>> 50 Years Ago — NILAND — A Niland teen-ager suffered minor injuries in a freak traffic accident here Saturday night.
The California Highway Patrol said the victim, Toni Castanieto, 18, was standing in the street talking to the driver of a car when a second car hit the first one, knocking it into Castanieto.
The accident occurred about 10 p.m. on First Avenue. Castanieto was taken to Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley.
The Patrol said Castanieto was talking to Walter Maple, 20, of Niland, who had stopped his car while crossing First Avenue. Officers said Maple’s car was struck by an auto driven by Vernon Ford, 39, of Niland.
>> 40 Years Ago — PALM SPRINGS — Congressman Victor V. Veysey lashed out at Washington’s “appalling” indifference to the availability of geothermal resources to help ease the nation’s energy crisis, at Thursday’s National Conference of Geothermal Energy.
Veysey, speaking to the opening session at the International Hotel, pointedly criticized President Nixon’s recent “Energy Message” as “inadequate” in its treatment of geothermal energy as a major new national resource.
>> 30 Years Ago — A former rural Imperial area resident has been killed and his father seriously injured in an explosion on a restricted U.S. Navy bombing range 16 miles northeast of Niland, informed sources said today.
Imperial County Sheriff Oren Fox said Jimmy Earl Watkins, 35, of Banning, was killed Saturday by an explosive device after he and his father, Hance “Buddy” Watkins, 58, also of Banning, were trapped in the restricted area during a bombing run by Marine Corps jets.
Officials at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Ariz., confirmed the incident Sunday. A spokesman reportedly told media representatives the death and injury was the result of an “unknown explosive device.”
>> 20 Years Ago — HOLTVILLE — The City Council unanimously agreed in closed session Monday night to approve payment of $65,000 to settle a workers’ compensation claim with Holtville police Officer Ralph Warner.
In exchange for the settlement, Warner has agreed to resign from his job with the city.
Police Chief Bob Weaver said Warner has worked as a city police officer for 12 years. He declined to comment on the nature of the claim other than to say it was a workers’ compensation claim.