Marienville, PA Two Auto Collision, July 1943


Seven persons were burned to death, another fatally hurt, and six others injured, one critically, in a head-on collision of two out-of-state automobiles on Route 66, three miles south of Marienville, Forest County, early Sunday morning.
Both cars - one from New York and the other from Ohio - burst into flames following the crash, trapping the seven persons in the New York car and burning them to death. The other victim, a passenger in the Ohio car, died in the hospital three hours after the crash.

Victims Identified.
The burned victims were identified as:
OWEN D. BREWER, of R.D. 2, Elmira, N.Y.; his three daughters, ORISSO, 15, KATHRYN, 14, and EDITH 10; a son, RICHARD, 8; a brother-in-law, CARL M. WOOD, 30, of Ithaca, N.Y.; and ROBERT J. STORM, 16, of Elmira.
The other dead person was MRS. CATHERINE BOLAND, 30, 218 Chestnut Street, Akron, Ohio. She died in the Brookville Hospital at 9:15 a.m. about three hours after the accident. She suffered a fracture of the skull.
The injured persons, all passengers in the Ohio car are:
PHILIP BOLAND, 29, husband of the dead woman; THOMAS P. BOLAND, 23, 875 Chinook Avenue, Akron, Ohio; his wife, VIVIAN; and their two children, BARBARA, 3; and THOMAS, JR., 18 months; and CARL J. PAVICK, 375 Kathryn Street, Akron.

Taken to Brookville.
The injured were taken to the Brookville Hospital where the condition of PAVICK was regarded as critical. He suffered a fracture of the skull and fracture of the left leg. BARBARA BOLAND had a leg fracture and suffered from shock and her condition was said to be fair. The others had bruises and lacerations and their injuries were not regarded as serious.
According to Corp. P. H. Winger and Pvt. H. R. Ziegler, of the state motor police at Clarion, who investigated the crash, the Ohio car was en route to Scranton and was traveling north on the highway. The New York state party was en route to Niles, Ohio, and the car was heading south.
Police said the cars met head-on and the New York machine was overturned on its side and the passengers trapped inside the car, which immediately burst into flames. The Ohio car was turned completely around in the highway but did not overturn. It to, burst into flames but the occupants were able to get out of the machine.

Leeper Man Gives Aid.
Merle Gesin, of Leeper, who was on his way home from work at the Marienville Glass plant, arrived at the scene shortly after the crash. He lent what assistance he could to the victims, then drove back to Marienville for aid and notified authorities. The Marienville fire department was summoned to the scene and extinguished the flames.
Some hours after the accident, police were able to question BOLAND, driver of the Ohio car. They reported that BOLAND said he saw the other car approaching and that it appeared to be zig-zagging to some extent on the highway. BOLAND, police reported, said he tried to avoid the New York car but was unable to prevent the crash.
Police also reported that in addition to the human victims, the burned bodies of two small dogs were found in the New York state car.

Bodies Badly Burned.
Bodies of the New York victims were so badly burned that immediate identity was impossible. State police reported that a partially burned pocketbook containing cards and a birth certificate of CARL MELVIN WOOD, 30, of Ithaca, furnished the only immediate clue to identification. New York state police were contacted and following an investigation at Elmira and Ithaca, the identity of the victims was established and the information communicated to the Clarion officers of Sgt. J. H. Kelly, of the New York state police.
Sgt. Kelly said the car was registered in Brown's name. He said the group left Saturday night for Niles where they were to get Brown's wife who was visiting at the home of a sister, Mrs. Harry Waldron.
Bodies of the burned victims were removed to the McDonald funeral home in Marienville.

Bradford Evening Star and The Bradford Daily Record Pennsylvania 1943-07-06