Cornwall, MA Two Car Collision, May 1963


Cornwall, May 31 - (AP) - The driver of a sports car involved in a fiery crash that took seven lives yesterday had been drinking at a beer party before the accident, State Police reported.

Driver Had 2 Warnings.
Police also said the driver, JOHN PELLEGREN, 22, had been issued two warnings since March for speeding. He was driving at an "apparently high" rate of speed when the accident occurred, police said.
PELLEGREN, a hairdresser; PETER HAVEY, 23, an engineering student at the University of Connecticut, and a five-member family were killed in the crash, the worst death toll in Connecticut since a mother and her seven children were killed March 8, 1960, in an accident at a railroad grade crossing in Berlin.
All the victims of yesterday's crash were Torrington, Conn., residents.
Police said PELLEGREN and HAVEY, a passenger in his car, were among 20 guests at a party in Mohawk State Forest. From six to eight cases of beer were brought to the gathering, they said.
How much been PELLEGREN drank was not determined.

6 Burned To Death
Six of the seven victims including HAVEY; ALBERT B. WILKLOW, 41, his wife, GEORGETTE, 37; and their children, ALBERT, 14; FRANK, 12; and PAULA LEE, 10, were burned to death, police said.
PELLEGREN, who was pulled from the flames by an autoist who stopped at the accident scene, was pronounced dead on arrival at Hungerford Hospital, Torrington.
The medical examiner said he received a fractured skull.
The accident occurred when PELLEGREN lost control of his car as it took a curve at Bunker Hill on Route 4. His car swerved sideways into the opposite lane where it was hit broadside by WILKLOW'S sedan.
The WILKLOW family was returning from a day of fishing.
Police said both car were engulfed in flames almost immediately.
Police said warnings for speeding were issued PELLEGREN on March 17 and again on April 2.

The Bridgeport Post Connecticut 1963-05-31