Brattleboro, VT Plane Crash at Airfield Dedication, Aug 1922

Plane Crashes at Opening of Vermont Field; Man and Son Killed, Girl Fatally Burned

BRATTLEBORO, Vt., Aug. 18.---Two persons were burned to death and a third, a woman, probably fatally burned late today when an airplane crashed during the dedication of a new flying field here. The three were passengers in a machine quoted by B. Hughes of Mineola, L. I., who escaped with minor injuries. The dead are James Trahan of this city and his five-year-old son Norman.

Miss Evelyn Harris of Brattleboro, was burned so severely that it was believed tonight she would die. Her brother, Fred H. Harris, President of the Outing Club, which was in charge of the exercises, witnessed the accident from another airplane 2,500 feet in the air.

The crash came when four planes were in the air performing "stunts" as the final feature of the dedication program. Pilot Hughes with his three passengers had just taken off when the wing of his plane touched a treetop. The plane slewed around and went into a nose dive. In its descent it came in contact with some high-tension wires and immediately burst into flames. It fell on the bank of the West River, some distance from the flying field, at a point where there were no spectators.

The passengers were entangled in the wreckage and it was some time before help reached them. Trahan and his little son were dead when spectators of the accident reached them. Hughes was thrown clear of the plane and escaped being burned.

Governor James Hartness of Vermont, who had given an address at the exercises, was a witness of the accident, which occurred in full view of the crowd of several thousand persons assembled for the dedication ceremonies.

The New York Times, New York, NY 19 Aug 1922