Blooming Prairie, MN Auto And Truck Collision, Dec 1951


Blooming Prairie, Minn. -- (AP) -- ROGER HUNTER, 16, star basketball and football player of Blooming Prairie high school, was killed instantly Saturday night in an auto-truck crash in which six other Blooming Prairie persons were injured, one critically.
Most seriously injured is FRANK PLOTTS, 13, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Plotts, an occupant of the truck. He suffered internal and head injuries.
Others in the Owatonna City Hospital are:
BERNARD UNDERWOOD, 19, driver of the car and son of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Underwood, injury to left eye.
JOHN HARDING, 15, son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Harding, concussion and possible skull fracture and internal injuries.
MARIAN DITLEVSON, 18, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Ditlevson, laceration of the left leg.
DARLENE DENNIS, 18, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Glen Dennis, fracture of the right leg.
PETER PETERSON, 54, worker on the Plotts' farm, fractured right leg and possible fracture of the right arm.
According to Don Christenson, Steele County sheriff, PLOTTS and PETERSON were in the farm pickup truck when it was struck from the rear by the UNDERWOOD car in which the five teen-agers were passengers. The accident occurred at about 10:30 p.m. on highway 30, 5 1/2 miles west of Blooming Prairie.
Christenson said he was continuing an investigation into the circumstances which led to the accident and that Dr. John Fischer, county coroner, had indicated an inquest will not be held.
The sheriff said the right front of the UNDERWOOD car struck the left rear corner of the box on the pickup truck.
From the point of impact, the car went about 115 feet down the road then overturned in the left ditch. The truck continued down the road 65 feet, then overturned in the right ditch. Both vehicles were headed west.
It would appear the truck was stopped for some reason, Christenson said. The parking lights were still on as it lay in the ditch. He denied a rumor that the truck was out of gas.
"There were six or seven gallons in the tank," he said and added, "if the truck was stopped, and it seems it was, it was probably ignition trouble or something like that."
He expects to clear up this point when he talks to the injured persons. So far doctors haven't permitted questioning.
The teen agers evidently were headed for Ellendale. It was understood PETERSON and the PLOTTS boy were on their way to the Plotts farm. The Plotts family lives in town.
HUNTER, a high school junior has been a regular basketball guard and a football fullback for the last two years. Sylvester Fritz, coach, said he was a team leader who inspired others.
Funeral services have been set tentatively for 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Methodist Church. In addition to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bert Hunter he is survived by eight brothers and sisters.

Daily Herald Austin Minnesota 1951-12-10