The Bakersfield Californian from Bakersfield, California on January 17, 1947 · Page 1
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The Bakersfield Californian from Bakersfield, California · Page 1

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Bakersfield, California
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Friday, January 17, 1947
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•.J— ' . ', High' •'yesterday ____ Low today. RninfHll Last lear I Prediction Clear today. trniBht and Saturday. slightly warmer. Berhi Hearing Opens in Shooting See Page 9 Vol.59 TWO SECTIONS BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA, FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 1947 18 PAGES No. 146 80 INJURED WHEN S. P. PASSENGER TRAIN LEAPS RAILS, PILES UP AT LERDO Tragic Rail Wreck Toll Is Listed HUNTING ,FOR BODIES UNDER WRECKED "OWL" yVmid a scene of smashed coaelies, twisted rails and battered ground, rescue cre\\s probe llic wreckage oi the Southern Pacific "Owl" at Lerdo for more bodies of victims., Tlie/'Ch\r piled up at 3 a in. today on a —Picture t» Red McPheion Ctlitoini in fct iff Phoi i. i h»i 60-mile-perrhbur-run" into Bakersfield from San Francisco. A "transverse fissure" in a rail was blamed J>y .Superintendent B. W. Mitchell for the tragic wrcrk which killed 7, injured 80, became the worst wreck in the Imtoi^of the county. Arnall Banned From Capitol Seven persons were killed, and 80 injured in the cravlviin of the Owl, near Lerdo. early today. DEAD James Leroy Hall. 52. 2731 Gilham Koad, Kansas City, Mo. While woman, about 50, tenta- tively'identified as Mrs. Hall. Bessie Diles, colored, 1348 Battery street, Riehmond. Private Joseph Bernavich. 18- years-old. 2807 Fifteenth street, Kirhinond. Sailor, colored, about 30. Woman, colored, about 30. Woman, white, about 30. INJURED Kdinimd J. Richard, 17 years old. Highland. Texas. Leana Esque, 1428 East Lane, Valle.jo. Albert R. Levy, 2401 Mekcr street, Richmond. Savag Burgess. Mobile, Ala. Ernest J. Batclmn, I. S. S. Salisbury. Rose Marie Pelro, Lafayette, La. Vexade Bilbo, 1432 Eleventh avenue, Oakland. Screams of Dying, Roar of Shattered Steel Marti Tragedy •. i * Hospitals Flooded With Injured; Ambulances Race for Hours With Victims of Ghastly Railroad Wreck, Worst in Kern History uiz Kern Man in Sex Killing Talmadge Takes -*_ i-*f ,-f jtuT" *"~ *^f , i Over Complete IGeorgiaXontrol ATLANTA, Jan IT OjP>—ElUb Arnall was banished from the state Capitol amid a storm of boos today ~ as Herman Talmadge completed his seizure of the office of goveinor Arnall -walked, out denouncing his opponents as hoodlum* and thugs He went ! to his downtown ITU of fjccs where he s.ud he could con tmue as governor ' i Arnnll's final on«tei fiom the Capital came air 10 30 a m when lie was Barred from'the tempoi ny offices lie had set up in the rotunda of the Capitol. When he wilkul away he was stormilv booed In stores of Talniadge suppoiter« A« he lefl, Arnall denounced the ! men i -who, were ousting him and charged that the "militan hood him* .iud<-thug» had taken o^cr In force" . No Chair Ainall armed at the cijiitil it 10 17 a "m and went to his poit Continued.on Pa Be. Two LA. Police Hold Suspect in Murder Los Angeles police toclay were continuing their qnestiouiug of a Bakersfield man in the maniacal slaying of Elizabeth Short, 22. of , whose mutilated body was found oil a lot in West Los Medford, Ma and severed Wednesday Angeles. The man was identified by Los Angeles police as Cecil l-'rench, 23. of Bakersfield. He was arrested Thursday at a bus station on the complaint of two women. He W being held on a suspicion of rape. Police said that French's car tallied with the description of one Continued on Page Two Survivors Tell Horror of Tragic S. P. Wreck By WALTER McARTIIl R The California!! City Editor A picture of horror in the twisted steel wreckage of Hie broken railroad cars was told by survivors of Hie grinding crash which snufl'ed out the lives of seven passengers of the Southern Pacific Owl this morning. ! The living, trapped in the jumble of cars in a Lerdo potato field, told numbly of their helplessness. Hie screams , of the badly hurl and dying • I ringing m thai c.ns III I Poilu Lcslci I oid, Vilio was dozing at Hie rear of his chair car when a snapped rail threw coaches inlo a rending crash, said lie was awakened vie lently by the grinding roar a.s his i The crack Southern Pacific "Owl" hurtled off its track into a Lerdo potato field this morning and at least 7 persons were killed and 80 injured in the grinding wreck.