Details via keyt.com:
A member of the U.S. Coast Guard was killed after his boat was struck by an alleged drug smuggling panga boat.
The Coast Guard cutter ‘Halibut’ was responding to a report of a panga type-vessel suspected of illegal activities about 17 miles southwest of Oxnard, near Santa Cruz island on Sunday morning about 1 a.m. The vessel was initially detected by a Coast Guard maritime patrol aircraft.
Coast Guard officials say the cutter deployed its small boat which approached the vessel. Law enforcement officials tell ABC News the panga boat was operated by Mexican Nationals carrying marijuana. Coast Guard officials say the panga boat sped directly towards the small boat and struck it before fleeing the scene.
Two Coast Guard members were thrown into the water. They were immediately recovered and transported to Port Hueneme. One Coast Guard member was pronounced dead from a traumatic head injury. Ventura County chief deputy medical examiner James Baroni identifies that man as 34-year-old Terrell Horne III of Redondo Beach. The other crew member sustained minor injuries.
Twitter users are sending prayers and condolences:
— hot mess ✌️ (@PAgirl_) December 3, 2012
Prayers. RT @AP: BREAKING: US Coast Guard member dies in crash with smuggler's boat off Southern California coast -RJJ
— Rebecca Johnson (@johnsonr) December 3, 2012
— Military Support (@MilitaryyyGirl) December 3, 2012