11 August 2012

Obituary: Frank Cook

This is not so much an obituary but a rather a long article about an automobile accident that caused the death of a passenger.  Still it does tell about his death, and the times. 

Reprinted in the Fremont TimesIndicator 21 Sept 1922, from the White Cloud Eagle:


White Cloud Eagle--
Running out of the road and into the ditch, the Ford car driven by H. J. Hanson turned turtle about 5:30 o'clock Friday afternoon, Sept. 8, just east of the Selin residence near the Decker bridge, and Fron Cook, a single man of Everett township, was killed.  Mr. Hanson was bruised somewhat but nothing at all serious.
Mr. Hanson stated to The Eagle he was driving west when he passed a car.  As he passed the car, he got a flat tire on the right front wheel, which veered him to the side of the road, where he hit a small washout which dragged him further out.  He stated he was not going over 20 miles an hour, but he could not get the wheel back onto the road, that he continued thus, getting farther out of the road, until the right fender struck a tree which prevented going further down into the hole which is about three or four feet dee,p but level at the bottom.  With the left wheels near the top of the embankment and the right wheels down in the hole the car was nearly on edge, and flopped upside down soon after passing the tree.  Mr. Hanson stated he thought had the tree not been in the way the car could have been driven into the hole with out upsetting.
Both men were pinned underneath the car, with Cook's face downward and Hanson on top of him.  As the cap came off the gasoline tank the clothing of the men and the ground were soaked with gasoline, the fumes of which is ascribed as being the cause of Cook's death.
While the top of the car and windshield weredemolished, the rest of the car was not so badly damaged but what it was towed home soon after the accident.
Justice of the Peace Reed acted as coroner and empaneled a jury consisting of J. J. Terwillegar, Lyle Webster, N. E. Branch, J. N. Patterson, W. E. Patterson and David Moote.
Mrs. Charles Selin, who saw the car go in the ditch, called her husband and his brother Ed who were bathing in the river, also telephoned to town.   Before the arival of the Selin boys to the scene of the accident, Albert McGowan passed along.  He cut some poles and tried to raise the car, but couldn't even with the assistance of Ira Johnson who arrived about five minutes later.  As the pair were vainly tugging on the pole, W. J. Larkin was driving along, and the three succeeded in raising the car off the postrate forms below.
After hearing testimony of witnesses the jury rendered a verdict that Frank Cook had met an accidental death.

In current times, how much different are peoples response.  It is almost dangerous for those passing by to lend assistance.  And three passersby just cut a pole (?) and finally lifted the car off the victims.  With leaking gas and fumes all around.   Yikes.  
Another point that struck me, back in the early days of automobiles, after rolling over, they later just towed home, "not so badly damaged."  Changing times indeed.

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