Vallejo, CA Auto And Truck Crash, Jan 1942



Vallejo, Jan. 12. - Seven men were killed early today in a terrific collision between an automobile and a truck in which both vehicles burst into flames and were destroyed on the highway six miles north of here.
Four of the dead men were believed to be United States Marines, although their bodies were burned beyond recognition, and the only identification was through partially melted buttons and Marine Corps insignia found near them.
The other victims were identified as W. H. KENNEDY, about 30, of 1439 Ferrell Street, driver of the sedan; DONALD R. GEHL, about 25, roommate of Kennedy and a workman with him at the Mare Island Navy Yard; and a man identified only as BRECKENRIDGE of Marysville, driver of the truck.
KENNEDY and GEHL were identified through fragments of their Mare Island identification buttons.
A card served to identify one of the Marines as ADRIEL C. JONES, 20.

How It Happened.
Witnesses said that the automobile, which was heading for Vallejo, attempted to pass a big truck and trailer loaded with logs, and crashed head on into the second truck. The two vehicles spun crazily across the highway and burst into flames.
One man was thrown clear of the blazing wreckage, but died instantly. Four others perished in the car. BRECKENRIDGE and KENNEDY were dragged clear and taken to the Solano County Hospital at Fairfield, where they died a few hours later.
Hundreds of motorists were stopped and detoured around the wreck, which burned for nearly two hours.

Truckman Escapes.
John Jenkins, 46, of Sacramento, driver of the big truck, escaped injury as the cab of his vehicle missed the other two by inches.
Both BRECKENRIDGE and KENNEDY were in such a critical condition when they reached the hospital that they were unable to identify themselves before they died.
The license plates on KENNEDY'S car were from Louisiana, and it was supposed that he had come here recently to work at the Mare Island Navy Yards. Louisiana authorities said that the automobile was registered to Mrs. M. E. Slater, West Monroe, La.

Oakland Tribune California 1942-01-12