Obit: Adams, Chester W. (1935 - 1953)
Surnames: Adams, Petznick, Erdman, Welcox, Belanger, Berans, Schneweiss, Dettmann, Nehrbuss, Bergman, Kruger, Kremsreiter
----Source: Marathon County Records
Marshfield News Herald Monday 16 November 1953 P. 1 C. 3
One Killed, 18 Hurst in Crash
Athens Youth Dies in 10-Car Mishap
ATHENS—A 10-car traffic accident in a cloud of dense smoke on Highway 97, two miles south of here, took the life of an Athens youth early Sunday morning and injured 18 other persons, some of them critically. Eleven of the injured are in Wausau hospitals.
The dead youth is Chester W. Adams, 18, route 3, Athens.
Wilfred Petznick, 18-route 1, Athens, is in St. Mary’s Hospital, Wausau, amputation of left leg below knee and large toe on right foot.
Carol Erdman, 19, Ripon, in St. Mary’s Hospital, fracture of both ankles.
Gladys Welcox, 18, route 2, Athens, minor cuts and bruises. Taken home.
Lyle Belanger, 21, route 2, Athens, in St. Mary’s Hospital, Wausau, cuts on forehead.
Myra Belanger, 14, route 2 Athens, minor cuts and teeth chipped.
June Berans, 16, route 2, Athens, in St. Mary’s Hospital, Wausau, with cuts and bruises.
Donna Mae Berans, 18, route 2, Athens, in St. Mary’s Hospital, Wausau, nose and body injuries.
Henry Schneweiss, 16, route 2, Athens, shoulder injury. Released from St. Mary’s Hospital, Wausau.
Harry F. Dettmann, 33, route 3, Athens, in Memorial Hospital, Wausau, severe facial injuries.
Mrs. Harry F. Dettmann, 28, route 3, Athens, in Memorial Hospital, Wausau, facial injuries.
Lester Nehrbuss, 33, route 2, Athens, bruises. Taken home.
Mrs. Lester Nehrbuss, 32, route 2, Athens, bruises. Taken Home
Arthur Bergman, 42, route 3, Athens, in St. Mary’s Hospital Wausau, leg and back injuries.
Mrs. Arthur Bergman, 40, route 3, Athens, in St. Mary’s Hospital, Wausau, neck and leg injuries.
Orville, Kruger, 38, Wausau, in Memorial Hospital, Wausau, fractured ribs.
Mrs. Orville Kruger, 34, Wausau, in Memorial Hospital, Wausau, minor chest injury.
Conrad Kremsreiter, route 2, Athens, minor neck injuries. Taken home.
The injured were taken to hospitals in two Wausau ambulances and one private ambulance from Wausau. The less critically injured were taken to their homes in private passenger cars after receiving emergency treatment in a local doctor’s office.
Ther was little definite information as to how the accident happened, but according to Marathon County Highway police all of the involved cars were traveling toward Athens about 1 a.m. Sunday morning when they ran into a curtain of smoke coming from a nearby peat bog fire. Occupants of most cars were returning home from a dance at the corner of Highways 29 and 97.
* * *
According to police reports the first two cars entering the smoke-shrouded area halted at the side of the road. An oncoming car sideswiped one of them and was jostled into a position that barricaded the highway. Unaware of the situation ahead of them, drivers of other cars ploughed into one another at that point.
Police expressed opinion that young Adams and his companion, Wilfred Petznick, may have been struck after getting out of their car. Carol Erdman and Gladys Welcox were riding with Adams and Petznick.
Harry F. Dettmann, route 4, Athens, driving the car immediately behind that occupied by Adams and his friends, was unable to give police any details of what happened.
According to reports, smoke along a three mile stretch on Highway 97 was so thick that it completely obscured visibility.
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