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Grapevine, TX Jet Crash Claims 130 Lives, Aug 1985

Jetliner crash 8-2-1985.jpg Jetliner crash site 8-2- 1985 2.jpg Jetliner crash plane 1985-08-02.jpg



Grapevine, Texas (AP) -- A Delta Air Lines jumbo jet carrying 160 people crashed and exploded Friday during a heavy thunderstorm on its final approach to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, killing about 130 people, officials said.
The Lockheed L-1011, Flight 191 from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Los Angeles with a stop here, struck two cars on a highway and decapitated a driver before slamming into a field and bursting into flames, witnesses said.
At least 32 people were injured, including a person not on the plane, hospital officials said. Twenty-four passengers and three flight attendants are known to have survived, said Matt Guilfoyle, a Delta spokesman.
"We're still trying to get bodies out" of the wreckage about a quarter mile from the runway said Armond Edwards, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board.
Linda Harrison, a records secretary at the Dallas County Medical Examiner's office, said the office's chief investigator, who was at the crash site, told her about 130 people were killed.
"We've received about 20 (bodies) so far," she said. "I understand a lot of the bodies are in fragments."
The three-engine jet crashed between 6:05 p.m. and 6:08 p.m. CDT, said Jerry Cooper, a Delta spokesman. Guilfoyle said the plane carried 149 passengers and 12 crew members. Earlier, in Atlanta, Delta spokesman Jim Ewing said there were 149 passengers and 11 crew members -- a total he repeated when asked about Guilfoyle's startement.
The plane crashed in heavy rain north of the runway at the airport midway between Dallas and Fort Worth, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Dennis Feldman in Washington, D.C.
There was no immediate official explanation for the crash, but Jack Barker, an FAA spokesman in Atlanta, said witnesses told the FAA lightning hit the plane on its final approach. Barker also said it isn't known whether wind shear -- an abrupt change in wind direction and speed -- was involved in the crash.
The flight and cockpit recorders -- the so-called black boxes that record information about the flight and are designed to survive crashes -- were recovered, said Edwards.
Misty fog shrouded the field as dense smoke streamed from the charred hulk of the jet. Wreckage ranging from 6 inches to 8 feet was scattered over several hundred yards. The tail section, with engine, was the largest recognizable piece.
"The plane was coming in real low. I saw the nose hit a car on the highway," said Robert Braden, who was on the 10th floor of an airport hotel.
He said the plane bounced over a field, clipped one or two water tanks and skidded across tarmac into a muddy, grassy field.
"It went into a ball of flame," said Braden. "The back end caught on fire and skidded across the ground."
Jerry Maximoff, an employee at Zantop International Airlines, Inc., who was working on a plane about 200 yards from the crash, said he talked to a survivor.
"He said he was sitting in the tail, smoking a cigarette. It felt like the crew was maneuvering the plane left to right, then the next thing he knew he felt a bump, than all of a sudden he was upside down in his seat," Maximoff quoted the survivor as saying.
"He unhatched his belt and dropped down and ran out to the field," said Maximoff. "It looked like he only had a scratch on his back."
"I heard the low-flying jet. I did not see lightning. All I could feel was a heavy gust of wind coming in behind the plane and the plane itself in sight, exploding," said Tony Maza, another witness.
"It looked like it was making a normal approach to the airport," said another witness, David Bradbury.
Anthony Rogers said he was headed west on Highway 114 near the airport when the plane hit his car and then another.
"The rain was so hard you couldn't see 30 foot in front of you," he said in an interview with Cable News Network. "All of a sudden it seemed like (my car) just caught a tire, a glimpse of a tire and a big jolt, just bounced my car."
"I pulled over and tried to gain myself, and I got out and walked over toward this other car and saw the guy had been taken out of it, and he was like 30 feet from his car. He was decapitated..."
Rogers said he then looked back for the plane and saw "a big explosion ... the ball of fire and the mushroom cloud."
"We have not been able to identify anybody yet," said Ewing. He said Delta had a tentative list but would not immediately release names. The pilot, co-pilot and flight engineer were based in Atlanta, and the cabin crew was based in Miami, he said.
"The major thing right now is taking care of the families involved first," said Ewing.
Delta has 38 Lockheed L-1011s, said Ewing. The planes seat 243 to 302 people, depending on the configuration of seats, and normally land at about 150 mph.
"The L-1011 is a marvelous aircraft. It's incredible to me that anything like this would happen," said Ewing.
Barker, the FAA spokesman in Atlanta, said lightning had "hurt airplanes before; it's a very rare occurrence when that happens, but I wouldn't want to rule out anything at this point -- that is what the board (National Transportation Safety Board) will be out there to determine."
He said Dallas-Fort Worth Airport has equipment to detect wind shear, but "whether wind shear was a problem or not, of course again we don't know at this point ..."
Wind shear is caused by microbursts sudden and intense downward blasts of cool air from bottoms of clouds that often occur during thunderstorms. It has been blamed in 16 airliner accidents in the last 20 years, the most recent one being the crash of Pan Am Flight 759 July 9, 1982, that killed 154 people in Kenner, La., outside New Orleans.
Barker said "everything that can be done is done by the airlines, and by the National Weather Service, and by FAA to keep aircraft out of known thunderstorms. Just what happened and why the aircraft was there this time, of course, is what will be determined by the board."

