Elyria, OH Airplane Crash, Apr 1928


ELYRIA, April 30.----(INS)---GERALD MILLER, 19, and MYRON KELLEY, 21 both of Elyria are dead today, victims of a crashing airplane.

The youths, who had been riding in MILLER's by-plane, purchased second hand only two weeks ago, were trapped in the wreckage 8 miles south of here Sunday when the plane went into a tail spin, zigzagged to earth and burst into flames, according to witnesses.

It was impossible to get within 15 feet of the burning place immediately following the crash. Coroner Myles Perry of Lorain county, was told, and it was 20 minutes before volunteers could reach the bodies which were charred almost beyond recognition.

Mansfield News, Mansfield, OH 30 Apr 1928



Plane Goes Into Nose Dive at Two Hundred Feet Elevation, Blazing Plane Sets Fire to Woods, Tragedy is Shock to Families and Entire City.

An airplane accident in which two persons lost their lives occurred at Stop 19, Grafton road on the Ralph Ives farm near LaPorte, Sunday afternoon at 3:30 when two Elyria youths met death in man's invention to conquer time and space. The two boys, MYRON KELLEY, 21, of 435 8th street, and GERALD MILLER, 19, of 630 East avenue were killed when the Curtiss biplane owned by MILLER crashed to the ground in a nose dive from a heighth[sic] of 200 feet. The plane pinned the two boys underneath and catching fire burned their bodies beyond recognition.

Several spectators saw the accident but were unable to give aid to those trapped in the blazing plane.

MILLER, it is understood, was giving instruction to KELLEY who had already received one and one half hours of tutelage. The plane known as the "Jenny" type had dual control and observers believe that one of the boys became excited and "froze" to the stick making control impossible. It was stated after the accident occurred that the boys were attempting a left bank, the most difficult turn to make. The smash was witnessed by James W. Miller, GERALD's 17 year old brother.

One witness to the accident told Coroner Myles Perry that the plane stopped in mid-air, quivered for a second and then shot, propeller forward, to the ground.

MILLER was just about to apply for a pilot's license. He had taken up aviation last summer and at that time had taken lessons at Berea. It is understood that he purchased the plane a second-hand machine this spring.

Carl Vanderveer, Harwood street who has a hangar and a plane on Grafton road where MILLER kept his plane, stated last night that he had just returned from a flight and had seated himself on the running board of his car as men were pouring gasoline into the tank of the plane when he heard someone shout, "look there." Vanderveer declared he looked up just in time to see the machine come crashing to earth.

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