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EIGHT COLLEGE RUNNERS IN SUV DIE IN COLLISION WITH PICKUP

After spending part of their weekend in Colorado, eight University of Wyoming cross-country runners crammed into a sport-utility vehicle to return to campus for a fraternity outing.

Along the way, their Jeep Wagoneer collided head-on with a pickup truck of a fellow Wyoming student who had apparently swerved into their lane, killing the eight runners. The driver of the truck was seriously injured in what was the latest in a series of tragedies to strike University of Wyoming athletics in recent years.

The victims spent Saturday in Fort Collins, Colo., where they planned on shopping for running shoes and visiting nightclubs, said a friend, Curt Mayer. Victim Shane Shatto called fellow fraternity member Sean Cosgrove to see what was happening back on campus, and he said their Sigma Phi Epsilon house was holding an event. Shatto said he would try to attend.

Wyoming Highway Patrol Sgt. Stephen Townsend said the SUV carrying the athletes collided with the one-ton pickup truck at 1:30 a.m. Sunday, about 17 miles south of Laramie on U.S. 287.

All of the runners except the driver were ejected. Townsend said only the driver of the pickup, Clinton Haskins, was wearing a seat belt.

Authorities would not say whether alcohol was involved, but they are investigating.

Man in Ecstasy homicide
now faces drug charges

BEAVER, Pa. (AP) -- A young Beaver County man now faces drug charges after having been charged with homicide for allegedly selling an Ecstasy pill that killed a 16-year-old girl.

Beaver County detectives have charged Greg Ludwig, 19, of Rochester, with drug possession and other drug charges for allegedly selling the pills to a friend of Brandy French, an Ambridge Area High School student.

French died May 19 in Allegheny General Hospital, one day after taking the drug at a concert at Post-Gazette Pavilion in Washington County.

French's friend Michelle Maranuk testified at a coroner's inquest that she bought three Ecstasy pills from Ludwig for $60 the day before the concert. Maranuk has not been charged because she is cooperating with authorities.

Ludwig is free on $5,000 bond on the charge of third-degree homicide and is wearing an electronic monitoring device.

If convicted on the homicide charge, Ludwig would face a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, with a maximum of 10 to 20 years.

Tropical Storm Gabrielle
heads out to mid-Atlantic

MIAMI (AP) -- Tropical Storm Gabrielle headed out to sea Sunday, a possible problem only for Bermuda and for shipping.

Even farther out in the Atlantic, slowly weakening Hurricane Felix appeared to be no threat to its nearest land -- the mid-Atlantic Azores chain of islands.

Gabrielle had drenched Florida with up to 11 inches of rain and blacked out half a million utility customers.

Gabrielle gave Florida some relief from the dry conditions affecting much of the state. "From a rainfall deficit, this probably ended the drought," said Randy Smith, spokesman for the South Florida Water Management District.

However, some lakes on Florida's west coast are still 3 to 5 feet below normal.

Florida Power & Light Co. had about 90,000 customers still without power early Sunday, and Florida Power Corp. reported 39,000 customers with no lights.

Hurricane Felix had sustained winds of only 90 mph, down from 120 mph during the week. Felix was southwest of the Azores, heading east-northeast, and was forecast to continue to weaken.

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