WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The U.S. average price for regular gasoline plunged 14.8 cents to slip below $3.50 for the first time since April 14, according to a weekly government report released Oct. 8.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA), part of the Department of Energy, said in last week's report that prices had fallen for three weeks in a row. The average price was $3.484 per gallon, which was still 71.4 cents above a year ago.

The price on the East Coast fell 12 cents to $3.544 per gallon. The largest drop occurred in the Midwest, where the average price plummeted 21.6 cents. At $3.393 per gallon, the price was the lowest among the major regions. The price on the Gulf Coast tumbled 16.4 cents to $3.436 per gallon.

The price in the Rocky Mountains was down for the 11th consecutive week, slipping 10.4 cents to $3.496 per gallon. Dropping for the 15th consecutive week, the price on the West Coast fell another 7.4 cents to hit $3.568 per gallon. The price in California shrank 6.9 cents to $3.601 per gallon.