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Two Flying Wallendas Killed During Michigan Show

Jan. 31, 1962 - Two members of the Flying Wallendas circus high-wire act lost their lives last night in a fall as the troupe performed at a Shrine circus. Two other aerialists, one a girl, were injured seriously. Richard Faughan, 29, and Dieter Schoep, 33, were injured fatally in a fall of 50 feet from the wire to the floor of the Michigan State Fairgrounds Coliseum. They died at Highland Park General Hospital. The injured were Mario Wallenda, 22, and Jane Schoep (pictured), 19, a sister of Dieter. Witnesses said that four of the seven aerialists on the wire, formed in a pyramid, plunged to the floor while the others clung to safety. For a moment there was a threat of panic in the crowd, but a circus clown calmed the spectators. Some of the women in the crowd of 8,000 left the Coliseum in tears. Other persons from the audience tried to rush into the ring but were restrained. Witnesses said one of the members of the troupe apparently lost his footing. Confusion followed, and four fell from the wire.

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