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La Cañada History: 5 La Cañada men among those who perish in May 25, 1979 crash of American Airlines Flight 191

La Cañada History: 5 La Cañada men among those who perish in May 25, 1979 crash of American Airlines Flight 191
Firemen pour water on flaming wreckage of American Airlines Flight 191 DC-10 aircraft shortly after it crashed on takeoff from Chicago's O'Hare Airport on May 25, 1979. Five La Cañada residents were among the 273 fatalities. (AP)

Ten Years Ago

People from around the Foothills were celebrating the life of longtime La Crescenta resident C. Stanley “Ormly Gumfudgin” Locke, who passed away at the age of 86 on May 15, 2009. Head of the employees’ recreation department at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for several years, Gumfudgin, who went by his adopted nickname, had been a comedian, entertainer and official historian of the International Chili Society.

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Twenty Years Ago

The La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation was given a $2,500 grant from the Pasadena Junior Philharmonic Committee to refurbish musical instruments used in La Cañada Unified elementary school music programs.

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Thirty Years Ago

A fire started by fuel leaking from a car caused more than $50,000 in damages to a property on White Deer Drive. Although the vehicle was destroyed and the garage heavily damaged, no injuries were reported.

Forty Years Ago

Five La Cañadans perished when American Airlines Flight 191, bound for Los Angeles, lost a wing engine on takeoff from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and exploded after diving into a vacant field. The DC-10 carried 258 passengers and a crew of 13. Two people working at a nearby repair garage were also killed, bringing the accident’s death toll to 273. Locals killed in the tragedy were Clem Glass, 65; Dean E. Rogers, 46; Wilbur Dittmer, 48; James M. Crossley, 38 and Pieter van Berkhout, 45.

Fifty Years Ago

The steep incline of Vista Lejana Lane off of Angeles Crest Highway proved to be too much for a truck carrying 13,000 pounds of roofing equipment. It lost its brakes, rolled backward downhill and overturned on the street. The driver was credited with carefully steering the runaway to avoid ramming a house.

Sixty Years

In late May 1959 residents of the 1100 block of Green Lane, between Angeles Crest Highway and La Cañada Boulevard, reported a rash of prowler and peeping Tom incidents had been taking place on their street over a two-month period. A female witness described the voyeur as being between 40 and 45 years old and wearing horned-rimmed glasses.

Compiled from the Valley Sun archives by Carol Cormaci.

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