Holly Oak, DE Two Trucks Collide, Aug 1933
FOUR CHESTER PERSONS KILLED, 20 INJURED IN CRASH OF TRUCKS NEAR WILMINGTON EARLY TODAY.
VEHICLE CARRYING CARGO OF EXPLOSIVES PILES INTO REAR OF LIGHTER VAN CONTAINING PICNICKERS RETURNING FROM CRYSTAL BEACH, MD. -- BOTH VEHICLES BLOWN TO PIECES BY BLAST -- FLAMES IGNITE SEVERAL OTHER CARS.
MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN, TRAPPED BY FLAMES, LEAP TO ROADWAY, THEIR CLOTHING AFLAME, MANY SUSTAINING SEVERE BURNS -- THREE OF VICTIMS WELL-KNOWN ATHLETES -- FOURTH, ELEVENTH WARD YOUNG WOMAN.
Death stalked a party of young merrymakers from this city, while they were on their way home from a Sunday outing, a truck they were riding on overturning and burning, fatally injuring four, three men and a young woman.
The accident, said to be the worst in the history of Delaware State police, happened at 1:30 a.m., today at Holly Oak, on the Philadelphia-Wilmington Pike, about a mile east of Penny Hill.
The dead are:
HENRY CUMMINGS, 27, of 720 West Fifth Street, son of the late Police Captain John Cummings, who died suddenly seven months ago.
JEAN CHLASTO, 19, of 225 Booth Street.
DANIEL MAHONEY, 20, of 610 West FIfth Street.
FRANCIS GASKILL, 26, of 206 Kerlin Street.
All the survivors of the fatal crash were removed to either the Delaware or the Homeopathic Hospitals, in Wilmington, several being discharged after being given medical aid.
The Injured Taken to the Homeopathic Hospital Were:
LAWRENCE CAULLEY, 35, 1116 Mary Street, lacerations and burns of the legs.
FRANCES MARK, 20, 712 Caldwell Street, treated for shock, bruises and contusions.
MARY CALL, 19, 708 Hinkson Street, bruises and sprains of the ankles.
WILLIAM O'BRIEN, 47, 932 Lamokin Street, cuts and bruises.
MARY BRESSNER, 20, of Green Street, Marcus Hook, fracture of the skull. Condition serious.
JOHN MAHONEY, 24, 610 West Fifth Street, brush burns and shoulder injury.
Others treated at the Delaware Hospital were:
MERVIN WATSON, 3000 Edgmont Avenue, laceration of the head, face and legs. Condition serious.
JAMES COONAN, 25, 713 Kerlin Street, brush burns of the body and legs.
WILLIAM McKINNEY, 20, 911 West Third Street, lacerations of the face and legs.
PRESTON WATSON, 26, 3000 Edgmont Avenue, lacerations of the face, contusions of the body.
HARRY CUMMINGS, 20, Plaza Hotel, possible rib fractures.
MARY KAMES, 19, 220 Hayes Street, lacerations of the head.
HORACE MURPHY, 29, 320 East Fourth Street, cuts and bruises.
EDWARD TODD, 20, 800 West Fifth Street, fracture of the left leg. Condition serious.
WILLIAM MAHONEY, lacerations of the head.
TITA SLENKO, 20, Green Street, Marcus Hook, general body bruises.
EDITH ELLISON, 20, Marcus Hook, lacerations of the face and legs.
LOTTIE MARTIN, 19, Second and Ward Streets, shock and bruises.
FRANK MAGINN, 35, 827 West Third Street, cuts and bruises.
SOPHIE MARKS, 19, 712 Caldwell Street, shock and lacerations.
The dead were identified at the Wilmington morgue several hours after the accident by John Mahoney, brother of DANIEL, one of those fatally injured. The bodies were badly burned and it was only Mahoney's intimate knowledge of his companions and what clothing they were on the outing that he was able to identify them. All the victims were given the last rites of the Catholic Church as soon as they reached the hospitals.
The victims were returning from an outing spent at White Crystal Beach, Md., and several of them were garbed in bathing suits. The picnic truck had been brought to a stop to permit WATSON to replace a fuse in the tail light of the truck. The lights of the truck were not burning at the time of the crash.
Both trucks were traveling towards this city and had reached the bottom of a steep hill when the larger freight van in the rear, driven by HARRY KNOTTS, of Rockdale, Md., crashed into the pleasure truck, knocking it off the highway and upsetting it. Then the freight truck overturned, just ahead of the one driven by PRESTON WATSON.
The freight truck is owned by the Tri-State Freight Company, of Baltimore, Md., and had several part loads, including several steel drums filled with nitro-cellulose, a powerful explosive.
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