Reedsport, OR Light Plane Crash, May 1959


Reedsport, Ore. (AP) -- Six persons were killed when a light plane struck a power line and crashed into the Umpqua River 15 miles east of this southern Oregon coastal town Saturday. The bodies of three were recovered Sunday.
The victims were identified as:
WILLIAM P. ROGERS, 34, the pilot, of Longview, Wash.
MRS. TED NIMMO, wife of a Reedsport policeman.
MR. and MRS. OLLIE BONG, Fort Bragg, Calif.
PATRICIA OLSON, and an infant son, also of Fort Bragg.
The bodies of MRS. NIMMO, MRS. BONG and ROGERS were recovered early Sunday. It was believed the others were carried downstream by the Umpqua's spring freshet.
The plane was en route from Longview to Fort Bragg via North Bend, an Oregon coastal town south of here.
MRS. NIMMO and MRS. BONG, sisters, were returning to their homes after attending the funeral of their father, LAWRENCE CLARK, at Woodland, Wash.
There was a heavy overcast on the coast Saturday and the pilot presumably was flying low above the Umpqua to reach Reedsport.
The two-engined plane struck some power lines stretched across the river about 200 feet above the surface. The accident apparently occurred at about 4 p.m. when outages were reported.
A repair crew went to check the area, discovered the snapped lines and a few plane sections which had floated free from the wreckage and been swept downstream.
Grappling in the river failed to bring up the wreckage. However, two Reedsport skin divers, CURTIS BAKER and MELVIN McKINNEY, found the smashed plane Sunday -- with ROGERS' body still strapped in the pilot's seat.
The BONGS were the parents of three children. Authorities have not yet been able to ascertain the names of MRS. OLSON'S relatives. The plane was owned by JAMES ROGERS, brother of the pilot.

Abilene Reporter News Texas 1959-05-11