Chicago, IL Auto Plunges Into River, Dec 1931
NINE DIE AS AUTO DROPS INTO RIVER.
PARTY RETURNING FROM CHURCH MEET DISASTER AS DRIVER TURNS CAR.
Chicago, Jan. 1 -- (INS) -- The words "Happy New Year" held nothing but bitter mockery today for JAKE SCHILLER, sole survivor of automobile tragedy that claimed nine lives including those of his wife and three young children.
Shaken by his terrifying experience, SCHILLER, a 36-year-old sailor, recounted to police the story of a New Year's Eve church expedition whose reverence and happiness were swiftly transformed into grim disaster when an automobile, bearing two families, slid backwards into the Calumet River.
Of the nine who were plunged to their deaths, six were children.
The victims were:
JOHN POSTMAN, 38, of New Era, Mich.
MRS. RECA POSTMAN, 38, his wife.
Their children: CLARENCE, 3; HOWARD, 8, and MILDRED POSTMAN, 11.
MRS. LENA SCHILLER, 29, wife of the only survivor.
Her children; LOUISE, 3; ARLENE, 5, and SHIRLEY, 7.
After raking the river bottom for hours police and fire department squads early today succeeded in raising the sunken automobile with a hige crane. Positions of the victims' bodies told a mute story of a futile battle to pry loose the tightly shut doors of the sedan.
All of the victims, with the exception of SCHILLER, were trapped in the closed car when it fell off the edge of a boat slip. SCHILLER was saved from a watery grave because he rode on the running board of the machine. Nevertheless, he made a valiant attempt to rescue the entrapped persons.
The two families were returning from church services last night. POSTMAN, who was driving, momentarily lost his way as the machine approached the dege of the slip. He was turning the car around, when suddenly the rear wheels rolled off the edge and the vehicle plunged into the river.
Chester Times Pennsylvania 1932-01-01