Sacramento, CA Jet Crashes Into Ice Cream Parlor, Sep 1972

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Sacramento (AP) -- "It took one wall where the 17 kids were and just pushed it," one witness gasped after a burning plane slashed into an ice cream parlor jammed with children and their parents, killing 22 persons.

Authorities said one entire family of five died in the crash Sunday along with 12 children. Twenty-six others -- mostly children -- were injured when the privately owned F86 jet catapulted into the ice cream parlor from Sacramento's Executive Airport after participating in an air show. The plane had been converted to civilian use.

Witnesses said the plane appeared to lose power in the takeoff. It crashed on an old levee barrier at the end of the runway and hurtled across a four-lane highway.
The craft burst into flames about the time it hit three autos parked by the front entrance to the ice cream parlor. Two of the autos were rammed with the burning plane through the front of the building.

Twenty of the dead were tentatively identified as customers in the store. Two others had been seated in one of the autos crushed by the jet.

CHRISTI KIEHN, 12, of Stockton, Calif., was in FARRELL'S with her parents, four brothers and sisters and two neighbor children -- twin 3 1/2 year olds, KERRI and KRISTI FRANCIS.

She grabbed KERRI, crawled over two tables and pushed her into the arms of a man standing by a window. "Then I climbed out myself through a little bitty hole," she said.
Coroner GEORGE NIELSEN said some identifications might be delayed because the finger-prints of children usually aren't on file.

He said he had few calls from parents, possibly because some of the parents were among the hospitalized.

The pilot was identified as RICHARD BINGHAM, 36, of Novato, Calif., general manager of Spectrum Air, a corporation controlled by WILLIAM PENN PATRICK, a prominent cosmetics manufacturer.

BINGHAM was listed in satisfactory condition with fractures at Sacramento Medical Center.

A witness said a man with a pair of wire cutters ran to the blue and gold jet -- risking the flames -- and cut the pilot loose.

The witness told newsmen the pilot was crying and saying over and over again, "I'm sorry!! I'm sorry!!"

All of Sacramento's publicly and privately owned ambulances were called to the scene as rescue workers began dragging bodies from the flaming building.

A makeshift coroner's office was set up in the parking lot beside the building.

Heat from the crash charred paint on parked automobiles 60 feet away. The impact knocked over mannequins in windows at the other end of the block.

Witnesses gave contradictory accounts of when the fire started, but several said that the wings -- which contain the fuel tanks -- were severed from the rest of the craft as it roared toward the ice cream parlor.

There was no immediate comment from the National Transportation Safety Board, which sent investigators to the scene.

Store manager DICK KOSSAC said every table was filled at the time of the crash.
All of the other stores in the plush shopping center were closed or had just one or two persons each inside.



La Vine & Martin family

I went out to the cemetery today and visited the grave site of the La Vines and Martins, sat there in the grass and pondered the whole event in the sunset. I drive down Freeport Blvd quite often and every time I pass the memorial site where the crash occurred, I turn to look at the old runway which points right at it hauntingly, and I shake my head and wonder why a runway was even allowed to be in the pathway of local business. I didn't know the La Vines or Martins but my heart goes out to everyone as if it happened yesterday. I can't imagine losing my entire family. I hope your cousin and the remaining family members were able to build upon this major loss and move forward.

Ferrel crash

My mother told me some of the people killed were my distant cousins. My grandmother ,s maiden name was Lukins and these were decendents of her brothers that had moved to California from Nebraska . Does anyone have any information on that.

Negligent Pilot

A month or so prior to the crash Richard Bingham without authorization commandeered my twin engine plane which was maintained at Spectrum Aviation in Novato, California.
Bingham was the manager of the Aviation Company.
one day when I was driving into the air port, along with my pilot ,we were shocked to see my plane preparing for take off.
I quickly went to the office counter in the terminal and had the operator communicate with the pilot of my plane, which was a Trade wind, D18 conversion, that if he took off I was going to call
the police and charge him with felony theft. His flight was aborted.
Out of my plane came a large obnoxious individual who approached me and wanted to know who the hell I thought I was? That he could fly any aircraft he wanted and needed no permission.
This man was as belligerent a person I have ever met.
I wrote a letter to his boss William Penn Patrick citing the incident and suggesting to him the Richard Bingham was an irresponsible individual, an accident waiting to happen, and that he
should not have Bingham employed at Spectrum Aviation.
Shortly thereafter I received a letter from William Penn Patrick stating that he had discussed the issue with Bingham and counseled him.
The next time I went to Spectrum Aviation I discovered that my plane had been relocated, by Richard Bingham, to the center of an out of the way area surrounded by several anchored aircraft
making it impossible for me to gain access to my plane for my scheduled flight. Bingham did this in retaliation for my having written his boss regarding his attitude and comportment.
A few weeks later "Mr. Big shot" was in a hurry to depart Sacramento Airport after the show and rather than wait his turn for take off on the primary runway he brow beat the tower and requested
permission to take off from the shorter run way and caused a disaster.
He should have been thrown in jail. He was not qualified to fly the Saber in the first place. He was an arrogant fool.
My understanding is that he eventually committed suicide.

John F. Connelly Jr.

Late arrival to Farrels Ice Cream Parlor

When I was 7 years old, we had all made plans to meet there to have some ice cream after the air show, there were 3 cars from various Family members that were all supposed to meet there, for some reason everyone was delayed and arrived 10 minutes late, we met up in a nearby parking lot to see the aftermath and amazed how we were all not in the restaurant due to our delays. I told my Daughter about this and decided to look up any info on the crash and found your site. I spent 26 years in the Army as an Infantryman and 2 wars later, I'm still alive, God must have a plan for me somehow.


Farrel crash

Nine members of one family died in this crash my cousin Christine Nash (La Vine) lost her mom & dad gene & Margaret la vine, her two sons Gary & Jeffery Nash, her sister Sue and her husband tony and 3 of 4 children her niece and 2 nephews Gregory Jeanne & Shawn,, my cousin lost almost her whole family only members who survived was her little sister , and her and a nephew and they were all hospitalized with major injuries her husband fortunaly was gone out of town at the time

Was he around 2 years old ?

Was he around 2 years old ? Brandon Krier was two.. I was friends with his sister Jennfier


The only Billie I see mentioned on the memorial listed as a casualty was actually a woman. She and her husband were the older couple who were hit by a truck while crossing the street to get to the accident site minutes after it happened. She died of her injuries. I'm not a believer in ghosts, so I don't have a comment on that aspect of it other than it's possibly demonic impersonation.

Billie was a female.

Billie was a female.

Billie Gertrude Irwin

Please help me to have a closure. I purchased a house around Holford Sacramento California in 1994. I was told that the house was built in an area where it used to be an old Sacramento airport.

The house was haunted. Billie used to appear to my 4 year old son. He would play with my son, request for a cheeseburger and frenchfries. His mother had yellow hair. Could it be possible that Billie didn't have a closure and asking for help. If so, please email me. I notice that one of the person who died in this casualty was Billie Gertrude Irwin. Is this him?

There was a man who appeared to me, he was tall, built large. I did not see his face. This man was not part of Biliie's family. Please email me. Maybe we can help Billie to cross over so he can rest in peace.

I left the house in 1995, only lived in it for a total of 5 months. It was not a livable home. There were always noices, banging, things falling off the shelves. Toys getting turned on by it self as well as cabinets that made a noise as if a palm of a hand was hitting it. I'm not crazy, this truly happened to us.