Passenger Dies in Stunt Plane Crash

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Some interesting points from this 1924 newspaper report: You had to drive through lots of open country to get from Dallas to Lewisville, automobiles were still new enough to be generically called "machine" instead of car, and World War I didn't need a numerical reference at the time.

 Passenger Killed; Pilot Hurt In Fall 
 Dallas Morning News
 Sept. 8, 1924
 

Owen Meadows Dies After Flying Ship Crashed Near Lewisville

 

Owen Meadows, about 23 years old, who lived near Lewisville, a passenger, was killed almost instantly and J.L. Browning, 28, of Fort Worth, pilot, was hurt painfully when Browning’s plane went into a nose dive three miles south of Lewisville late Sunday afternoon. The machine is a total wreck.

Browning, who is associated with W.G. Wood, for some time has been taking up passengers in and around Lewisville for short flights. Meadows, his passenger on Sunday, had had some lessons in flying a machine, and had requested Browning to do some stunt flying, according to the story told in Baylor Hospital in Dallas by Browning to his partner, Wood.

Machine Flying Low.

“The machine was flying low, about 100 feet from the ground,” Mr. Wood, who was a spectator, said. “My partner tells me that Meadows suddenly ‘froze the stick,’ that is, in a moment of excitement, he held on to the controller too tightly. The machine then went into a nose dive.”

When spectators reached the spot, they found Meadows dying, his head and chest crushed by the weight of the engine, under which he was lying. Browning, who was in the rear seat, was found to have sustained a broken rib, dislocated hip and numerous bruises. His condition is not serious.

Browning lives at 616 Woodrow Street, Fort Worth, and is married. His wife left for Dallas upon receipt of news of the accident. Browning formerly was connected with the Browning Paint and Auto Works of Fort Worth.

Witnessed by Hundreds.

The accident was witnessed by several hundred people among them being J. Diehm, 3811 Colonial Street, Dallas; his wife, two daughters and his son-in-law, O.J. Van Valin, also of Dallas. In describing the accident Mr. Diehm said:

“We were in our machine, on our way to Denton, when we stopped to observe the machine flying. My son-in-law, Mr. Van Valin, who was a pilot in the World War, suddenly turned to me and said: ‘Father, that machine is flying mighty low; that fellow couldn’t land right if anything happened.’

“Just a few moments after this remark was made, we saw the ship fall.”