Two Killed In Auto Accident

Mrs. A.J. Petz of Lawrence, Kan., was instantly killed and her husband received fatal injuries in an automobile accident on the section line southeast of Hesston Sunday morning about 11 o’clock.  Mr. Petz died two hours after being brought to Axtell Hospital.  The accident was caused by a collision of the automobile and a motorcycle by Eli Overhold, a rural mail carrier of Hesston.  In the front seat of the car was M.J. Petz who was driving the car, his father, A.J. Petz, and his nephew, little Emmett Simpson, who was on the lap of the elder Mr. Petz.  On the rear seat were Mrs. A.J. Petz with the baby of her son Maurice, on her lap, and Mr. and Mrs. Emmett Simpson, each holding one of their daughters.  Mr. and Mrs. Petz, Sr., had been staying at the home of their son in Windom, while his wife was recovering from an operation undergone at Axtell Hospital a week ago.  Mr. and Mrs. Simpson reside eight miles south of Canton.  Mrs. Simpson is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Petz.  Both families were enroute to Newton to visit Mrs. M.J. Petz at the hospital.

The accident occurred on the section line southeast of the Hesston town site at what is known as the Hodgson corner.  There are hedges on two corners and vision is obscured.  The automobile was going south and the motorcycle west.  The rider of the motorcycle stated that he saw the automobile when close to the corner, and thought by speeding a little he would be able to cross in front of it.  Mr. Petz said that he had no knowledge of the motorcycle being  on the road until his car was within two feet of it, then he shut off the engine and put on the brakes with all force.  The right front wheel of the machine caught on a framework on the cycle that is used as a receptacle for carrying mail.  This jerked the car, and the axle broke, and it swung around at the same time, overturning.  Those on the steering side of the machine were thrown out beyond the car but Mr. and Mrs. Petz, Sr., and two of the children who were on their laps were on the opposite side and were thrown beneath the car.

Mrs. Petz it is thought, must have been killed instantly.  When her son picked her up, he found his baby beneath her but uninjured.  Mr. Petz, Sr., was brought to the hospital in a car summoned from Hesston, and driven by the son.  His injuries were by the spine and he expired in about two hours after reaching the hospital.  Two children, Emmett and Edith Simpson were rendered unconscious by the fall.  Mrs. Simpson is bruised about the head and shoulder but these are not of a serious nature.  Mr. Simpson suffered no bad injury and Mr. Petz, Jr., was injured.

The rider of the motorcycle suffered the injury of a wrenched ankle and foot, his right foot having become entangled in the wheel.  He was thrown from the center of the road to the corner of the hedge.  He was brought to the hospital where his injuries received attention, and he remained over night here.  A car from Hesston brought the injured man to Newton, and a machine with physicians from Axtell Hospital met it and returned to care for the injured man.  Meanwhile cars from Hesston took members of the party to Hesston later bringing them to the hospital and a Newton undertaker was summoned to the scene and brought Mrs. Petz to Newton.

When interviewed this morning M.J. Petz stated that he had never before had an accident with his car.  He said that he was driving at a speed of 20 to 25 miles an hour.  He was quite composed when relating the story of the accident in spite of the great sorrow that is his.  His rare presence of mind is shown by the fact that he used every means to avoid the accident.  This was testified to by Mr. and Mrs. Simpson.  He is a young man of 27 years of age and is in the hardware and harness business at Windom.  His wife is the daughter of the late Dr. George of McPherson.  Mr. Petz gave the story of the accident in detail and said that he remembered everything he did, as he was not stunned by the fall.  He first picked up his father, whose body was turned face down and worked with him to ascertain if he were seriously injured.  He found he was.  He then carried his mother from the car and found his baby beneath her but uninjured, so he placed the baby by the side of the road, and went to the nearest home for assistance.

Mr. Simpson went at once for help.  He was not able to use a phone, being deaf and dumb, so started for Hesston to get a physician.  Meanwhile Mr. Petz, Jr., went to the Hodgson home and phoned to Newton for physicians from Axtell Hospital, also to Hesston for assistance.  In a very brief while cars from Newton were there, and Dr. Wedel of Hesston lost no time in reaching the injured.  Mrs. Simpson and children remained at the hospital today.  Mrs. Petz who is a patient there, is bearing the shock well, with seemingly no ill effects caused by the news of it.  Mr. and Mrs. Petz will be taken to McPherson tomorrow morning via the Missouri Pacific for burial.  They had been old settlers in that county and had resided at Windom for thirty years.  He was past 50 years of age.  Mr. Petz had been active in the harness and hardware store there for many years, but about four years ago the business was taken over by the son, Maurice.  This summer the parents and family went to Lawrence to reside.  The family is well known throughout the community in which they had resided, and the shock of their death will be a great one to their many friends, whose sympathy will be extended to the relatives in their great sorrow.  A son, R.H. Petz and daughter Grace, arrived from Lawrence this morning.  Emmett Simpson is a nephew of the late Judge Simpson, who was killed in an automobile accident west of Newton several years ago.  (The Evening Kansan-Republican, Newton Kansas.  November 3, 1913.  Page 1).

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