Chester, IL Automobile Accident, June 1971
Carlton is a retired superintendent of schools in Randolph County. He said he stopped a passing truck and asked the truck driver to call the Chester police.
Clarence Alms, Chester police chief, was among the first at the scene.
"One girl was clinging to a limb near where the car went into the water," Alms said. "Someone from the nearby Cole Milling Co. brought a rope and the girl put it around her waist and we brought her in."
The other girl who survived reached shore near the mill. Employes from the mill pulled her from the water, according to Alms.
The car was impounded Saturday by Randolph County Coroner Vernon Dasher. The car was not available for inspection.
Police Chief Alms said that something apparently went wrong with the car's steering.
"We think MRS. CLARK had some brakes. We won't really know what happened until the vehicle has been inspected," he said.
A mark on Water Street is believed by police to have been caused by a part handing down from the station wagon.
The station wagon was found near the point of impact about 100 feet from shore and embedded in mud up to the hubcaps.
The Chester civil defense unit, the Chester rescue squad and the Carbondale emergency squad dragged the river for the vehicle and the bodies of the missing girls.
About 7 p.m. divers from the Cahokia Civil Defense underwater recovery team arrived and began searching for the vehicle.
About 9 p.m. a group of divers from St. Louis, Mo., arrived but the car was found before they went into the water.
A Cahokia diver said DEBORAH CANADY'S foot was wedged in the back seat when she was found.
A human line was formed to carry the two bodies on stretchers up the 10-foot embankment.
Walter McCauley, captain of the Cahokia diving team, estimated the current at five miles an hour.
"We had to hold onto rocks down there because the current was so swift. The water was so muddy, we couldn't see our hands before our face," McCauley said.
The car is reported to be heavily damaged, with all but the back window broken out.
Southern Illinoisan Carbondale 1971-06-13