us that car that we were all comfortable in.”  

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Anyone with information about the fire is urged to contact LAPD. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-222-8477 or leave tips online at www.lacrimestoppers.org 

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