Cowgirls’ plane crash report reveals no new evidence
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Investigators found no evidence of mechanical failure to explain why a pilot lost control of a small plane that nosedived into an Arkansas ridge, killing the Oklahoma State women’s basketball coach and three others, according to a federal report.
An examination of the wreckage revealed no instrument failure and no anomalies in the engine or airframe before the Piper PA-28-180 went down near Perryville, Ark., on Nov. 17, 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a report dated Wednesday.
Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke, 50, and assistant coach Miranda Serna, 36, were killed in the crash, along with the 82-year-old pilot, Olin Branstetter, and Branstetter’s 79-year-old wife, Paula. They were flying from Stillwater, Okla., to North Little Rock to scout two prospective high school recruits.
The NTSB concluded that the probable cause of the crash was Branstetter’s loss of control of the aircraft, but investigators found no evidence that the pilot had a medical issue that may have contributed to the accident. The board early on ruled out weather as a factor.
“The reason for the pilot’s loss of control could not be determined,” the report concluded.
Holdsclaw is indicted with an aggravated assault charge
ATLANTA – Prosecutors said former WNBA player and Olympic gold medalist Chamique Holdsclaw is being indicted in a November 2012 shooting in Atlanta.
Fulton County District Attorney’s spokeswoman Yvette Jones said Wednesday that a six-count indictment charges the 35-year-old with aggravated assault, criminal damage and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Holdsclaw was arrested after an argument with Tulsa Shock player Jennifer Lacy, who told police she was Holdsclaw’s ex-girlfriend. The two also were Atlanta Dream teammates in 2009. Police said Holdsclaw broke the windows to Lacy’s car and shot at it. No one was injured.
Mexico’s popular NASCAR series to debut in the U.S.
AVONDALE, Ariz. – The most popular motorsports series in Mexico will make its U.S. debut today at Phoenix International Raceway.
The Mexico-based Toyota Series will hold its season opener at the track with a 75-lap race held after Sprint Cup Series qualifying. The series is running as a support race to Sprint Cup, Nationwide and the K&N West Series at PIR this weekend.
The Mexico Toyota Series began in 2004 but moved under the NASCAR banner in 2007 and has been NASCAR-sanctioned since. Drivers run a 14-race schedule on eight different tracks in Mexican V8 stock cars. All but one event this season are on an oval track.
Rapids trade with Timbers for forward Danny Mwanga
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers traded forward Danny Mwanga to the Colorado Rapids for a first-round pick in the 2015 MLS draft.
Mwanga scored three goals in 18 games with the Timbers last season after the Oregon native was acquired from the Philadelphia Union in June. He has 15 goals in 79 matches for his three-year MLS career.
Costa Rica pulls out as host of the U17 World Cup
ZURICH – FIFA is looking for a new country to stage next year’s Under-17 Women’s World Cup.
The tournament had been planned for Costa Rica, but construction delays mean the stadiums will not be ready in time.
Costa Rica won hosting rights in March 2011, beating out Ghana, Turkey and Uzbekistan. The 16-nation tournament likely is to be scheduled in September 2014.
FIFA said it will evaluate potential hosts before a decision by its executive committee March 20-21 in Zurich.