Thomas McKiniry drowns

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Thomas McKiniry drowns - discussed'"and""tBen:'dIs-' attor- a...
discussed'"and""tBen:'dIs-' attor- a U.S.-Brit-ish Thomas McKiniry, 15, Loses His Life In Deep Water Hole By HANK NARROW The murky depths of a lonely stripping hole claimed the life of a Jeddo teenager yesterday afternoon. Fifteen-year-old Thomas M. McKiniry, son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis X. McKiniry, House 8, Jeddo No. 5, drowned while swimming with a companion in the abandoned stripping, one-and-a-quarter miles south of Jeddo in Foster Township. Danny Verbonitz, 16-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Ver bonitz, 10 Highland St., Jeddo, accompanied McKiniry to the stripping area at 1:10 o'clock. About 20 minutes later, McKiniry, reported to be a novice swimmer, yelled for help. Verbonitz reacted instinctively and tried to pull the McKiniry boy to shore. Verbonitz grabbed the boy by the hair, but his grip slipped and McKiniry went under. Verbonitz then ran to McKiniry's father for help. The elder McKiniry immediately drove to the swimming site. The father, himself not a strong swimmer, made a futile effort to locate his son. The- uteeland ambulance was summoned to the scene. The am bulance crew, headed by Tom Braddock, Joe Berger and Joe Stepansky, notified the Hazleton Citizens Band Radio Club which handled all communications throughout the recovery procedure. Upon arrival at the scene, Brad- dock also made an attempt to re trieve the body; however, his ef fort was retarded by the extreme cold and poor visibility of the water. Braddock noted that, as a youngster, he swam in the same waters and that children have been doing so for the past 30 years, The Hazleton Rescue Squad was contacted at 2:15 p.m. by the radio club. Supervisor Richard Ziegler ordered that no one enter the water in fear the rising mud would interfere with the rescue operation. Scuba divers William Stauffer, of Hazleton, and Francis Kelly, of Conyngham, proceeded by boat to the site Verbonitz described as the last place young McKiniry was seen. The body was recovered at 4:35 p.m. in six feet of water at the location pinpointed by Ver bonitz. The body was discovered shortly after the scuba divers were able to leave their jobs and attire properly for the operation. Kelly said the body was caught between jagged rocks on the stripping floor. ' It should be noted that the scuba divers constitute a volunteer organization whose members supply their own equipment and, in this case,- had to be summoned from their jobs. The Freeland ambulance removed the body to the State General Hospital where Deputy Luzerne County Coroner Ronald C. Fierro conducted an examination. He attributed death to asphyxiation due to accidential drowning. No autopsy will be performed. Investigating the drowning were Sgt. Joseph S. Kunowski of the State Police and Detective Howard Spaide, of the Spaide Detective Agency, Drifton. The state policergBorte that two area mine companies the Jeddo-Highland Coal Co. and an unidentified firm are trying to determine on whose land the strips ping is located. The state police at this time do not know if any mine stripping ordinances have been violated by the water-filled strip ping hole. The water hole, known to Jeddo residents as "Bluie," is said to cover an abandoned mining (Continued on Page 15, Column 4)

Clipped from
  1. Standard-Speaker,
  2. 03 Jul 1968, Wed,
  3. Early Edition,
  4. Page 1

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  • Thomas McKiniry drowns

    sjburgess – 02 Feb 2016

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