Bio: Van Winkle, William T. (Accident - 1953)

Contact: Dolores Mohr Kenyon


Surnames: Van Winkle, Frantz  

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) April 30, 1953   

Van Winkle, William T. (Accident - 1953) 

Motor of 800 lbs. is hurled 40 feet - Wreckage flies wildly as salesman hits a culvert east  of city on U.S. 10 - A motor and its accessory attachments were hurled more than 40 feet when the car of William T. Van Winkle hit the concrete wall of a culvert on U.S. 10 Sunday evening.  The motor weighed about 800 lbs.  It rolled and skidded from the point of impact, crossed the concrete and the shoulder, and came to a stop in the north ditch.  

Mr. Van Winkle’s big car, a 1951 Buick, took a wild course prior to the impact, hitting the north ditch 420 feet east of the culvert, rushed across the concrete and hit the culvert wall on the south side of the road with its front right.  The hood of the car flew to the south, the motor was hurled to the northeast, the car itself swung around crazily and stopped west of the culvert, pointing to the northeast.  Mr. Van Winkle was thrown to the pavement west of the culvert. 

Van Winkle lives - Mr. Van Winkle, an advertising salesman residing in Foster, near Osseo, sustained a multiple fracture of the right arm, two or more broken ribs, a heavy bruise on the forehead and lacerations on the hands.  He was cared for at the Neillsville hospital until Wednesday morning, when he was taken to Eau Claire for surgery on his arm. 

The accident was investigated by Harry Frantz, traffic officer.  He found two drivers, who had been passed by Van Winkle and who estimated his speed at 90 miles per hour.  That is the estimate of others who saw what had happened to his car.  Mr. Van Winkle told the officers that he had no recollection of what had happened.  One conjecture is that he may have fallen asleep. 

Fatal Crash There - The culvert hit by the Van Winkle car is 200 or 300 feet west of the Schmidt cheese factory.  It was the scene of a fatal accident July 30, 1950, when a car driven by James Martiny of Antigo and carrying Roland Evenson as a passenger, hit the east wall of the culvert.  Mr. Martiny was killed instantly.  Mr. Evanson suffered injuries, chiefly cuts about the head, but made a good recovery. 



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