Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dive into Huron fatal to Roosevelt student

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on May 31, 1929.

George Yates, 19 year old Roosevelt High School junior, was drowned while diving in the Huron River two miles north of here at 6 o’clock Thursday Evening—the first tragedy of the season in this vicinity. The youth dived from a railroad bridge and evidently was caught in an undercurrent which pulled him below the surface before a party of friends nearby noticed his disappearance.

There other youths were swimming with the victim, Donald Hathaway, 746 Lowell St., a graduate of Roosevelt High School and a former schoolmate, and two friends form Detroit.

They had been in the cold water for nearly three-quarters of an hour, parents of one of the boys said they had learned today and it was believed that the that young Yates was seized with cramps after he had dived into a strong undercurrent which pulled him under.

The other boys discovered him struggling in the water a few moments after he dived, and the Hathaway youth attempted to drag him from the water, only to have him swept away in the current as he struggled free from his rescuer’s grasp.

Deputy Sheriffs were summoned to the scene of the tragedy and formed a rescue party which finally recovered the body after it had been in the water one hour and 37 minutes. A huge crowd gathered on the banks of the river within a few minutes as the pulmotor, recently installed at the local fire station, was rushed to the scene to be put into use for the first time in attempts to resuscitate the youth.

Use of the pulmotor and artificial respiration methods were abandoned after nearly 45 minutes of effort under the direction of a local physician.

George was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Yates, 418 W. Cross St. Besides the parents, he is survived by two brothers, Samuel L. and Mark, both at home, and four sisters, Mrs. B W. Harris, Fenton, Mrs. Valda Lindke, Detroit, Mrs. Lyman Barkham and Miss Helen Yates, both at home.

Funeral services are to be held Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the home and burial will be in Highland Cemetery.

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