Television will air Foss car story Saturday
The story, or at least part of it, of two cars and six people that crashed into Foss Lake nearly 50 years ago will be told in prime time on the little screen Saturday night, March 30.
Motor Trend, a television network that supposedly airs on the major carriers around here, has scheduled a program about a 1952 Chevrolet that disappeared in April of 1969 and a ’69 Chevy Camaro that went missing Nov. 20, 1970. No one knew what happened to the cars or the six people in them until the big four-year drought that started in 2011 lowered the waters enough for them to be discovered on Sept. 10, 2013.
Debbie McManaman’s grandfather, Alva Porter, was believed to be driving the older car. His remains were among those of three people in it who were identified after the cars were pulled from the lake Sept. 17, 2013. The cars had been found a week earlier in about 12 feet of water by two Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers simply trying out some new sonar equipment, but there was no rush to get them out because there were no reports of missing vehicles anywhere around here anytime near the date they were discovered.
Remains of three other people were eventually identified from the Camaro as well. All were teenagers living in Sayre at the time they disappeared, although relatives of one said much of her life had been lived at Hammon.
Ms. McManaman was one of four descendants of Porter’s – three of them grandchildren like her and the fourth a son of the deceased – who donated DNA that led to his identification. She called the Clinton Daily News Monday and said producers from the Motor Trend TV program had been out last week to her home in Dill City interviewing her for an episode that will air at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30.
Unlike other stories the network has done, she said this one will run as a mystery because to this day no definite details are known about how the cars got in the lake or why they ended up side by side, although they went missing about 18 months apart and one was pointed out toward open water and the other back toward a nearby boat ramp.
The six sets of skeletal remains were identified as follows:
From the ’52 Chevy: Alva Porter of Elk City, who was 69 when he disappeared; Cleburn Hammack, 42, of Sayre; and Nora Duncan, 58, of Canute.
From the ’69 Chevy Camaro: Jimmy Allen Williams, 16, who had owned it for only six days when he and it disappeared; Leah Gail Johnson, 17; and Thomas Michael Rios, 18.
Ms. McManaman said among other people interviewed by the Motor Trend producers were former Custer County Sheriff Bruce Peoples, who was the man in charge when the remains were recovered and who is also a retired Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper, and George Hoyle, a still active trooper who was one of the two men who found the submerged cars. The other was Trooper Woody Perry.
McManaman said Motor Trend can be seen on the Dish network on Channel 246 and on Direct TV on 281. Cable One?