- j A broken rail was given as the immediate cause of the disaster, one of the worst in California history. The derailment came at 2:45 a.m.. 15 minutes before the eastbound passenger train was due to arrive in Bakersfield. ', ' The dead and most of the injured were in four cars, a Pullman and three coaches* , which lunged off the track and overturned in a mass of twisted steel. j ] . Southern Pacific Company officials this afternoon released the following information concerning the seven dead: James L. Hall, 52, 2734 Gillham Road, Kansas City; Mo. White woman, about 50, tentatively identified as Mrs. Hall. Bessie Diles, colored, about 40, 1348 Battery street, Richmond. Private Joseph Robert Bernavich, 18, 2807 Fifteenth street, Richmond. Sailor, colored, about 30. > ". ~. Woman, colored, about 20 or 30. Woman, white, about 30. ON LEAVE Private Beruavich had been home on leave from Aglin FieM; ' Fla.',Vai&'was returning to duty fronf Richmond. . **•;•• ." " 3f#t- ~~, -IK" -Mrs. Bessie Diles, killed in the wreck of the Owl near Bakersfield early today, was en route to join her husband, Robert, in Los Angeles. The mother of five children had re- Annie Mun-iin, 1342 Eleventh • ccived a letter from him on Wednesday, advising her he had obtained a job and asking her to join him. \ ' Kern General Hospital's emergency ward was swamped as a caravan of ambulances and commandeered taxicabs brought in a steady stream of bloody and broken victims. Most were given first aid and the operating room cleared for more cases still arriving. Eleven of the 80 persons treated at the hospital were said to be in serious condition. "-' Sheriff's Deputy Jack Keithley estimated 55 persons were treated for injuries at the scene. • i Kiethley said an uncounted number of passengers were hurled through train windows and crushed beneath 1 the weight of four couches and a tourist sleeper which were derailed and overturned. Ghastly Scene ', The wreckage was n ghastly scene and legs and arms were torn from some of the victims. -' "The halls are full of injured and we are working on them desperately," said an attendant at the Kern Gfcni- eral Hospital. One of the injured was a youngster whose arm "was severed in the wreck. A man had. bad his leg sheared off. a . Ambulance crews, sheriff's deputies and others worked feverishly through the dawn to extricate the injured' and rush them to hospitals. A Southern Pacific dispatcher said the train. Owl No. 58 which left San Francisco at 6:30 o'clock lagt night and was due in Los Angeles at S:^5 a. in. today, usually travelled at 60 miles an hour along the stretch where the wreck occurred. Deputy Sheriff L. E. Pryor of the sheriffs office said six ambulances were sent to the scene at Lerdo, a small railway station near Miuter Field. The engineer. H. P. Lawrence, and the conductor. George Cochranc of I.os Angeles, were unhurt as the locomotive and three baggage cars S. P. Wreck Attempt FLASHES 'INDEX TO *DA ERTISCRS -\BRAJIS DR R. F, B \RN THE _ BKARDbl.EY D\\CL BtNNS PLUMBING BROCK S _ u C1TT FURNITURE _ CLTDE PET ^HOP COtFEE H\RR\ COI.X.EGE OF BCA1 T\ COLONIAL r IMw _. CIRCLE THEATh.1 DAWN VENETIAN BLIND*, DLiFFY GROCER1 FASsTERN „ Eli PATO PVULIAN fcL MOROCCO ^ J RIACH V1LLA.G1 _ < OODWLN CCNERAT TIKi. si- I \ HA/EL HO&IERT _ HOPPERS MACHIM. WoKkt_ 1ACKS, SHOE SToItfe. JVTNES -MUSIC SHOP Kl^G LUMBER CO THE _ _ ~t/\ GRANADA BAtl ROOiV LOCKH4RT SEED COMPAQ* MARBL SHOPPE _ M\RTrV8 SMART fLOTHi-S ilOVTGOM ERT W ARD J» VTIONAT^ .JXJLLiK b OI L PIEHCK ROVD UPHOLSTERINC, •PCNVTTS _ _ 1 -e 4 10 10 1 1 ID HI J 1 1(1 10 10 10 r i" _ _ PHATRER * PRATHER^^. _ RIVER-GRANADA-»RV1N .. -ROSICjRUCIAN __ SAX JO*QUrVroRAlN _ _ SEARS ROEBUCK.. . SHERRYS LIQUOR , STORE ^- < ' TOOiIAS 'GARAGE. . /TOWNE ^ PHOTO „ s-VJRGlNtfc-THEATER . WEIT.1/S ? -WlTHAM-Sl**.. _ _ 4 11 . -._ n 4 i ._ _~io fli-A SHIPPER DIES SAN I-'RAXCISCO. .Ian. 17. (^) Henry Pierce Gariu. 6)5.'.president of the 11. P.. Oarin Company, one of ! the largest, produeq growing and shipping firms in the United States, died here yesterday after a prolonged illness. At one time Garin owned the largest growing and shipping firm in the country, with interests in California. Arizona. Texas. Colorado. Washington, Oregon and Utah. S. P. SI ED FOR $50.000 SA\ FRANCISCO, Jan. it. (U.P.) Ross A. Whifsel. Sacramento switchman, filed suit today in Pode ll DiMiitt (nun tot »r>0 oiIO damages akainst tire Southern Pacific Company alleging that he suffered internal and external injuries while working for the company last'••December 2S. \TER STRIKE TIWEAT of the C I O T tilitv \ oikei-b Union . iiuludnu OIK from Kakersfield. will meet in Oakland Saturday to. discuss a pooMhIc stake .i^.unst MX iitihtv <-ompanie-« whicluthe union claims has refused to bargain collectively Union members employed' by the. California Water Service • Compauy have asked for a 35 'cents an hour pay increase. SAX FRANCISCO. .Jan. 17. UPl— Harry K. Kimball. F. B. I. agent in charge here, said today Louis | Leo Knminsfcy. 