(FreedomBeacon.com)- Last Thursday was the 50th anniversary of the deadly United Flight 553 crash in Chicago that killed 43 passengers and two people on the ground.
The Boeing 737 crashed on approach to Midway Airport on December 8, 1972, slamming into several homes near 70th Place and Lawndale Avenue on Chicago’s Southwest Side.
Evan Cotter Jr., who was just 12 years old at the time of the crash, told ABC7 in Chicago that he had just returned home from school and was changing his clothes to go play hockey when he heard the sound of a plane. Five seconds later, Flight 553 crashed into his neighborhood killing 43 of the 61 people on board.
Cotter said it sounded as if his neighborhood exploded.
His mother, who was in the kitchen at the time, saw the tail of the plane go by the kitchen window as it plowed through the house next door and crashed into a row of houses across the street, killing two of Cotter’s neighbors.
Cotter, who still lives on W. 70th Place, said both he and his mother would have been killed as well if the right wing that struck the back half of their home had not broken off. As it was, debris was flying everywhere, including a piece of the aircraft that flew through his sister’s bedroom window.
Cotter told ABC7 that he kept that piece of the plane in an old box for 50 years to remind him of “just how bad the experience really was.”
Among the passengers killed in the crash was the wife of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt, a CBS News national correspondent, and a US Congressman from Chicago’s West Side.
E. Howard Hunt’s wife Dorothy had been carrying $10,000 in $100 bills at the time of the crash, prompting conspiracy theories that the cash was connected to Watergate and the plane had been sabotaged.