Cleveland, OH Truck and Bus Accident, Apr 1934



Crash Takes Place on Route Twenty Just Inside the Eastern Boundary Line of Lorain County, Investigations Being Made By Sheriff, Coroner, Prosecutor, Ohio P. U. C. and Other Officials, Bus is Completely Wrecked.

Manslaughter charges were to be placed today against WILLIAM DANIELS, 32, of Pittsburgh, driver of the Nevin Western Lines bus in which six were killed and 14 injured on Cleveland road early yesterday morning, and against A. W. SCHAEFFER, 42, of Norwalk, driver of a parked truck which figured in the accident.
Sheriff CLARENCE W. DICK held the two drivers yesterday pending an inquest by Coroner S. C. WARD, and in which the sheriff, Prosecuter FRANK E. STEVENS and SHERMAN GOVE, local representative of the Public Utilities Commission, participated.
A third driver, E. O. KIRKPATRICK, 26, of Columbus, operating a Cleveland, Canton and Columbus Motor Freight Company truck, into which the bus plowed after swerving out for the parked truck, was released by the authorities following the inquest.
The accudent occurred at about 3:15 a. m. yesterday on U. S. Route 20 about a half mile west of the Cuyahoga county line in Lorain county.
Saw No Light On Truck.
DANIELS, driver of the bus, stated yesterday that he was driving toward Elyria at about 40 miles an hour when his headlights suddenly revealed the parked truck immediately in front of him. He said he did not see any tail lights on the truck.
Endeavoring to avoid striking the parked truck, he swerved to the left to go around it. Unable to clear the parked truck, the right front corner of the bus struck the tail gate of the truck, causing the driver to lose control. The bus then crashed into the left front corner of the large Three C truck and railer[sic], driven by KIRKPATRICK.
This collision caught the front and left hand side of the bus in such a way as to tear the entire roof off the bus down to the level of the window sills and to crush the driver and his 19 passengers either down into their seats or hurl them out of the bus.
The chassis of the bus went on for a distance of approximately 75 feet from where the top fell on the highway. The six dead and injured were wedged between the seats. A few of the passengers were thrown clear of the wreckage. ODESSA WILLIAMS, 5, who was with her mother, MRS. ANNA WILLIAMS of Indiana avenue, East Chicago, was thrown clear of the wreckage and over a fence into a field of soft dirt, landing on her feet. She received only a slight injury on her head. Her mother was seriously injured.
Rushed to Hospital.
ALl of the dead were brought to Elyria undertaking establishments and the injured were taken to Memorial Hospital. A few of the injured were released yesterday when their conditions did not warrant more than first aid treatment.
Investigators of the accident were underway today by the sheriff, coroner and prosecutor, by the Public Utilities Commission, and by attorneys and claim agents for the bus and trucking companies.
Sheriff DICK said the two drivers, DANIELS and SCHAEFFER, would be arraigned in justice court here on manslaughter charges, and that a grand jury investigation would probably be made of the accident, relative to criminal liability.
The wreck was the worst bus disaster in this vicinity since January 22, 1930, when a school bus was struck by a New York Central mail train near Berea, killing nine children and the bus driver.
Survivors of the crash who were not injured too severely to be interviewed, said they didn't know what happened until after it was all over.

Both Enter Pleas of Not Guilty to Manslaughter When Arraigned Before Justice.

Pleas of not guilty to manslaughter charges were entered at noon today by WILLIAM DANIELS and A. W. SCHAFFER, drivers of the bus and truck, which figured in the Center Ridge road accident, which killed six bus passengers and injured fourteen others.
The two drivers were arrigned in the court of Justice J. C. PETRO, at a hearing held in the county jail.
DANIELS, driver of the bus, was represented by KENNETH H. GUILD, of Cleveland, attorney for the Nevin Lines. He waived examination, and was bound over to the grand jury under $1,000 bond, which his attorney reported would be raised within a few hours.
Hearing Later Today.
SCHAFFER, however, had no attorney at the hearing, and asked that he be allowed to obtain one. As a result, his hearing was postponed until 3 p. m. to allow him time to get an attorney. He told Justice PETRO that he "was never in a mix-up before, and don't know what to do". He called the Norwalk Trucking Line, owner of the truck he was driving, and was assured that a lawyer would be here by that time.
The two drivers were arrigned on warrants charging them with "unlawfully killing" the six dead bus passengers, all of whom were named in the warrants. Sheriff CLARENCE DICK signed the warrants, and served them on the two men a few minutes before the arraignment. There was no testimony concerning the accident at the hearing.

JOHN SERBON, 35, of 3051 Orchard Street, Holiday Cove, West Virginia.
MICHAEL FRYDRYCH, 29, of 196 Third Avenue, New York.
KRISTO VASILOVICH, 40, of 1222 Fourth Street, S. W., Massillon, Ohio.
EARL L. KELLOGG, 630 West Mount Hope Avenue, Lansing, Michigan.
FLOYD STALMAKER, 29, of 288 Shawnee Path, Akron.
SAMUEL NOWAK, 1083 East Olive Street, Duquesne, Pa.
YUNG YEN, 56, of 4197 South Fourth Street, Philadelphia. Possible fracture of the skull, deep cuts. Condition serious.
MISS ANNA SCHERBA, 19, of 36 Milford Avenue, Duquesne. Fractures of right and left legs, fractured left forearm. Condition serious.
MRS. MARIE KASER, 31, of 6013 Aloma Vista Avenue, Huntington Park, California. Fractures of skull, nose and right forearm. Probably fatally injured. Blood transfusion given.
PASQUALE CAIRO, 40, of 1267 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland. Head cut, possible internal injuries.
AZAD SARKISIAN, 20, R.F.D. No. 1, Swanton, Ohio. Head cuts, bruised arm. Released from hospital today.
MRS. FRANCIS BROWN, 38, of R.F.D. No. 6, Akron. Body lacerations and bruised shoulder.
JOHN E. HARVEY, 54, of 1230 West Alligan Avenue, Lansing. Face and scalp cuts, head injury. Released.
MISS WILSIE DWYER, 23, of 241 Kenilworth Avenue, Detroit. Bruised and shock. Released from hospital.
GALE ALLEN, 30, of 1234 West Alligan Avenue, Lansing. Minor cuts on face. Released.
MRS. ANNA WILLIAMS, Indiana Avenue, East Chicago. Possible internal injuries, head cuts. Semi-conscious, condition serious.
ODESSA WILLIAMS, 5, daughter of MRS. WILLILAMS. Cut on forehead.
GEORGE PFAFF, 57, of 499 Gage Street, Akron. Bruised right shoulder. Released from hospital.
MISS MARY KATHERINE REARDON, 35, of 202 Kenilworth Avenue, Detroit. Shock and facial cuts.
WILLIAM DANIELS, 32, of 1207 Linden Place, Pittsburgh. Driver of the bus. Minor cuts on face and hands. Released from hospital.

The Chronicle Telegram Elyria Ohio 1934-04-16