34. of Chicago, was in jail in Monterey, charged with attempting to wreck a Southern Pacific train near Salinas on Jannary 10. 1 F. P>. 1. and railroad agents said a railroad angle liar and three tie pliites had been piled on the tracks The engineei of the southbound Lark saw the obstruction, applied emergency brakes nml stopped in time, but the sudden halt flattened some wheels. Kimball said Kominsky was employed by S. P. on December 3 on a work gang, and was transferred to Salinas at about the time of the wrecli a'tienipt. Viuler questioning. the ghief agent s:iid. Kominsky snid he had lost all his money at poker in East Salinas, had been drinking piled' the track equipment on the rails, aiul then sat down "to see the wreck." He became frightened and -fled -before the train came DETAIN 10 JEWS .JERUSALEM, .lau. 17. Iff)— British troops detained 10 Jews in searches of the Rehovot area southeast. of Tel Aviv last night, an official announcement said today. j The announcement said the sol- tliers discovered a shanty which { 'was believed to have been used as a mine aseuibly center. ' | car left the rails. 'I felt the wheels grabbing a? ihe engineer hit. the air brakes." Ford I said. "Then the car jnlted and I knew we were in for it. On Floor 'The crash .threw me in a heap on the floor." Ford related. "Then' was a lot. of noise and I kind of lost count of what wns happenin;. "It got awful quiet t-lipn. and I heard a woman sereaming. I crawled out the vestibule I A graphic account of the suffer Continued on Pace Two i slreet, Oakland. Henry H. Harris, Fayctleville, \rk. Floyd W. Kenny. 30 Fourcoiirt, Harhorgate. Richmond. Adam Kuhbs. 578 Thirtieth Avenue. San Francisco. Charles Oilman Hyde. 2599 Bitena Vista Way. Berkeley. Julian R. Acre, 45 B slreet. Sparks. Nev. Flossie Smith. 1426 Fifty-sixth Avenue, Oakland. Mr. and Mrs. William J. Xid- dell. 722 Berkeley boulevard, Los Angeles. VHveda S. Richards, 1123 South Hall street, Los Angeles. Cladys Hendricks. 1123 South Hill street. Los Angeles. Theodore Kane. «2!) South Hill street, Los Angeles. R. L. Guitirrc/. Columbus. N. M. Richard K. Achai, 138 Hyde street, Los Angeles. T. D. Whittle, San Diego Hotel, S,in Diego. .Mrs. W. D. Underwood. Macon, Ga. ('. .1. Banning. 16110 Thirty-sixth Avenue, San Francisco. L. \. Barry. Corona. N. M. Leslie G. Stephens, 3128 Casitas avenue, Los Angeles. Treated and dismissed were: Richard M. Cook, 69 years old, Newman. Charles E. Witness. 5fi years old, 14lfi Klcvcntli street, Sacramento, abrasions of chest. John Horasonian. 59 years old. 517 North Almano street. Pasadena. James Richardson, 21 years old. Box 411, Fort Payne. Ala. roiHin'.l^d fin ['ape Tti r P? TRACK INSPECTED IN NOVEMBER It was learned today that the section of track where the crash occurred was last tested in November. Railroad officers declined comment on the reported condition of the rails at that time, but said that new rails were to have been laid shortly.. Several stacks of new rails were located along the track near the wreck. behind it were no^ derailed. Seven passenger cars of the 15-car train remained upright. Southern Pacific officials said the train carried approximately 200 passengers. . . State Highway Patrolman .lack Bordeau said two. soldiers on the train, Marvin Stansberry of Moulton, Iowa, and Orvis Humphrey of Kidder, Mo., rescued many persons from overturned cars by stamping out windows and lifting out the injured. The overturned cars were catapulted into a potato field and survivors said they careened for 300 feet along the roadbed before they overturned with a roar. Passengers in the overturned coaches were tossed into a tangle of broken bones and lacerated flesh. Continued on Page Nine LAST RAIL WRECK IN KERN COUNTY WAS IN 1923 The last wreck on the Southern Pai-ifii- Kail road in whii-h passengers were killed was the tragic crash on December "1, W44. near Ogden. I'tab. when 4S persons wi-rc- killed and Til others injured when a speeding mail express