Lake Tahoe, NV (near) Air Crash Kills 85, Mar 1964
PENINSULA DEATH TOLL NOW 12 IN TAHOE AIR CRASH.
Six more Peninsula residents have been identified as victims of the Lake Tahoe air crash.
The six bring to 12 the number of Peninsula residents who died when a Paradise Airlines Constellation smashed into a Sierra peak Sunday while approaching Tahoe Valley Airport on a "fun flight" from San Jose. Eighty-five persons were aboard. All died.
Workers began the grim task today of recovering and identifying the victims. A bulldozer cleared a path to the site. Relatives and friends of the victims have thronged into the tiny town of Minden, Nevada, and are being cared for by the 550 residents.
Now listed among the victims are:
MR. and MRS. STANLEY BUONCRISTIANI, 169 Santa Cruz Avenue, Daly City. (MRS. BUONCRISTIANI'S sister, MRS. ALICE THOMAS, of San Jose, was also on the plane).
The BUONCRISTIANIS were the parents of LISA, 9 months, and LINDA, 12, a student at Upper Colma School, Daly City. The children had been left with relatives in San Jose.
MR. and MRS. PAUL REIF, 7 Gertrude Court, East Palo Alto.
MR. and MRS. DON WILSON, 265 North Rengstorff Avenue, Mountain View.
WILSON, 29, a native of Auburn, manager of the All American supermarket in Palo Alto, formerly lived at 13 Camborne Avenue, San Carlos. He was divorced three years ago and remarried. He leaves three children -- DON, 11, KEITH, 9, and CARY, 4 -- by his first wife, now MRS. WARREN HERTING, of 2700 Coronet Bouleveard, Belmont. The children lived with their mother.
The wreckage of the four-engined plane is scattered near the top of an 8,700-foot Sierra Nevada ridge, partially covered by a mantle of snow. The nearest settlement if Minden, a Basque-German town six miles east of the crash site and seven miles south of Carson City.
Residents of the town have opened their kitchens and doors to relatives of the dead who hurried to the site.
The fire station became an information center; the Carson Valley Improvement Club became a morgue and Douglas County courthouse became headquarters for recovery posses.
While the bodies were carried out, Federal Aviation Agency and Civil Aeronautics Board investigators were to examine the crash scene in an attempt to learn why the plane crashed.
GEORGE COSTA, who hiked to the wreckage scene Monday with a companion, said he found one body with just the head exposed and nearby a white, plastic card bearing the name "HANK NORRIS." That was the pilot's name.
"We walked along the length of the plane to the tail," COSTA said.
"There was a piece of the fuselage -- it looked like the front part of the cabin -- with a window and a hand hanging from it."
A chart system, delineating sections for search for bodies, was drawn. Sheriff's officers, the coroner, FBI agents and investigators of the Civil Aeronautics Board met to study it.
Afterward a 25 member ground party planned to head up the bulldozed trail to the wreckage strewn peak to begin the grim task.
Because of the deep snows, complete recovery may not be possible.
"In the spring, when the snow has melted, we will go over the scene again to see if we've missed anything," said Sheriff GEORGE BYERS.
The victims were headed for a day at Nevada gambling casinos when the plane was caught in a blinding snowstorm.
Pilot HENRY NORRIS, 43, took his plane to the north end of the 6,228 foot high lake for a routine approach to Lake Tahoe Airport.
He radioed at 11:29 a.m. Sunday that he had spotted the lake through a break in the storm and was over the last approach marker to the airport. Two minutes later he began a message, "Flight 901 ---" Nothing more was heard.
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