Delta Air Lines list of survivors and their conditions:
AMATULLI, JENNY (flight attendant) 35, Miami, Fla. Fractured neck, leg and ankle, Harris Hospital-HEB. Stable.
ROBINSON, WENDY (flight attendant) 23, West Palm Beach, Fla. Northeast Hospital. Good.
CHAVIS, VICKIE (flight attendant) 29, Miami Lakes, Fla. Northeast Hospital. Good.
MARSH, ELIZABETH, 36, Deerfield Beach, Fla. Northeast Hospital. Fair.
COKE, PAUL, 62, Sun City West, Ariz. Second-degree burns, fractured leg. Harris Hospital-HEB. Serious.
DeWITT, MARK, no age, Dallas. Arm injury. Released from Parkland Hospital.
EDWARDS, ANNIE, no age, Pompano Beach, Fla. Released from Parkland Hospital.
FORD, KATHY, 35, Forth Worth, Texas. Burns. Burn unit, Parkland Hospital. Critical.
FREEMAN, GREGORY, 46, Boca Raton, Fla. Back and neck injuries. Irving Hospital. Good.
GARCIA, ANITA, 23, Miami, Fla. Northeast Hospital. Critical.
GOLDBERG, JEAN, 75, Pompano Beach, Fla. Northeast Hospital. Critical.
GOODKIN, ANDREA, 16, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Fractured leg and foot, abrasions, bruises. Harris Hospital-HEB. Fair.
GREENE, GILBERT, no age, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Released from Parkland Hospital.
HARRIS, RON, no age, Oklahoma City. Northeast Hospital. Critical.
KATZ, DEBBIE, 40, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Head and neck injuries. Parkland Hospital. Serious.
KATZ, ROBERT (husband of DEBBIE KATZ), 42, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Parkland Hospital. No condition.
KELLER, ALVIN, 36, Henderson, Nev. Burns. Transferred to Parkland Hospital. No condition.
LAPEDUS, GREGG, 23, Miami. Third-degree burns over 80 percent of the body. Transferred to Parkland Hospital. Critical.
LAVER, RICHARD, 12, Del Rey Beach, Fla. Pediatric Trauma Unit, Parkland Hospital. Serious.
LEDFORD, ESTER, no age, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Released from Parkland Hospital.
MALLOY, JOHN, 29, Redondo Beach, Fla. Eye injury. Released from Parkland Hospital.
MEIER, CHRISTOPHER (JOHNNY), no age, Temple, Texas. Lacerations. Released from Parkland Hospital.
MOORE, JOHN K., no age, Lookout Mountain, Tenn. Parkland Hospital. Fair.
SEGAL, SIDNEY, 76, West Palm Beach, Fla. Third-degree burns over 35 percent of the body, fractured pelvis and clavicle. Transferred to Parkland Hospital. Critical. (Died in hospital.)
SLUSHER, JAY, 33, Phoenix, Ariz. St. Paul Hospital. Stable.
STEINBERG, MARILYN, no age, Miami, Fla. Treated and released from Parkland Hospital.
STEINBERG, MICHAEL (husband of MARILYN STEINBERG) no age, Miami, Fla. Treated and released from Parkland Hospital.
VICICH, MARK, 60, Dallas Burns Parkland Hospital. Critical.
WERNER, LEONARD, 64, Pompano Beach, Fla. Irving Hospital. Serious.
WILLIAMS, JUANITA, 55, Pompano Beach, Fla. Released from Parkland Hospital.
WRIGHT, KATHLEEN, 49, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Serious burns, fractures. Parkland Hospital. Critical.

