Highway 50 at Twin Bridges

Two Killed As Car Hit Bridge.  Timber Penetrated Bodies of Victims As Auto Smashes Railing.  Bodies Are Burned.  Tragedy Overtook Boys Going Home to Sylvia from K.U.

Dan C. Martin and Harvey B. Krey, the latter a Kansas University student, were instantly killed when Martin’s new Hudson coach in which they were going to their home in Sylvia, struck the south railing of the “twin” bridge, five miles west of Newton on the New Santa Fe trail, and the railing penetrated the car radiator and went through their bodies, Monday about 3:30. The car immediately caught fire and plunged over the embankment south of the bridge, and the bodies of the victims were burned to a crumbling mass of charcoal.  W. H. Shepherd and Kenneth M. Maughlin, the latter also a K.U. student, both of Sylvia, were also in the car, but escaped with minor injuries. Shepherd was cut on the wrist and the left knee, and three stitches were required to close the wound on the wrist. Maughlin’s right ankle was cut.  Martin and Shepherd, both young men, had gone to Lawrence for the Kansas University and Missouri University football game, last Saturday, and the two students were returning home with them to spend the Thanksgiving vacation. Martin and Krey were cousins. Krey was a senior at K.U.  The accident occurred when the Hudson coach, going west at about fifty miles or more, according to Shepherd and Maughlin, side-swiped the Ford couple driven by Allen Trego of Newton, and then missed the bridge, striking the railing about the center of the car. The bridge timber penetrated the abdomen of Martin, who was driving, and then went through the chest of Krey who was sitting on the left side of the back seat.  The Trego car had come from the “twin” bridge at the north and was turning west. With Trego were his wife and Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Little of Newton, and all escaped without injury. The left fender of the coupe was torn off, and the axle bent.  When the Hudson went over the embankment, according to Trego, it was in flames. It tipped over about ten feet from the creek bed, mashing the top and making an opening through which Shepherd and Maughlin, on the right side of the car, were able to get out. Trego and Little rushed to the scene and with Shepherd and Maughlin made every effort to extricate the victims pinned in the car by the bridge timber through their bodies, but the extreme heat from the flames prevented. The men had their hair singed and their hands burnt in their efforts. When the fire died down, the two bodies were in charcoal and nothing was left of the car but scrap iron.  The two young men were killed instantly and not even a moan came from them, according to the two who escaped. There was not a sound made when the car hit the railing, they said, except a yelp from the small dog that was in the car. The little dog was found wandering about the scene of the tragedy by persons who visited the place Monday evening.  The sheriff’s office here was notified immediately of the accident, and Dr. R. H. Hertzler, coroner, was called and hurried to the scene. The bodies of the two young men were brought to the Carter Funeral Home in this city [Newton], and their relatives were notified. Shepherd and Maughlin left Monday night over the A.V.I. for Hutchinson where they were to meet the relatives.  Two brothers of Dan Martin and an uncle of Harvey Krey arrived here this morning and made arrangements with R. N. Carter, undertaker, to have the bodies of the young men taken to Sylvia this afternoon, where funeral services and burial will be held.  About twenty feet of the bridge railing was torn off, according to persons who have been to the scene. Mr. and Mrs. Trego and Mr. and Mrs. Little were spending Monday afternoon hunting rabbits.  M. C. Bartlebaugh, operating the White Eagle filling station at High and Eighth, had quite a little visit with the party of young men when they stopped at his station about three o’clock and had their gas tank filled. He says they were having a barrel of fun, were in high spirits, told him all about the big K.U. victory and appeared to be fine young fellows just overflowing with life and companionable spirits. They conducted themselves as perfect gentlemen, nevertheless, there being no display of rowdyism, rough stuff or indications of the presence of booze in the party whatever. Naturally Bartlebaugh was much shocked to learn of the fatal ending of the boys’ joy ride home to spend Thanksgiving, and tell the home folks of the great football game. (The Evening Kansan-Republican, Newton Kansas. Tuesday November 24, 1925. Page 1).

Despondent Youth Hangs Himself.  Newton people have been pained and greatly interested in the tragic death of Grover C. Martin, a young farmer near Sylvia, Kans., who committed suicide by hanging late Friday afternoon near his home. He had been having trouble mentally for some time, and it was said that brooding over the death of his younger brother, killed and burned in the motor car wreck at the “Twin” bridges west of Newton last Thanksgiving, was the principal cause of his unbalanced condition.  (The Evening Kansan-Republican, Newton Kansas. October 4, 1926. Page 1).

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