La Vale, MD Auto And Truck Collision, Oct 1955



A highway tragedy, equalled only twice in Allegany County, this morning in LaVale took the lives of five persons as a runaway tractor-trailer loaded with sheet aluminum slammed into a car and a truck ahead of it on Route 40.
The victims were:
CLIFFORD P. FEARER, 38, assistant manager of Cumberland Steel Company, Mt. Pleasant Street, Frostburg.
FRANCIS X. SPEARMAN, 59, clerk in the office of the Cumberland Division superintendent of the B. & O. Railroad, 79 Spring Street, Frostburg.
MISS GRACE EVELYN LLOYD, 35, also a clerk in the same office as Spearman, Wright's Crossing.
MISS NELLIE THOMAS, 31, cashier and payroll clerk at the Buchanan Lumber Company, 36 Bowery Street, Frostburg.
SAMUEL J. BRENNEMAN, 29, Springs, Pa., a contractor.
MR. SPEARMAN, MISS LLOYD and MISS THOMAS were all passengers in the car driven by MR. FEARER, en route to their jobs in Cumberland.
The wreckage of the three vehicles was strewn for about 100 yards along the National Highway.
State Police said the driver of the runaway truck was PAUL STEWART MYERS, JR., 25, of Dover, Pa.
He was taken from the scene of the tragedy to the office of the state's attorney by Sgt. William F. Baker of the LaVale Barracks of State Police.
Police gave this account of the accident:
"MYERS' tractor hauling a flat bed trailer loaded with sheets of aluminum ran away while descending Big Savage Mountain."
The big vehicle roared through Frostburg and on eastward into LaVale.
Just at a slight curve in Allegheny Grove in front of the house of Mr. and Mrs. Leon Kelley, the tractor-trailer left the highway, with the trailer jack-knifing.
The trailer hit a utility pole between the Kelley home and the residence of John D. Kasecamp, next door.
It carried the pole the distance of the Kasecamp front yard and knocked over a tree about eight inches in diameter at the other end of the yard.
The trailer as it hit about 90 miles an hour, went over the Fearer car, crushing it into a small mass of jumbled metal.
The trailer went on to hit a dump truck operated by MR. BRENNEMAN and loaded with a bulldozer.
This vehicle was pushed about 100 feet into the front yard of Mr. and Mrs. James Straw, and the force of the terrific impact hurled the heavy bulldozer over the cab of the truck. It landed upside down a short distance away.
MR. BRENNEMAN was decapitated.
MYERS suffered only minor bruises.
LaVale Volunteer Fire Department sent its equipment and 16 men to the scene to help quench the fire that destroyed the FEARER car.
Also assisting the troopers from the LaVale Barracks of State Police was the State Roads Commission which sent its equipment and employes from the district garage located nearby on Braddock Road.

Cumberland Evening Times Maryland 1955-10-19