Port Townsend, WA (near) Plane Crash, Oct 1951


Port Townsend, Wash., Oct. 30. -- (AP) -- A mother, trapped upside down for 20 hours in a wrecked plane with her dead husband, told last night of watching her son die as help approached.
The mother, MRS. MAYE MORTENSEN, 33, and her daughter, KATHLEEN, 5, were pulled alive but seriously injured from the jammed-up wreckage.
Her husband, RICHARD G. MORTENSEN, 33, was killed outright in the crash, and the son, RUSSELL, 8, died many hours later. Officials said they believed the boy suffered a skull fracture.
The Seattle family crashed Sunday night on a wooded ridge near here while returning in their private plane from a visit to Bellingham 80 miles to the north. They were not located until yesterday afternoon.
Little KATHY'S first words as she was taken from the plane wreckage were: "If I could just sit down." She was trapped the entire time in a bent-over standing position.
MRS. MORTENSEN said visibility was good before the accident.
"We were just going along and suddenly I heard a big bang," she said. "That's the last thing I remember before we hit."
Officials said they believed the "bang" was when a wingtip hit a tree. The plane continued on a few hundred yards, cut a swath through trees and landed upside down in dense woods.
The wingtip was found by a farmer yesterday and the plane was located some time later. Rescuers virtually had to tear the plane apart to reach the victims. Two hours were required to free them.

Fairbanks Daily News Miner Alaska 1951-10-30