Waskom, TX Air Crash, May 1953

Woman is Lone Survivor of Air Crash in Texas Fatal to 19

WASKOM, Tex. AP-- Investigators hoped today the lone survivor of an airliner crash which killed 19 persons might provide a clue to what caused the disaster.

Mrs. Hazel Cox, 81, was the only one to survive the crash of the Delta-Chicago and Southern DC-3 six miles west of here Sunday. She suffered multiple injuries and was in no condition to be questioned immediately.

The pilot, co-pilot and hostess and 16 passengers, including a two-months-old baby, were killed when the plane, en route from Dallas to Atlanta, crashed and exploded in a heavy rain and hail storm in a swampy pine forest.

Civil Aeronautics Authority and Civil Aeronautics Board investigators worked under searchlights early today to learn the cause of the accident.

The pilot had checked with the airport at Marshall, Tex., 20 miles west of where the plane crashed, and reported everything normal. He radioed the control tower at Shreveport, La., 20 miles east of where the crash occurred, about 16 minutes before the crash and asked for landing instructions.

The plane was scheduled to make a routine landing at Shreveport. The tower gave him the instructions but heard nothing more from the plane.

The DC-3 sheared the tops from trees for 300 or 400 yards. The part of the plane from the door to tail was not destroyed, but the rest burned to a skeleton.

Mrs. Cox was taken to Kahn Memorial hospital in Marshall with a broken leg and head injuries. Physicians said she may also have broken ribs.

She told Dr. Roger Harman that she woke from a nap as the plane clipped the tops of trees, rolling over and over.

"Mrs. Cox said she had fallen asleep--it was raining heavily," Harmon said. "When she woke up, the plane was going over and over. She was in a puddle with a man who was dying. She saw the flames . . . heard people screaming."

Her husband, Air Force S-Sgt. J.W. Cox of Panama City, Fla., had been sent to Jackson, Miss., en route to Camp Kilmer, N.J., from where he was to go overseas. Mrs. Cox was flying from Albuquerque, N. M., to Jackson for a final visit.

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The Daily Register, Harrisburg, Illinois, 18 May 1953