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Death by Seaplane, Pt. 1

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Death by Seaplane, Pt. 1
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Death by Seaplane, Pt.2: Frantz Burial
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stonehurst lodge
Man Drowned and 3 Are Hurt When Motor Boat Hits Seaplane on Lake


The Wilkes-Barre Record, Sept. 10 , 1941.

Body of Teddy Frantz, Owner of Stonehurst Development, Is recovered in 3 Hours; Aircraft Owned by Berwick Resident

Teddy Frantz, 53 of 109 Ashcy Road, Upper Darby, owner of the Stonehurst development near Alderson, was drowned and three others were injured last night when a motorboat cut through a seaplane parked about 30 feet off shore near the Girl Scout Camp at Harvey’s Lake.

Injured:

  • Ray H. Jewett, 1216 Campbell Street, Detroit, contusions of head and left shoulder.
  • Mrs. Margaret Brodhead, city, who has been at Paradise Camp, Picnic Grounds, Harvey’s Lake, minor bruises.
  • Thelma Brodhead, daughter of Mrs. Brodhead, contusions of right ribs, right arm and right shoulder with possible fracture of the right shoulder.

The drowning was the first at Harvey’s Lake this year and also turned out to be the first serious accident at the resort in the same time. Body of Mr. Frantz was recovered from about 35 feet of water about five minutes after authorities started to use the marine searchlight purchased by Luzerne County to assist in locating bodies of drowned persons. The body had been in the water four minutes less than three hours.

The seaplane, which was badly damaged, is owned by Mack A. Stogner, 1660 Second Avenue, New York City, who lives at Hotel Berwick, Berwick, and who is said to have the commissary concession at American car and Foundry Company’s plant. It had been parked off the Mainlander dock in Harvey’s Lake for about three weeks.

The plane carried License NC28426 while Mr. Stogner’s pilot license, with number 140,500, was found in the plane. Frantz, according to Chief of Police Ira C. Stevenson of Harvey’s Lake, took Mrs. Brodhead and her daughter and Jewett for a ride in his 35 hp, 20-foot motorboat early last night. Frantz, Jewett and Thelma Brodhead were riding in the front seat while Mrs. Brodhead was in the rear seat.

Ripped Through Fuselage

The motorboat hit the parked seaplane, ripped through the


fuselage, went under the aircraft and continued until it came to a stop in front of the Mailander dock.

Frantz and Thelma Brodhead were thrown out of the boat by the impact. Jewett was thrown from the middle of the front seat to the rear seat alongside Mrs. Brodhead.

Thelma Brodhead, Chief Stevenson reported, tried to grab Frantz, but he proved too heavy and she had to leave him disappear into the water. The girl swam to the Mailander dock and was assisted from the lake.

Mrs. Brodhead told police that when the boat hit the seaplane Frantz and her daughter were hurled back on each side of her with such force “It was as if somebody threw large bolts.” Mrs. Brodhead and Jewett remained in the boat until it came to a stop at the dock. The fuselage of the plane was cut in two and the windshield, spare light, flag and running lights were ripped from the motor boat.

Body Is Located

Chief Stevenson said Frantz’s wrist watch stopped at 7:44. Harvey’s Lake Police and State Police stationed at Harvey’s Lake undertook a search for Frantz’s body shortly after the crash. When the marine light was obtained from the county it was found its lights of 60 watts and 110 volts were not sufficient to properly penetrate the dark water. Patrolmen Fred Swanson and Cornelius Smith readjusted the instrument and five minutes after higher powered lights were placed and the body of Frantz was located and was pulled to the surface.

Dr. Benjamin S. Davis of Plymouth, who is living at Harvey’s Lake, pronounced Frantz dead and treated Mrs. Brodhead, Thelma Brodhead and Mr. Jewett before they went to their homes.He assisted in the search for the body with Chief Stevenson. Patrolman Fred Swanson of Harvey’s Lake Police, Corp. E.S. Dixon and Privates Frank Miller and C.J. Griggy of State Police and Herman Mailander.

Because of the warm night, hundreds of motorists were traveling around the lake and the police had great difficultly in preventing congestion near the scene of the accident.

Deputy Coroner Ralph Brickel of Dallas investigated the crash.

 

 

Copyright 2006-2007 F. Charles Petrillo