Irvin, WA Private Plane Crashes, Aug 1955


Spokane (AP) -- A man and woman were killed early Thursday morning when their light plane smashed into a rocky point near the suburban community of Irvin, east of here.
The dead pilot was identified by sheriff's officers as B. F. (BILL) GAGE, 33, operator of a private flying service, and the woman as his wife, FRANKIE LEE, by relatives from North Idaho at the funeral parlor.
The couple was apparently flying into Felts Field, where GAGE operated his business, from Kellogg, Idaho.
The plane struck a well-known Spokane Valley landmark, known at Riblet's Point and Tramway Hill, and then fell onto rocks at the base of the sheer cliff at about 2:35 a.m. Officers had difficulty locating the wreckage in the darkness and then were delayed in removing the bodies.
GAGE was thrown clear of the plane, officers said, while the woman's body was pinned in the wreckage. A wrecker trucker was used to lift the bodies to the top of the cliff, from where they were taken to Spokane.
Workers, switching freight cars in a cement plant below the cliff, witnessed the crash and later aided officers, by way of short wave radio sets, in locating the wreck.
GAGE, a former Kellogg resident was reported visiting relatives there Wednesday. He told employes at Felts Field he planned to return to Spokane late Wednesday or early Thursday.

Daily Chronicle Centralia Washington 1955-08-11