Everglades, FL Private Plane Crashes, May 1959


West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP) - Aviation authorities went into the Everglades today to study the wreckage of a single-engine plane that apparently disintegrated in flight, killing four Orangeburg, S.C. men.
The plane left Key West at 7:40 a.m. (EST) Thursday on a flight to Orangeburg and met disaster 225 miles from the starting point.
It fell in a swampy area 25 miles northwest of West Palm Beach and six miles southeast of the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Plant.
"The plane apparently came apart in the air," said Deputy Sheriff Sam Quincy. "We couldn't find the tail assembly or the right wing."
Dead were:
R. S. McCANTS, JR., 34, general manager of a feed company.
JOHN LANE, JR., 34, who worked with McCANTS.
J. M. NEWBORNE, 34, insurance broker.
EUGENE RICHARDSON, about 40, a garage man.
Two bodies were wedged in the wreckage and workmen had to use axes and shears to cut them out. Another was about 200 feet in front of the wreckage and the other 200 feet to the rear.
A Coast Guard helicopter from Miami made four trips into the swamp to air lift the bodies two miles to State Road 706.
Quincy said there were no landing marks at the scene of the crash and the Beechcraft Bonanza apparently ran into trouble in the air.
First word of the crash was brought to the Pratt & Whitney plant by Lloyd L. (Lucky) Hargraves and his son, Jack, who were fishing from a swamp buggy when they sighted the wreckage. The swamp buggy is a rugged, big-tired vehicle used to travel in the swampy Everglades.
Sheriff John F. Kirk of Palm Beach County personally directed operations at the scene.

The Index-Journal Greenwood South Carolina 1959-05-29