Vincennes Morning Commercial September 6, 1928 High Diver Dies a Broken Neck
Capt. Frank Durman of Lawrenceburg, Indiana, fatally injured while making a high dive into a net at the Lawrence County fair at Bridgeport Tuesday night, died at the Good Samaritan Hospital Wednesday evening at 7:50 o’clock.
Capt. Durman died of a broken neck. His death brought a dramatic ending to a proposed sensational start for arousing interest in his act at the fair.
Prior to mounting the 90 foot ladder, Capt. Durman had suggested to other persons with whom he had been associated, that it would be a spectacular climax to his act to feign injury after his dive into the net and have the ambulance call to remove him from the grounds. He was discouraged in this, those to whom the proposal was made declaring that their acts were strictly on the square and that they did not approve of such a thing. It was stated that his actions throughout the evening were strange and that one of his friends suggested that he call off his act for the night. He ignored the suggestion.
He mounted the ladder and after the formal introduction, the daredevil diver plunged from the 90 foot platform to the net. Apparently he alighted properly, but on the rebound he came down on his head, lying motionless.
Those to whom he had previously suggested the fake injury thought that probably he had concluded to carry out his original plan. However, upon closer investigation it was revealed that he had been injured.
The injured man was placed in the Fessant ambulance, which had remained on the ground since the opening of the fair, and was rushed to the Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes. Upon examination fear was expressed that he had broken his neck in the dive, and an x-ray picture Wednesday morning showed a fracture of the vertebrae. His death occurred that night at 7:50 PM.