There had been a gathering at the Gray home that day and late in the afternoon as it grew cooler, it was suggested by some of the young folks that they take an auto ride. James Grayis the owner of an auto and his son Russell Gray a lad about 12 years old, had learned to be quite an experienced chauffeur, and on the occasion of the recent democratic county convention he was in Hintington with his father and treated a number of his young Huntington friends to a ride about the city.
The lads attracted considerable attention at that time on account of his youthfulness as well as the skilful manner in which he handled the machine. He was the chauffeur who handled the machine Sunday when the accident occurred which resulted so tragically for the happy party of autoists. The Gray family resides in Plum Tree and the tragedy happened in sight of their home. In front of the Souers ‘Locust Glen Farm’. The accident was due to a gully in the road-bed which was washed out during recent heavy rains.
The car was speeding along at a fair rate of speed when the gully was reached, into which the front wheel of the machine dropped, taking control out of the hand of the young chauffeur, much the same as the tongue of a wagon is wrenched from one’s hands when backed down a hill when the wheel strikes a stone or some other obstacle. The sudden stoppage of the machine caused the auto to careen and turn turtle, throwing the occupants out after which it settled down over some of them holding them prisoners. The Shafer girls were seated in the front seat with young Gray and were thrown clear of the machine.
Miss Cleo alighting on her head and shoulders causing concussion of the brain which County Coroner Dr. Taviner says caused her death. Her sister hastened to her side, although painfully injured herself, and carried her sister over to the grass, where she gave a gasp or two and her spirit took flight, while the heroic sister fainted away. The cries of the frightened and injured autoists attracted the attention of Mr. and Mrs. Stutesman who reside on the Souers farm and they were the first to reach the side of the victims. The sight which met their gaze was more than Mrs.
Stutesman could stand, and the terrible agony and suffering of the injured caused her to swoon away and for a time her condition was quite serious. It requiring some time and considerable work to bring her to. Russell Gray the chauffeur, escaped serious but not painful bruises as his legs were peeled and bruised in a painful manor. (several sentences i cannot read) Miss Shafer the young lady who was killed, as well as her sister who was injured, are the nieces of Mrs. Perry Keller of this city, who was notified by phone shortly after the accident occurred |