Do You Know What Small Town Is Famous For The Red River Plunge?
Along the border between the eastern Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma, there are a series of small towns that are forever embedded in history. One of those is associated an event known as the "Red River Plunge."
1930s On The High Plains Were Wild
The "Red River Plunge" took place in 1933. A family enjoying some time on the porch, according to one account, had their peace disturbed by a car flying over a hill in the distance.
The speeding car missed a detour, and pretty soon history was made.
The Salt Fork Of The Red River On US 83
The detour was supposed to take people over the Salt Fork of the Red River. Some accounts say that the river bed was dry and that's where the car ended up. Other accounts say the car ended up in the river and water from it was used to douse the flames.
Either way, the joy ride was over.
Battery Acid And A Mobile Armory
The family, seeing the wreck, went to help whoever may have been inside. When they got there, they found a woman passenger who was badly injured thanks to the battery acid on her leg.
The men were busy grabbing guns and ammunition. Obviously, these weren't just some people enjoying a joyride.
According to legend, one of them even offered a wad of cash to the family as a way to say thanks, and to apologize for being a hassle.
Good Samaritans, Bad Hostages
The passengers weren't too interested in going to a hospital. Eventually, one of the family members was able to get away and head into town to alert the authorities. This unsuspecting family had found themselves in the company of the notorious Bonnie and Clyde.
The family were good Samaritans, but really bad at being hostages.
Bonnie and Clyde Hit The Road Once More
According to accounts, the lawmen were disarmed by Bonnie once they arrived at the house. One of the family members wound up being shot in the hand. The group of outlaws disabled the family's vehicle, bound the lawmen in their own handcuffs, and took off in the sheriff's car toward Erick, Oklahoma which is famous for being the hometown of Roger "King of the Road" Miller.
Bonnie and Clyde were back on the run.
This all happened just outside of Wellington, TX. It's not a very big town by any stretch of the imagination, yet it played a big role in the saga of Bonnie and Clyde.
It was the "Red River Plunge" that left Bonnie pretty much unable to walk on her own. A few months later Bonnie and Clyde would meet their demise in a hail of bullets.
If you head out to that area, there is a historical marker that details the events that led to the "Red River Plunge."