Chelan, WA Snow Storm and School Bus Accident, Nov 1945

Lake Chelan WASH school bus crash 11-1945 3.jpg Lake Chelan WASH school bus crash 11-1945.jpg Lake Chelan WASH school bus crash 11-1945 2.jpg


Some Survive Plunge Into Lake Chelan

Vehicle Slides Off Road Into 60 Feet of Water After Hitting Rock in Blinding Snowstorm

CHELAN, (AP) - Sixteen were drowned and five were saved when the Twenty-Five-Mile creek school bus hit a rock and dived into Lake Chelan during a blinding snow storm about nine miles north of here early Monday.

TED BROWN said his wife, GLENNA, 37, and four children saved themselves after she broke a window and they scrambled ashore. JACK RANDLE, 38, the bus driver and 15 children were lost.

Deepsea divers were dispatched from Seattle and Coulee City to aid men dragging in about 60 feet of water for the bus and its victims.

Clears Driver.
BROWN said his wife, who caught a ride on the bus to keep a dentist's engagement here, was being treated for shock at a friend's home after the ordeal. She told him no blame attached to RANDLE; that the bus was moving slowly when it hit the rock and slid out of control.

The accident happened near an emergency highway telephone installed at the site of a rock slide.

BROWN listed those rescued with his wife as:
BOB WATSON, 8 or 9 years old; DONNIE MACUY, 11; ETHEL KECK, 10; and RANDLE'S young niece, MARY.

Missing Listed
The missing, in addition to RANDLE, were listed as:
ANNE DAM, 10, and KARL DAM, 6, children of Mr. And Mrs. William Dam.
DOROTHY DAVIS, 18, and HENRY DAVIS, 16, children of Mrs. Mary Davis.
BETTY MILLER, 12, and LARRY MILLER, 8, children of Mr. And Mrs. Fred Miller.
JEAN KECK, 13, and DONNA KECK, 7, sisters of ETHEL KECK, who was among the saved. They are the children of Mr. And Mrs. Robert H. Keck.
STEWART HALE, 6, and DOUGLAS HALE, 8, children of Mr. And Mrs. Roger Hale.
LEWIS ASKLUND, 11, and his sister (name undetermined).
RUTH HAWLEY, 10; DONALD AYRES, 13, and BERNARD GILMORE, 9. BERNARD drowned after being helped through the window by MRS. BROWN.

Remembers Little
Bundled into blankets with hot water bottles, and lying in bed, MRS. BROWN related that the last she could remember between the time the bus slid into the lake and she recovered consciousness on the snowy shore, was breaking through one of the submerging bus's windows.

She could not recall how she and her four small companions got ashore nor did she know who it was who was helping her to her feet when she did recover her senses.

BROWN said all the bus occupants come from the same farm community in the Twenty-Five-Mile creek district 10 to 20 miles above Chelan, and that RANDLE had picked up virtually his entire passenger list when the accident occurred near the rock slide area.

"It's full of danger spots," he asserted. 'We've been trying to get a decent road."

First reports indicated some 40 to 50 children might have perished in the bus tragedy, but Chelan school authorities said some children who normally ride the bus were brought to school in private cars or stayed home because of the snow and highway conditions.

Walla Walla Union Bulletin Washington 1945-11-26