Laguna Beach, CA Marine Planes Collide, Jan 1967
PLANES COLLIDE; 1 HITS APARTMENTS; 5 ARE KILLED.
Laguna Beach, Calif. (UPI) -- Two Marine Corps A4B Skyhawk jet bombers collided during a heavy rain Sunday, then crashed through a retirement community apartment complex. Five persons, including one of the pilots, were killed and three others were injured.
The crippled aircraft smashed into adjacent, eight-unit apartment building, spewing debris and flaming fuel over a 300-foot area. Only one wall of the buildings was left standing.
Authorities said many other residents escaped death or injury because they were attending noon church services.
The civilians killed were identified as:
LEON LAUDERBACH, 76, a paraplegic.
HAROLD BERMAN, age unknown and his wife,
H. H. KENYON, 86.
The dead pilot was Capt. JAMES H. POWELL, Milford, N.J., who was attached to an East Coast reserve squadron.
Capt. POWELL successsfully ejected at about 400 feet, but suffered fatal injuries when heavy winds whipped his parachute against a cement wall at the retirement community.
The collision may have occurred because of the attack bombers' radios had stopped working the other aircraft was trying to lead in down through the blinding rain.
Chronicle Telegram Elyria Ohio 1967-01-23