Delta Releases Names Of Victims.
Delta Air Lines list of crew members and passengers known dead:
Capt. EDWARD M. CONNORS, 57, Atlanta.
First officer RUDY P. PRICE, 43, Atlanta.
Second officer NICK N. NASSICK, 44, Decatur, Ga.
Flight attendants:
AGELOFF, SCOTT, West Palm Beach, Fla.
ANDERSON, TERRIE, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
ANDERSON, CURTIS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
BAILIE, RONALD, San Fernando Valley, Calif.
BANER, MS. DIEDRE, San Francisco.
BANER, ELLEN, San Francisco.
BARNES, JOANNE, Delray Beach, Fla.
BARNES, KARA, Delray Beach, Fla.
BARNES, MOSES, Delray Beach, Fla.
BERNSTEIN, SIDNEY, Fort Lauderdale.
BHATTI, DARSHAN, Fort Lauderdale.
BHATTI, RASHPAL, Fort Lauderdale.
BHATTI, PUSHPINDER, Fort Lauderdale.
BLOCH, MARK, Fort Lauderdale.
BOCKELOO, JACK, Fort Lauderdale.
BOCKELOO, PAT, Fort Lauderdale.
BROWN, CINDY, Belle Flower, Calif.
BROWN, GENEVIEVE, Hollywood, Fla.
BROWN, JESSIE, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
CAPRIELIAN, ARTHUR, Oakland Park, Fla.
CAPRIELIAN, PRANSY, Oakland Park, Fla.
CASSEDY, KEVIN A., Laguna Beach, Calif.
CHATFIELD, VIRGIE, Boynton Beach, Fla.
CHERKAS, ANNIE, West Palm Beach, Fla.
CHERKAS, MYER, West Palm Beach, Fla.
COLLEY, MARY K., Dallas.
DAHL, STEVE, Sandy, Utah.
DOYLE, DEANNA, 25, Amarillo, Texas.
EDELMAN, MS. M., Palm Beach, Fla.
EPSTEIN, MIKE, Boston, Mass.
ESTRIDGE, PHILLIP D., Boca Raton, Fla.
ESTRIDGE, MARY ANN, Boca Raton, Fla.
FABRIELLO, JOE, Laguna, Calif.
FIELDS, CHRISTOPHER, Beverly Hills, Calif.
FIELDS, RACHAEL, Beverly Hills, Calif.
FLANAGAN, CHARLES, Hollywood, Fla.
FRAZER, BEVERLY, Parker, Calif.
GOLDBERG, ALBERT, Fort Lauderdale.
GOLDMAN, MAX, Fort Lauderdale.
GUFFY, GLENDA, Coconut Creek, Fla.
GUTERMA, MARC, Mesa, Colo.
HANCOCK, JEAN C., Half Moon Bay, Calif.
HASELHORST, CHARLES J., Hermosa Beach, Calif.
HIRONAKA, AIMEE, Monterey Park, Calif.
HIRONAKA, ANNE, Monterey Park, Calif.
HOOKE, RAMON, Tustin, Calif.
HUNTER, KYLE, Salt Lake City.
IBAR, FRANCISCO, San Antonio, Texas.
JONES, LARRY, Los Angeles.
KAISER, KATHRYN, Fort Lauderdale.
KATZ, SETH, Los Angeles.
KERR, ROSS, Piedmont, Calif.
KLEIN, ALEX, Fort Lauderdale.
KLEIN, MRS. ALEX, Fort Lauderdale.
KNICKER, JANE, Deerfield Beach, Fla.
KOLE, THOMAS S., Phoenix.
KRUGER, EARL, Long Beach, Calif.
KUJAWA, JOHN, Plantation, Fla.
LACKEY, WILLIAM, Little Rock, Ark.
LAMBSON, SYLVIA, Fort Lauderdale.
LAVER, IAN, Delray Beach, Fla.
LAWRENCE, SCOTT, Fort Lauderdale.
LEVAR, EVELYN, Fort Lauderdale.
MAHSEREJIAN, MARK, Fort Lauderdale.
MAHSEREJIAN, SUSAN, Fort Lauderdale.
MONBERG, LAWRENCE, Sea Ranch Lakes, Fla.
MOORE, DONALD, Valencia, Calif.
MOORE, FRANCIS, Sunrise, Fla.
MOORE, SUZANNE, Sunrise, Fla.
NEEL, KIM, Burbank, Calif.
O'RIELLY, KENNETH, Brisbane, Australia.
PACE, THOMAS, Boca Raton, Fla.
PHILLIPS, NIKKI, Fort Lauderdale.
PERRY, JAN, Hallandale, Fla.
POLK, SABRINA, Culver City, Calif.
PUGH, W. D., San Francisco.
REYNOLDS, PAUL, Fort Lauderdale.
REYNOLDS, BRIAN, Fort Lauderdale.
SALMON, PAUL B., 66, Whittier, Calif.
SANDER, STEVEN, Carencro, Louis.
SCHMIDT, MARY H., Fort Lauderdale.
SCHWARTZ, CURT, Oklahoma City, Okla.
SHAVER, LORRIE, Fort Lauderdale.
SHAW, EDITH, Boynton Beach, Fla.
SHAWL, CONNIE, Boca Raton, Fla.
SHEARER, VICKIE C., Bountiful, Utah.
SHEEHAN, MRS. ROBIN, Danville, Calif.
SHEEHAN, RYAN, Danville.
SHEEHAN, K. DILL, Danville.
SILVERMAN, F., Fort Lauderdale.
STRUSSE, FRAN, Santa Monica, Calif.
SULKIN, JAMESON, Colordao Springs, Colo.
SULMONETTI, JAYNE, Houston, Texas.
VERDICCHIO, BOB, Bedford, Tex.
WARNER, JEFF, Fort Lauderdale.
WENER, MRS. LEONARD, Pompano Beach, Fla.
WHITE, RON, Mesquite, Texas.
WILLIS, ANGELA, Hollywood, Fla.
WILSON, ALFRED W., Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.
WILSON, KATHLEEN, Coral Springs, Fla.
WRIGHT, DEBORAH, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
ZARNT, JULIE, Fort Lauderdale.
Killed on the ground:
MAYBERRY, WILLIAM, Vicksburg, Miss.

