Ontario, CA Private Plane Crashes, Nov 1960



Five persons, including wealthy Los Angeles businessman BOB YEAKEL, were killed last night when a small plane crashed in rainy weather into heavy traffic on the San Bernardino Freeway near Ontario, then plunged into four oncoming cars.
Dead in the crash of the red and white four-seater plane just east of the city limits of Ontario were YEAKEL, 43, who was piloting the plane, his two sons, KENNETH, 23, and ROBERT, JR., 13, and YEAKEL'S business associate, JOSEPH D. TAYLOR, 41, of Newport Beach.
The plane crashed with terrific force into an automobile traveling on the freeway. The occupant of the auto who crawled from the smashed vehicle -- his clothing in flames -- and staggered a short distance was JOSE CASTENADA, 48, an itinerant farm worker. He died two hours later at Mount San Antonio Community Hospital.
So terrific was the impact of the plane that remains of the plane victims scattered over a 150 foot area along the freeway and were mutilated so badly that it took investigators nearly six hours to make positive identification.
Sheriff's deputies said it appeared the plane exploded 25 feet off the ground, crashed into the center strip of the three-lane eastbound lane, then careened into the heavy traffic 100 yards off the Archibald avenue off-ramp.
The accident caused a mammoth traffic snarl hampering police and emergency units as huge crowds of motorists were attracted to the tragic scene.
Deputies said that about 30 minutes before the craft plunged to earth, it struck power lines near San Dimas and knocked out electrical service over a wide area.
In 1957 Yeakel unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Los Angeles against the incumbant Norris Poulson. He and his five brothers operated successful automobile and other businesses in Los Angeles and Palm Springs.
YEAKEL himself was president of Yeakel Plymouth in Downey and Compton and headed real estate enterprises in Los Angeles and Palm Springs. He reportedly was a millionaire.
He and his wife, Marjorie, had six children, five of whom were adopted.

Star-News Pasadena California 1960-11-04