Detroit, MI auto wreck, Dec 1949

Steady Nerves And Skill Save Life of Girl

DETROIT (AP) - Laura Cassell, 20, probably owed her life Saturday to the steady nerves of a garage mechanic and a policeman - and surgeons' skill.

Laura's father, Jack Cassell, was driving her to her department sotre job Friday. The Cassell car collided with another and Laura was impaled upon the gear-shift lever. It entered her chest through her left side.

Police and Laura's father dared not remove the lever.

But the called John Richer, mechanic at a nearby garage.

As Laura gritted her teeth, Richter sawed the lever from its mounting while Patrolman George Mortimer held the girl.

The Laura, who is small and seems fragile, was rushed to Harper hospital.

An hour-long operation followed. The broken gear-shift lever was removed after her chest was opened from her back.

Dr. William Tuttle, who operated, said Laura came through in "good" condition and will soon be up and around.

The Walla Walla Union Bulletin, Walla Walla, WA 2 Dec 1949