Salina, PA Boy Hit By Truck, Sep 1941



Running into the side of a moving truck in front of his home, WALTER LELAND O'NEIL, 8, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lester O'Neil, of Star Route, Van, died shortly before 5 o'clock Tuesday afternoon while being rushed to Franklin Hospital.
The accident occurred at 4:20 p.m. two miles east of Salina on Route 322. The boy had just alighted from a school bus after attending third grade school at Salina, and unheedingly darted around the front of the bus into the side of a passing truck.
J. R. Dunlap, of Gallensburg, Clarion County, was driver of the truck, State Motor Police reported.
He was following the school bus when it stopped on the right side of the highway to discharge several children. Dunlap slowed his vehicle and passed to the left of the bus.
The O'Neil boy's head struck the front right end of the flat bed of the truck, receiving a severe fracture. The impact forced him to fall and he suffered extensive body bruises and abrasions. He died 20 minutes later.
Both Dr. S. G. Foster, Venango County coroner, and his assistant, Dr. P. E. Cunningham, of Franklin, were called. After the investigation, Coroner Foster declared that no inquest was necessary and issued a certificate of accidental death. Private J. A. Ganeas, of the State Motor Police, also conducted an investigation.
Cranberry Township school officials stated last night that the accident was the first fatal one that has occurred since transportation of pupils was begun by the school district. Between 800 and 900 pupils are transported daily in the township.
The young victim of the tragedy was a son of Lester A. and Nina Knight O'Neil, and was born in Oil City on Dec. 18, 1932.
The boy is survived by his parents, two brothers, Robert and Howard, and two sisters, Katherine and Grace O'Neil. Robert and Katherine were passengers on the bus en route from school and were witnesses of the accident that cost their brother's life.

News-Herald Franklin Pennsylvania 1941-10-01