Belvedere, SC Head On Auto Crash, Dec 1949
3 CAMP GORDON SOLDIERS AND 4 NEGROES ARE KILLED IN COLLISION NEAR BELVEDERE.
Seven men - four Negroes and three white soldiers are dead as a result of a head-on auto collision early Monday near Belvedere.
Three Negroes died instantly - one burned to death - when their sedan going north on Route 25, two miles north of Belvedere, collided with a convertible at about 2:30 a.m., resulting in the instant deaths of two soldiers.
Another, soldier died a few hours after the crash at Oliver General Hospital, and a fourth Negro died at 5 p.m. at University Hospital.
A fourth occupant of the soldier's car, CORP. JESSE W. KELLY, was seriously injured.
Cause of the wreck was undetermined. The two persons remaining alive were in no condition to talk, officials said.
Soldiers killed in the wreck were:
PVT. TARLTON L. MOORE, 20, of South Boston, Va., and Recruit WAYNE RENDLE GENTRY, 22, of Mt. Airy, N.C., who Aiken County police said was the driver; Recruit GENTRY'S head was crushed, according to police.
PVT. HARRY N. FOSTER of Kings Mountain, N.C., died at Oliver General shortly after arrival at the infirmary.
The dead Negroes, identified by officers are BEN GLOVER, of Route 1, Edgefield, who burned in the car; JOE TILLMAN of Route 1, Trenton; WALTER TUCKER of Edgefield, owner and driver; and GEORGE HOBBS, JR., of Trenton, who died Monday night.
Of the Negroes, only 14-year-old WILLIE DORSEY of Rt. 1, Box 88, Augusta, remained alive last night. He was listed by University Hospital as being in critical condition.
Traffic Held Up.
Probably the worst automobile accident that Aiken County has ever had, the two smashed vehicles held up moving vans and trucks for a half-mile until traffic was cleared.
The four soldiers going south, probably coming back from their homes in North Carolina and Virginia, were presumably headed for their station at Camp Gordon.
Corporal KELLY, 29, of Leaksville, N.C., was stationed with Oliver General's medical detachment, and last night was listed by that hospital as "seriously ill." Said to be owner of the convertible, he had multiple fractures and head lacerations.
Negroes' Car Burns.
Fronts of both cars were smashed in and motors were driven back into both vehicles. The sedan driven by the Negroes was wrecked by fire with its motor up under the windshield.
Aiken Deputy Sheriff Wyman Busch said the automobiles must have been going at a terrific speed - probably 75 miles an hour at least - to have driven the motors into the backs of the cars.
Aiken officers are still investigating, along with Aiken Coroner J. E. Gregory.
Highway Patrolman F. D. Wheeler was first officer to arrive at the wreck. Deputy Busch and Deputy L. S. Redd arrived at the scene shortly afterwards.
Aiken Standard South Carolina 1949-12-07