Orange, TX Auto Accident, Jan 1940


Houstonians Headed Home From N.O. Are Victims

Special to The News.

ORANGE, Jan. 2. - James (Buddy) McKernan of Houston, 21, was instantly killed and Fred Devilleneuve and Joe Sturgill, also both of Houston, were critically injured when the car in which they were riding had a headon [sic] collision with a truck from Houston, seven miles west of Orange on Highway 90 at 7:30 p.m. Monday. The youths were returning to Houston from the Sugar bowl game in New Orleans.

McKernan, the only child of Mrs. Ruth McKernan of Houston, formerly of Hunt, Texas, suffered a broken neck, a crushed head, broken arms and legs and a back fractured in seven places.

Other's Back Broken

Devilleneuve received a broken back and internal injuries, and suffered severe shock.

Sturgill's injuries were diagnosed as possible brain concussion, neck and spinal injuries and severe shock.

Both injured youths were taken to Baptist Memorial hospital in Houston before daybreak today by Ortmeyer ambulances.

Arvin Dryden, sole occupant of the truck, was uninjured. Dryden said that the three boys ere sitting on the front seat of the car; that they were attempting to pass another car heading for Beaumont; that he saw they would meet him head-on; so he pulled off to the side of the road. Dryden said he then attempted to pull back to the road and that the car did likewise, causing car and truck to meet headon [sic].

"Worst Ever." Officer Says

"Bob" Bass of the Orange police department said today that it was the worst automobile wreck he had ever seen in Orange county.

The truck driver said that the impact of the collision was so great that the body of McKernan was thrown 50 feet from the road against a fence and was not found until after the Ortmeyer ambulance had left for Frances Ann Lutcher hospital with the other two boys.

The body of McKernan will be carried overland by Ortmeyer Funeral home and burial will take place in the Eastland cemetery in Palestine, Texas, at 4 p. m. today.

Port Arthur News, Port Arthur, TX 2 Jan 1940