The Tragic Case History
Of Just One Of The
l,400fi00 Road Accidents
That Happened In 1957
The Last Hour
☆ ☆ ☆
John W. left his job at a Midwestern plant at 4 p.m. on
Friday, February 10 and started for home. About four blocks
from the plant he stopped off at a neighborhood bar and had
two drinks with “the boys.” He stayed about 10 minutes
longer than he expected, so he drove a little faster than
usual on the way home, to avoid being late for dinner.
He was about a mile from home when he went through
a crossing at about 45 miles an hour, trying to beat the light.
He saw another car crossing his path, but by the time he
jammed on his brakes it was too late. He plowed into the
side of the car and dragged it 50 feet before stopping.
Both John W. and the driver
of the other car were killed. Two
passengers in the other car were
crippled for life. You’ve seen
cars like these — twisted and
crumpled from terrific impact.
The statements that follow
come from seven people who be
came involved in the accident
during and after the last hour
of John W.’s life:
“I was the first one on the
scene after the crash. I knew
right away somebody was badly
hurt in this accident. I called for
an ambulance immediately.
Then I made out my accident re
port. The man (John W.) was
driving 45 miles an hour in a
35-mile zone. He was way over
the white line when he hit the
“The man was dead when we
arrived. He had a fractured skull
and multiple fractures over the
rest of the body. He obviously
was driving too fast when he hit
the other car. His body hit the
steering wheel and was crushed
to death. One man was killed
and two people were injured in
the other car, too.”
“The car was insured for $10,-
000-$20,000 but the driver had
only a $5,000 group insurance
policy from his company. Not
much to leave a young widow
and two children for the rest of
“When that guy turned the
corner, I knew he was headed
for trouble. He musta been goin’
60 in a 35-mile zone. He almost
clipped me. If I hadn’t ducked
DEADLY PLACES FOR CHILDREN TO RIDE
The kids may think this is a
lot of fun but — one bad bump
or sudden jar and these boys
are likely to fall off.
These youngsters may be get
ting the breeze but not getting
the attention they deserve. Have
children sit in the car seats. It’s
a lot safer.
© AMERICAN MUTUAL LIAB. INS. CO.
OF CAR ^
between those parked cars, I’d
a been pushin’ up daisies now.”
“Those cars will need plenty
of work to go again. Funny
thing. The driver (John W.) was
the same man who came into our
service station the other day for
a grease job. I told him that he
should have his brakes relined
but he said he’d wait a while.
Strange how some people are
about things like that.”
“It was the most heart-break
ing thing I ever had to do, when
the doctor told me to report it
to the man’s family. I knew it
was going to be difficult, as hard
on me as it was on that poor
woman and those children.
Imagine, a widow at 28!”
“He always, stopped by my
place on the way home from
work. Had one or two and then
took off. This night he was sore
at his boss or something and he
had an extra shot . . . He wasn’t
“John was always a pretty
good driver. He never went too
fast or passed a red light. Maybe
once in a while he had a drink or
two or drove a little too fast . . .
Why did this have to happen to
☆ ☆ ☆
Firestone News gratefully ac
knowledges the generosity of
the American Brake Shoe Com
pany for permission to use the
illustration on stopping distance
and the material for the article,
"The Last Hour". This informa
tion was originally published in
the May, 1957 issue of Brake
I' I' III
r I'l 11
DISTANCE ^ 22 FT.
DISTANCE ^ 40 FT.
. . . even with brakes and tire treads
in perfect condition it takes the distance shown
to stop on the average, dry road surface
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