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Air Force training jet crashes in Alabama, killing 2 people

An Air Force trainer flying from Columbus, Mississippi to Tallahassee, Fla., Crashed Friday night in a wooded area near the Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama, killing the two people in edge, officials said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the plane to crash. It was a T-38 trainer aircraft assigned to the 14th Flight Training Wing, which is based at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi, the wing said in a statement.

The 14th Flight Training Wing specializes in training undergraduate pilots, and the T-38 is one of the planes it uses to prepare pilots to fly fighters and bombers. Authorities did not immediately release the names of the two people killed.

The plane fell around 5:30 p.m., the squadron said.

Marshall J. Taggart Jr., the executive director of Montgomery Airport, said the plane crashed in a wooded area near Old Lamar Road and US Highway 80, about 100 yards from the ‘airport. He said firefighters and police responded.

The 14th Flight Training Wing said a safety investigation committee would meet to investigate the crash.

The crash came less than three weeks after three Idaho Army National Guard pilots were killed when their helicopter crashed in bad weather on February 2 while on a training mission to routine. The pilots were in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter when it fell south of Lucky Peak, a park about 10 miles east of Boise, the National Guard said in a statement .

Last month, a New York Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter on a routine training mission crashed in a rural area south of Rochester, killing three people. It was not immediately clear what caused the fall of this plane, a UH-60 medevac helicopter. Monroe County Sheriff Todd K. Baxter told a press conference people called 911 and said they saw a helicopter flying very low and heard the sounds of a spray engine.

In October, a Navy plane crashed in a residential area in southern Alabama, killing its two crew members. The plane fell next to a house near Foley, a coastal area about 30 miles southeast of Mobile, officials said. The plane was a T-6B Texan IIsaid the Navy. The type of aircraft is often used to train Navy and Marine Corps pilots, according to the Navy website.

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How Wealthy Hospitals Benefit Patients in Car Crashes

As part of its registration process, a Catholic hospital in Oklahoma is offering some accident victims a sign waiver stating that they do not want their health plan billed for care. A patient received the waiver shortly after a car accident in which her head hit the windshield. She said she did not remember signing the document, but was faced with a lien of $ 34,106 as a result.

“The way they run it is you don’t want to use your health insurance because someone else caused it,” said Loren Toombs, an Oklahoma lawyer who represented the patient. . “It’s clearly a business tactic and a huge problem, but it’s not always illegal.”

Hospitals have come under intense scrutiny in recent years as they increasingly look to the courts to collect unpaid patient bills, even amid the coronavirus pandemic. Hospitals, many of which received large bailouts last year, have used the court rulings to garnish patients’ salaries and take back their homes.

But less attention has been paid to hospital privilege laws, which many states passed in the early part of the 20th century when less than 10% of Americans had health coverage. The laws were meant to protect hospitals from the burden of caring for uninsured patients and to encourage them to treat those who could not pay upfront.

A century later, hospital liens are most often used to settle the debts of victims of car accidents. The practice can be so lucrative, according to documents and interviews, that some hospitals use outside debt collection companies to scan police records for recent accidents to make sure they identify which of their patients might have been in a wreck, so they could pursue them with. privileges.

Some laws limit how much of a patient’s payment a hospital can claim, and others only allow nonprofit hospitals to collect debts in this manner. Some states require hospitals to bill accident victims’ health plans rather than using a lien. This approach is considered more user-friendly as patients benefit from the discounts that health plans negotiated on their behalf.

“If a patient has viable coverage from multiple sources, it would be reasonable to ask for payment from whoever pays the most,” said Joe Fifer, managing director of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, a professional group of hospitals. . financial officers.

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Truck driver crashes into cyclists, kills 5 outside Las Vegas

Five cyclists were killed Thursday morning when they were struck by a box truck on a freeway outside of Las Vegas, authorities said.

