Columbia, SC Private Plane Crash, Feb 1928


Columbia, S.C., Feb. 18. -- An aviator's nerves gave way in a hospital tonight, 12 hours after his plane had crashed and killed two 17-year-old girls who went up with him for their first airplane ride.
"I begged them not to go up; it wasn't my fault,"
DON DEIGEL sobbed.
ALMA HOPE and MILDRED ROGERS, high school girls, were the victims. They went out to the state fair grounds this morning with Mrs. Rogers and some friends.
DEIGEL runs an airplane livery. He said tonight, his face swathed in bandages from cuts he received in the crash, that he tried his best to persuade the two girls to wait for another time.
A heavy wind was blowing and flying conditions were bad.
But DEIGEL took them up. He sent his plane once over the city of Columbia.
As he flashed by a light tower of the Southern Railway, witnesses saw the plane swerve and hit the structure.
It dropped and burst into flames. The bodies of both girls were burned beyond recognition. DIEGEL was thrown clear and suffered only minor injuries.

Oakland Tribune California 1928-02-19