train ami a slowly moving passenger train crashed on a fog shrouded causeway on tire Great Salt lake Locally the last railroad wreck was in December, lliu: when three persons were killed and numerous injured in the derailment at Shattuck spur of a Santa Ke Railroad passenger train. Jesus Medina. .Mexican track walker, was held on a conspiracy charge in connection with the ghat ruck crash, but was.later acquitted Army, Navy Reach Agreement for Unification Plan for Services WASHINGTON. Jan. 17. IS*—The. Charles G. Ross, opening the sem- '. the plan a "definite and substan- 11 my :i*l navy high command. , inar, cleared up one point—that! tial forward step and I shall sup- 1,-ieed on a plan for "unificniiou." there will be only one cabinet mem-'.port it to the best of my ability." ti il-iy promised co-operation and ber for defense—not four, as pre-, He said it will enable the'services ,.11-ner efficiency under a single viously conjectured. | to get together on'many essential uliiict officer. The arrangement is to have three ' matters and make progress. One by one, Secretary of \Var .secretaries—one each for army,! . General Eisenhower, wearing a Patterson, Si-creiary of the Navy navy and air. serving under a sec- 1 Florida tan. said be always has de- Korrestal. Admiral Chestt-r j \imitx and General Dwight 11 iM.»uhower gave their wholehearted be in the Cabinet. But the others j now that they had been resolved endorsement to the new plan. can be called in when necesary. They spoke to a crowded news conferenif in ihe White House movie theater. procedure with the needed single I will be the great gainer by a step Then they turned the meeting direction and. at. the same time it j of this nature. over to experts tu go into details, preserves the valuable element of j During the seminar. President But, for the most part, the plan,! local autonomy in die three Truman met with his Cabinet at announced by President Truman last branches." night, remained only a general prop- "Me. Too." o-ition. with the chinks to be filled Forrestal arose to assert, as he; The meeting'was"tetrgely devoted in later. said he had done during the war in i to a discussion- of the armyinavy W. retiiry of national defense. I plored the differences between army, D. Only the latter. Ross said, will I and navy officers over a merger and; | now that they had been .resolved j he personally will "support it with "In our view," Patterson said, "it all I have" as a "distinctive step for-; i the plan) is a sound and workable ' ward." The United States, he said,; • their regular Friday session in ! another- part of the.-White House. I Congress will have a hi; I that. | Presidential Press Secretary hand in testifying before Congressional com' mittces, "me. too." Admiral Ximitz said he considers "unification" agreement. Secretary "of Agriculture Auder- Continued on rage Two Hospital Scene of Speedy Help to Train Victims B\ VIRGIL ELLIOTT Kern General .Hospital was « scene of feverish-bat orderly activity this morning as 61 injured in today's train wreck "'were panneled into the emergency, ward for'treat- ment. Ail available nurses, --pbysicans and other members of the hospital staff were called onrdnty as soon as ' the first ambulance 'carrying in- jured'arrived shortly after 4 a. m. Dr. Orval W. Podgett was on duty in the emergency clinic at the time,, of the arrival of the first patient, who was treated by Dr. Harold T." Unsell. The first patient was the. little colored child, °Jo«* L. Jackson, who 'suffered the loss of his right leg. ' The emergency clinic, under the capable supervision of Mrs. Anna' Patricia McGinnitj-.-was-adequately stocked with emergency supplies, including plasma," and moved the patients through in record time, hospital attendants,pointed out. . "I had beenw wondering- why I prepared a large f numBer- of emergency-bandages jnst*'reeently," said" Mrs. McGinnJty, who* expbiined that' the ei-injured.used^-allTtbe «»er- J gency bandages- buftwo., ° ' -Mrs., SIcGinnity said"she . arrived at the hospital abont r 4:30 a.m., and 1 that Dr.'NicholaTN. Bilcoff, medK cal director, arrived a few moments' later. " ' She said 'Dr. Earl-Voehme was in command of surgery and Dr. Na- • than Meadoff directed the orthopedic work. The X-ray staff also 1 was present, she added, v, • ~ - ., Mrs. McGiniiity|piiiised the work- done by Mrs. Loretta^iMseli, reo' ord librarian, who .with'Mrs^Velni <; Contimw* «• fli»»Iwi~, 1 % "" X< #j ; -'i \-~»r' V*

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