Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Automobile Runs Into Crowd of Children

The Marietta Daily Times, December 18, 1922

Ten Inmates of County Home Hurt in Accident.  Number Are Run Over and Some Thrown Into Ravine.

Driver of Machine With Lights Dim and Glare From Another Car in His Eyes Fails to See Party of Boys and Girls in Front of Him Until He Runs Into Them.  Bodies Hurled in All Directions But Injuries of None of the Victims Are Expected To Have Serious Results.

List of Victims:
Martha Seyler
Mildred Covey
Clifford Keirns
Everett McFarland
Edna Fotch
Mrs. Letha Brookover
Charles Chidester
Eugene Fotch
Byron Schoonover
Paul Brookover
Leo Davis

When an automobile ran through a crowd of Children's Home boys and girls, who were walking along Muskingum Drive on Sunday evening, ten of the little folks were more or less severely injured, and one woman, who was in charge of them, was painfully bruised.  Four of the victims - two girls and two boys - are being cared for at Marietta hospital and it may be several days before they are able to leave the institution.  The accident occurred just at the entrance to the Home grounds, and the victims were en route from church services in this city.  Arda Fouss, of Warner, was driving the automobile that caused the trouble.

As is the custom, the children had attended one of the city churches, and having missed the interurban car that leaves the court house at 8:05 o'clock, had proposed to Mrs. Brookover that they walk home.  The woman agreed to the proposal and the hike was undertaken.  The children were enjoying the outing to the fullest extent and were just ready to turn from the paved road at the entrance to the institution that is home to them, when, without any warning, a Ford car, coming from their rear, plunged into the crowd.

The boys and girls were hurled in every direction.  The car passed over two or three of the victims, while some were hurled over an embankment into a ravine, and the remainder were knocked into the mud at the side of the road.

Defective light on the Ford car, together with the fact that another automobile was approaching from the north in such a position that the glare from its lights blinded the driver of the Ford, caused the accident.  The driver of the Ford was wholly unaware of the presence of the young people on the road until his machine had struck them.  He made a quick stop, and helped to rescue the victims, who were carried into the Home.

Superintendent and Mrs. Adamson were seated before the fire in their library when they heard the screams of the injured children.  They ran to the scene, as did other people in the neighborhood, and helped to gather up the victims.  All were carried into the home where first aid treatment was applied.  Then ambulances were summoned from the city.  both the Doudna & McClure and the Wieser & Cawlely ambulances responded, and the four children most seriously injured - Martha Seyler, Mildred Covery, Clifford Keirns and Everett McFarland, were sent to Marietta hospital.

Little Girl Most Hurt

Doctors Williams, Edwards and McKim responded to emergency calls and assisted in caring for the less seriously injured who remained at the home.  Of the four children who were sent to the hospital, the little Covey girl, aged 13 years, was most seriously injured.  She sustained a broken rib and severe bruises about the body.  She also was cut about the hands and face.  Martha Seyler, 16, was painfully bruised about the body and badly cut about the face and head.

Clifford Keirns was severely cut about the head and face, but despite his injuries proved one of the heroes of the occasion and helped to rescue and care for several other children before he finally collapsed at the door of the home.  For a time, it was believed that he was dead.  He rallied, however, and aside from the effects of the shock does not appear to be seriously injured.

Boy Struck On Temple

Everett McFarland was hit on the temple and so badly dazed that he did not recover for some time.  He also was painfully bruised about the body and cut about the head, and his ravings before he regained full consciousness carried terror into the hearts of the other children.

Many of the victims, who were not hurt to any great extent, were rolled and dragged in the mud at the side of the road, and in several instances clothing was almost completely torn from their bodies.  Later, when these little folks had been bathed and provided with fresh clothing they were found to be little the worse for their experience.  Many of them were stiff and sore on Monday morning, as a result of bumps and bruises, but most of them were able to be in the school room at the usual hour.

Didn't See the Danger

Arda Fouss, who drove the car that caused the trouble, is a resident of the Warner community, and had been visiting in Marietta during the day.  He left the city just after 8:30 Sunday evening, to drive to his house, and was proceeding up Muskingum Drive at only a fair rate of speed.

As he drove into the curve at the entrance to the Children's Home grounds, he saw a car approaching from the north, and slowed down to pass it.  His lights were fed by the magneto on his car and as he slackened speed they died down until he faced almost solid darkness, with the glare from the approaching headlights blinding him.  He saw nothing whatever of anyone in front of his car until he was right in the midst of a crowd of screaming children.

Try To Warn Children

The car that was bound toward Marietta was a Chevrolet and its occupants were Royal Spindler, Floyd Pape, Lawrence Price and Floyd Ackerman.  Their headlights enabled them to see the crowd of children on the road and they knew that the other car was going to hit them.  They sounded their horn and called to the children to get out of the way, but there was not sufficient time for the latter to heed the warning.  These young men stopped their car and helped to gather up the injured children and carry them to the home.

An investigation of the affair was being conducted on Monday, Superintendent Adamson having charge.  The evidence pointed to an accident as nearly blameless as could be imagined, and it was not expected that anything would come of it.  Apparently all of the victims were on the road to recovery.

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