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Subject: The 1964 plane crash that injured Ted Kennedy

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Date Posted: Thursday, March 14, 11:46:35am
In reply to: . 's message, "Congressional bio" on Thursday, March 14, 11:42:16am

On June 19, 1964, Bayh, his wife, Senator Ted Kennedy and legislative aide Edward Moss were on a small plane that crashed near Springfield, Massachusetts. The group was flying from Washington National Airport to the Massachusetts Democratic party's convention, where Bayh was to be the keynote speaker. Senators Bayh and Kennedy were delayed by a vote to pass the Civil Rights Act, which had been held up by a filibuster.

At approximately 11 p.m., the plane descended through heavy fog and crashed into an apple orchard. Bayh suffered muscular trauma and his wife fractured two vertebrae, but they were able to walk out of the wreckage. Kennedy was seriously injured, fracturing three vertebrae, breaking ribs and puncturing a lung, while Moss and the pilot, Edwin J. Zimny, suffered fatal injuries. Thrown to the front of the plane, Kennedy could not move from his waist down and could not reply to Bayh's calling, "Is there anybody alive up there? Is anybody alive?" Bayh smelled gas and thought the plane might catch fire and explode, so he went back into the fuselage to check for survivors.

At this point, Kennedy called out, "I'm alive, Birch!" and Bayh pulled Kennedy out of the plane to safety. Bayh went back again to check on Moss and Zimny, but they were non-responsive. Bayh and his wife then walked to the road to call for help.

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