The Post-Standard Syracuse New York 1985-08-03
Photos courtesy of the excellent site by Mike McComb
Visit this great site.


Delta 191

I believe than the victim Beverly Frazer may have been from Parker, Colorado - not California.

My sister and I both lived in Parker, Colorado and I know that her neighbor was killed on that flight.

Jenny Ammutali

I believe strongly that I am the one that pulled Jenny from the wreckage.. Although I've never tried to contact her for personal reasons I've always wondered if she survived..

Jenny Amatulli

She survived, recovered and I believe lives in the Ft. Lauderdale area. She and Tony were a couple of my best friends.

Sabrina Polk

Sabrina was a Delta pilot, the only African-American female pilot in the Delta system. She graduated with us from USC,
and at 27 had her whole life ahead of her. Needless to say, we were all devastated when we got the news.

Beverly Frazer

Yes, I believe you are correct about Beverly being from Parker CO. I dated her through out college at CSU in the 60's and her last Christmas card in 1984 was from Parker.

Jenny amtulli

Hi, I am the guy that wrote the note about Jenny. I am 99.9% certain that I am the one that pulled her from the wreckage. It is so good to hear she survived. I never tried to contact her for personal reasons. I was 20 years old at the time and worked for the Flying Tiger Line at the time of the crash. I was one of the first 6 people to arrive to the seen. Jenny, and so many other passengers have weighed heavily on my mind ever since. Thank you for letting me know she survived. Thank you again!


Thank you for replying to my message. I am sooooo glad to hear she survived.

article | by Dr. Radut