The crash happened at 9:39 a.m. as a group of about 20 cyclists rode on the shoulder of the US 95 at mile marker 36 in Clark County, just north of Searchlight, Nevada, according to Nevada Highway Patrol.

The pickup truck left the roadway and struck the group from behind, then struck a Subaru sedan accompanying the cyclists and another group of cyclists in front of the Subaru, the highway patrol said.

In addition to the five cyclists killed, four people were injured, including one who was in critical condition, according to Private Jason Buratczuk, a spokesman for the highway patrol.

Private Travis Smaka, another spokesman for the highway patrol, said investigators were unsure what caused the driver to sink into the cyclists. The driver of the covered truck remained at the crash scene and cooperated with the investigation, Private Smaka said.

Investigators do not believe the driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs, he said, and no charges have been laid as the investigation continues.

Authorities did not release the names of those killed or the name of the driver. The speed limit on this part of the highway is 75 mph

Clay Weeks, who works at Pro Cyclery, a bicycle store in Las Vegas, said he knew some of the riders who were in the group, including a mechanic who works at the store who was unharmed but “very emotionally injured.”

He said the group made a 155-mile drive that was to take them from the M Resort Spa Casino in Henderson, Nevada, to Searchlight and back when they were struck by the truck.

He said the group was celebrating the recent retirement of one of the runners from a California police force.

“It’s a road that would be generally safe,” Weeks said. “The shoulder is very wide to ride over there. It is not a narrow and incomplete road.

He said news of the crash quickly passed through the tight-knit cycling community.

“Everyone is devastated,” he said. “Hopefully this will open their eyes to people and make them more vigilant of cyclists on the road, because this stuff happens too often in the community.

Bike rides make up just 1% of all trips in the United States, but cyclists are more prone to crash-related injuries and deaths than people in cars and trucks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that more pedestrians and cyclists were killed in 2018 in the United States than in any year since 1990.

The number of pedestrians killed increased by 3.4% in 2018, to 6,283, and the number of cyclists killed increased by 6.3%, to 857, even as the total number of road fatalities decreased, a indicated the agency. On average, around 17 pedestrians and two cyclists were killed in crashes every day.

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Navy plane crashes in Alabama, killing 2 crew

On Friday afternoon, a Navy plane crashed in a residential area in southern Alabama, killing its two crew members, the Navy said.

The plane fell next to a house near Foley, Ala., A coastal area about 30 miles southeast of Mobile, Ala., Officials said. No civilians on the ground were injured, according to Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office said.

The plane was a T-6B Texan IIsaid the Navy. The type of aircraft is often used to train Navy and Marine Corps pilots, according to the Navy website.

The two pilots on the plane were an instructor and a student, said Cmdr. Zach Harrell, a spokesperson for the Naval Air Force. The Navy said it would not release the names of the pilots until 24 hours after notification of next of kin.

The plane took off from Whiting Field Air Force Base in Santa Rosa County, Fla., About 60 miles northeast of where it crashed, he said.

The crash, which happened at around 4:20 p.m., sent debris toward a house, setting it on fire, said Joseph Darby, chief of the Foley fire department. The two occupants of the house at the time escaped, Chief Darby said.

Two vehicles and the “remains of the plane” were destroyed in the fire, he said. Fire crews were able to put out the blaze quickly, he said, preventing it from spreading to other homes on the street.

James Farris, who lives across the street from the house that caught fire, said he saw the crash through his home office window. He often hears training planes flying overhead, he said, but Friday afternoon’s plane was flying low.

“It sounded like the Blue Angels,” he said, referring to the group of Navy jets that perform aerial displays. “He was flying very low.”

As Mr. Farris searched for the plane, he saw it stick his nose into the ground.

“On impact, it exploded,” he said, adding that he fired a “big ball of flame” towards the house which caught fire. “When the fuel exploded, he entered this house,” he said.

The two people who escaped from the house that caught fire were a father and a daughter, he said.

The Department of Defense is investigating the crash, the sheriff’s office said.