Galena, IL Auto Wreck, Aug 1955

Driver Killed, Seven Injured Near Galena

Cars Crash in Rain On Sharp Curve

(Consolidated News Service)
Galena-William Kanis, 65, Villa Park, was killed instantly and seven other persons, including two granddaughters riding with him, were injured Friday morning when two cars collided on a dangerous curve near here in blinding rain.

None of the injured was considered in serious condition Friday night, hospital attendants reported.

Injured were Mrs. Donald Chrisman, Morrison, wife of the Whiteside County Farm bureau youth adviser; their granddaughter, Peggy, 5; Mrs. Chrisman’s cousin, Robin Higgs; her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Long, Borger, Tex.; their son, David, 16; and Diane Fees, 16, and Anita Fees, 17, both of Elgin, granddaughters of the dead man.

Collide on Curve

The accident occurred at 10:30 a.m., a quarter miles west of Galena near Chetlaim Lane corner on U.S. highway 20, when Kanis; eastbound car and a westbound car driven by Long collided.

A coroner’s jury ruled Friday afternoon that Kanis died instantly of crushing chest injuries and multiple lacerations. The jury recommended to Coroner Charles Bartell, Warren, that the state highway commission be asked to straighten the treacherous curve, scene of numerous accidents.

Mrs. Chrisman, her daughter, and Robin Higgs were released from Mercy Hospital, Dubuque, Ia., Friday afternoon.

Long, 56, and his wife, Lillian, 47, were reported in shock but in good condition in Mercy hospital. The Fees girls were transferred from the Dubuque hospital to St. Joseph’s hospital, Elgin, Friday evening.

Drives into Ditch

Gordon Montgomery, 29, Galena truck driver, was following the Long car when the accident occurred. He drove his loaded gravel truck into a ditch to avoid striking the wreckage. Deputy Sheriff Vernon Kuse, driving behind the truck, said it was raining so hard he was unable to see what happened ahead.

Rockford Morning Star, Rockford, IL 6 Aug 1955