Posted by Nate Goldman
on Saturday, December 16th 2023:
In Reply to: Re: December 16, 1960, DC-8 Crash In Park Slope posted by Rich in Albuquerque on Saturday, December 16th 2023:
Friday, December 16, 1960 was indeed a very sad, and tragic day, in the history of Brooklyn, which could have been prevented. The Captain of the DC-8 United jet, failed to inform air traffic control that one of his plane's transponders was not working. As a result ATC could not tell that the United jet and the TWA constellation were at the exact same altitude, and closing fast. Also, the United Captain was eleven miles off course, and was flying into the NYC metropolitan area, at an excessive rate of speed (500 knots). The TWA Constellation, which was coming from Columbus, Ohio en route to LaGuardia was not at fault. Unfortunately, the ER personnel and attending physician at Methodist Hospital failed to diagnose that Stephen Baltz had pneumonia, and were concentrating on his burns. It was the pneumonia, which ultimately caused his tragic death. There is no doubt that he would have been saved today, at a modern trauma center. The crash of the United jet into the Pillar of Fire church did not kill all of the passengers, as it was the fire, which killed them. There was one cop on the ground, who had been in combat from the Normandy invasion, into the drive into Germany, at the end of World War Two. He stated that the mental trauma which he experienced at the crash sight, at 7th Avenue and Sterling Place, was worse than what he experienced in World War Two. Sadly, the City of New York never erected a memorial to the victims of that crash. The families of the victims erected a memorial in Greenlawn Cemetery on the 50th anniversary of the crash. In addition to the fatalities on both planes, there were six fatalities on the ground, including the 90 year old caretaker of the Pillar of Fire church, a man walking a dog, another person selling Christmas trees, and a Dentist. Years ago, I spoke to two cops who were stationed at the 78th precinct, and were the first ones on the scene. One of them told me that when he called in the report of the crash, nobody believed him. It was only a few years ago, that some residents in Park Slope find some pieces from the fuselage of the United jet, near their property.
Reference ID: BK97150
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