Tragedy strikes at Big Bear Lake
Lightning bolt kills two children as father and brother watch from a distance, unable to help.
The family's two-week summer vacation at the cabin in Big Bear was
nearly over. Soon they would be heading back home to La Crescenta, where Bob was a manager at Los Angeles Automotive Works and his wife, Betty, was a homemaker.
On that morning, Bob took their four children down to the lake while Betty
stayed behind at the cabin about three miles away. While Bob and his son, Bob Jr., went out fishing in a boat, the other three children
played along the shore: Mark, 7; Trudy, 13; and Diana, 14.
In a moment, there was a cloudburst and the three children ran into a shed
to get out of the rain. Before Bob and his son could get to shore, a
bolt of lightning hit the shed. Mark and Trudy were unconscious and
Diana was injured. Bob put the three children into the family station
wagon and on the way to Santa Anita Hospital at Lake Arrowhead, he and
Harvey Pedersen, a teenager from nearby Fawnskin, gave mouth-to-mouth
resuscitation to two of the youngsters.
At the hospital, emergency crews from the Big Bear and Fawnskin fire departments gave the children oxygen.
Mark and Trudy were pronounced dead. Although the first day's story said
Diana was burned, blinded and partially paralyzed, doctors found her
injuries to be far less serious. According to The Times, she suffered
only a slight eye injury that would not affect her sight. Her hand,
which had been paralyzed, returned to normal, and she hadn't been
At the funeral, the Rev. Bernard Traveille of First Baptist Church of La Crescenta urged mourners "not to let our memory enshrine despair." Instead, he said "to have faith, to harbor hope that Mark and Trudy have found a better life and to have
confidence in the love of God."
Mark Lawrence Reinhard, 7, and his sister Trudy Lee Reinhard, 13, were
cremated and their remains were entombed at Grand View Memorial Park.
Bob Reinhard, who was named All-American in 1940 and 1941, was captain of
the Los Angeles Dons. He was the No. 1 draft choice of the Chicago
Cardinals in 1950 but was traded to the Rams in exchange for Bob Shaw,
Tom Keane and Gerry Cowhig. He retired in 1951 to pursue a career in
Bob Reinhard Jr. went on to play football for Stanford, where he was a punter, and he was drafted by the Packers in 1970.
More information about the problems at Grand View Memorial Park is here.
|In sports, Gil Hodges hits two home runs (Nos. 21 and 22 of the season) as the Dodgers win against the Cardinals, 7-5. Charlie Neal also hit his 22nd run of the season. |
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