Branford, CT Truck And Auto Collision, June 1955






JOHN PATRICK FLANAGAN, JR., 18-year-old son of Probate Judge and Mrs. John P. Flanagan of 298 Old Battery road, and three college-age companions were killed today when the auto in which they were riding was wrecked in a crash at 12:30 a.m. with a tractor trailer on U.S. Route 1 in Branford.
Young FLANAGAN yesterday completed his freshman year at Yale university.
The other dead were identified by Branford police as follows:
WALTER H. ARMOR, also 18, Yale classmate of FLANAGAN and son of G. Maxwell Armor, Jr., and Annie Lynn Henley of Baltimore, Md.
NANCY KNEEN, 18, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harold F. Kneen of Hamden, a student at Prospect Hills, New Haven private school.
MARCIA C. BOLSTER, 19, Smith college student and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Marshall G. Bolster of Wellesley Hills, Mass.
Police said all except the KNEEN girl were dead at the scene. She died three hours later in Grace Community hospital, New Haven.
The operator of the truck, EUGENE OLDHAM, 42, of Plymouth, Mass., incurred fractures of the spine and several ribs but his condition is not considered critical. He is in Grace New Haven hospital.
Branford police identified FLANAGAN as the operator of the auto.
The United Press said the four-some, returning from a beach party, were headed in a westerly direction toward Branford on the wrong side of the roadway when the crash came.
Sgt. John Seastrand of the Branford Police department who investigated the accident, said the auto, a convertible owned by FLANAGAN, was proceeding around a curve near Short Beach road in a light rain.
The impact of the crash was so great, Sgt. Seastrand continued, that it knocked the left front wheel off the truck and ripped off the left door of the car.
The left side of the convertible was smashed in, trapping the body of FLANAGAN and MISS KNEEN for more than an hour. Acetylene torches and crowbars were used to extricate them from the front seat. The auto was demolished.
ARMOR, police said was hurled onto the roadway in the crash and died instantly as did FLANAGAN. MISS BOLSTER got out of the wreckage unassisted, walked over to the edge of the road, collapsed and died.
MISS KNEEN died at 3:15 a.m. without regaining consciousness. Surgeons performed an emergency operation and gave her several blood transfusions in vain attempts to save her life. She died of internal injuries.
The FLANAGAN auto, after striking the truck, police said, the glanced off an auto, operated by WARREN JORDAN of North Haven. JORDAN was unhurt and damage to his vehicle was slight, according to police.
FLANAGAN was born Aug. 29, 1935, the son of Judge and Anne M. Stapleton Flanagan. He was a graduate of St. Augustine's parochial school and last year completed his secondary studies in the Portsmouth Priory school in Portsmouth, R.I.
Besides his parents, he is survived by a brother, Walter D. Flanagan, a junior at Fairfield College Preparatory school; a sister, Mary Susan Flanagan, a sophomore at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich, and his paternal grandfather, Patrick F. Flanagan, all of this city.
Services will take place at a time to be announced by the Mullins and Redgate funeral home.
MISS KNEEN, whose father is president of the Safety Car company in Hamden, attended Laurel school in Shaker Heights, Ohio, prior to attending the Prospect Hills school. The KNEEN family came to New Haven from Cleveland a few years ago.
She had planned to enter Bradford Junior college in Bradford, Mass. this Fall.
In addition to her parents she is survived by a sister, Mrs. Gordon Allan Evans and a brother. Funeral arrangements have not been completed.
MISS BOLSTER, a Smith college student on vacation, attended Winsor school in Boston before entering Smith. Her father is a Boston lawyer.
ARMOR'S father is an executive with the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone company in Baltimore. ARMOR, like FLANAGAN completed his first year of studies at Yale yesterday.

Bridgeport Post Connecticut 1955-06-03


Death of Walter Henley Armor

I was very pleased to be able to find out this very valuable information. Walter was my husband's favorite older brother, and his death was a great tragedy to the whole family. It was so painful that it was hard to get anyone to discuss it with me. Now that I have these details, I will be able to add them to the family history.