Dallas, TX Courier Plane Hits School, Sep 1967
CRASH KILLS 8 AS PLANE HITS DALLAS SCHOOL.
STUDENTS EMPTY BUILDING SHORTLY BEFORE ACCIDENT.
Dallas, Tex. (AP) -- A company courier plane crashed in flames into an empty school-room Wednesday 50 feet from a faculty meeting, killing all eight of the plane's occupants, police said.
Highland Park Police Chief W. H. Naylor said he believed one of the dead was an employe of the company and the other seven were military personnel. As he spoke, thinking all the bodies were counted, more human remains were found in the wreckage.
Only one victim was identified immediately:
VERNER DENMAN, JR., 45, the pilot, of Greenville, Tex.
Just 20 minutes before the Ling-Temco-Vought Electrosystems plane hit Bradenfield Elementary School, all the students had been let out early for the teachers meeting. Ordinarily, hundreds of students would have been inside.
The company said the plane had come from its Greenville, Tex., plant, picked up one passenger from an LTV operation in Garland and was bound for Love Field. It crashed 1 1/4 miles short of the runway.
The principal said he was positive there were no students killed or injured. "ROBERT BASS was the only person on this side of the band building as far as I can tell," he said. The principal said the 11 year old dropped his baseball equipment and ran to safety.
"Had it been any day but Wednesday, this would have been terrific," said principal William T. Bryant. "There wouldl have been 40 to 50 children milling around out there in that particular area."
After poking its wing through a band room window, the wreckage plopped in the bicycle yard behind the school. A sixth grader said he watched the plane, aflame and with one bent wing, careen crazily into the building.
Highland Park and University Park sent all of their fire equipment and quickly extinguished the fire. The "Park Cities" are independently chartered cities surrounded by Dallas.
The plane was coming in for a landing at Love Field, the city's airport. The control tower there said it had no information that anything was amiss.
MRS. JOE HERTZ, an eyewitness said she was about three blocks away.
"When I noticed the plane, I thought it was a strange looking new jet. One of the wings was completely back. Then it started to spiral."
MRS. HERTZ added, "When I first noticed it, the wing was already bent back. It looked like someone had folded it. There was no explosion. I just saw the smoke."
She said, "The plane must have been in trouble long before that (her sighting of it)."
"You see that hole in the street?" Chief Naylor said. "That's where the plane first hit, and then it richocheted and hit this tree on the school ground and then slammed into the band hall and disintegrated."
As the plane went down, a wing hit an auto being driven by MAURICE MARTIN, a truck driver. "I didn't hear anything, but I felt something," said the shaken MARTIN.
"Evidently, the wing hit the back of my car and pushed me 50 feet up the road and into this yard. My door flew open and the plane blew up about the time my foot touched the ground."
Naylor placed the time of the crash at 3:30 p.m. Usually classes are dismissed on a staggered basis between 3:15 and 3:45 Wednesdays, however, is faculty meeting day and all children are released at 3:10.
List of Victims:
VERNER DENMAN, JR., 45, civilian pilot, Greenville, Tex.
N. E. CHAPPELL, 32, civilian research scientist, Fort Worth, Tex.
Maj. JACK H. CULP, SR.
Capt. DONALD COOK.
Capt. ANTHONY G. LUCEY.
M. Sgt. KENNETH P. KENNEDY.
M. Sgt. JULIUS B. LEE.
The military were all members of the Dover AFB, Delaware Air Ferrying Group, and lived in the Dover, Delaware area.
Advocate Victoria Texas 1967-09-28