Harry Chapin (38), US singer, songwriter, (1974 UK No

Thursday 16th July 1981

Harry Chapin (38), US singer, songwriter, (1974 UK No.34 single ‘W.O.L.D. & 1974 US No.1 single ‘Cat’s In The Cradle’) was killed when a tractor-trailer crashed into the car he was driving on the Long Island Expressway in New York. The Nassau County Police said that a flatbed tractor-trailer owned by Rickles Home Center of Paramus, N.J., struck Mr. Chapin’s car at 55 miles an hour as the car shifted lanes with its emergency lights flashing near exit 40 at Jericho Turnpike at 12:27 P.M. The force of the crash crushed the rear of the car, a 1975 Volkswagen, to the pavement, sending off sparks that set its fuel tank aflame. The truck driver, Robert Eggleton of Plainfield, suffered burns on his face and arms as he cut Mr. Chapin from his seatbelt and dragged him from the flaming wreckage. Detective Donald Wecklein said Mr. Chapin apparently died from the force of the crash. He did not appear to be badly burned, the detective said, adding that he did not know whether Mr. Chapin’s car had been disabled or why the emergency lights were flashing. No charges were filed. Devised ‘Story Song’ Mr. Chapin was pronounced dead at Nassau County Medical Center at 1:05 P.M. Westbound lanes of the expressway were closed to traffic in the area for three hours.

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