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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


The Spartanburg Herald
18 December 1940

Fifth Victim of Crash at Tucapau Dies; Inquest Adds to List

Spartanburg county's 1940 automobile accident death stood at 39 last night with the death yesterday of Mrs. Charles Cole, 40, of Buffalo, fifth victim of a Sunday car-truck crash, and the subsequent finding by a coroner's jury that Mrs. Roxey Horton Kimbrell, who died at her home here Monday after several weeks' confinement, "came to her death as the result of being struck by an automobile driven by Neal Johnson."

Mrs. Cole, mother of three children fatally injured in the Sunday crash, died at 1:45 o'clock p.m. in the Mary Black Memorial hospital. Two of the nine Cole children Charles, Jr., 12, and Shirdey, 4, were killed instantly when the light car in which Mr. and Mrs. Cole and their nine children were riding, was involved in a collision with a truck near Tucapau. Cora Lee, 9, died Sunday night. James Lowe, an occupant of the truck, died early Monday morning.

Joint Funeral Services

Joint funeral services for the mother and three children will be conducted from the Church of God, Arch street, city, Thursday afternoon at 1 o'clock.

The coroner's jury recommended that the man listed as Johnson be held for further investigation in Mrs. Kimbrell's death after hearing testimony during an inquest conducted at the courthouse yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock with Magistrate J. W. Davenport presiding.

Mrs. Kimbrell died Monday afternoon at her home, 435 Wofford street, after an illness of five weeks. A medical statement, signed by Dr. W. A. Chapman and read by Magistrate Davenport at the inquest, stated that he had attended Mrs. Kimbrell, and that his diagnosis showed she was suffering from illness and a fractured left pelvic bone. The statement added "I believe if she had not been hit she would be living. . . ."

Struck Crossing Street

Several witnesses testified, including A. S. Blanton, who said he operates a filling station near the scene of the accident at the Forest and Wofford streets intersection. Mr. Blanton testified that "the speed of the automobile attracted my attention." He estimated the speed of the car at about 40 miles an hour. He also testified that he saw Mrs. Kimbrell standing on the sidewalk and that "she made a break to run across as fast as she could," that she was struck while near the center of the street and "bounced like a rubber ball and fell."

Mr. Blanton also testified that he did not know personally "the young man" driving the car, and that he saw no obstructions of view within the driving area. Under cross-examination by Attorney John Lancaster, he said the car "looked like it was dodging from the right to the left and then finally went to the left."

Dr. Chapman's statement said he had been attending Mrs. Kimbrell for "four or five weeks," since the accident occurred. J. C. Mooneyham of the local bar also attended the inquest and examined the witnesses.

The bodies of Mrs. Cole and the children were carried late yesterday to Buffalo, Union county, where the family lived, and will be returned to Spartanburg Thursday and taken to the church for funeral rites.

Thurmond Robbins, other occupant of the truck, remained in the Mary Black Memorial hospital last night. His condition, although remaining serious, was reported slightly improved. The father, Charles Cole, 39, employe of the card-room of Union-Buffalo mills, Buffalo, was injured in the crash but was able to leave the hospital Monday.

Children Improved

The four Cole children, who escaped with various injuries, were reported improved.

Robbins is a resident of Chesnee, route 2, the some community in which Lowe also made his home.

The accident occurred when the Cole family car and a pick-up truck in which Lowe and Thurmond Robbins, of Chesnee, route 2, were riding collided at a point where the Wellford-Tucapau road crosses the newly-completed Greenville highway lane set aside for westbound traffic.

Services for Mrs. Cole and the children will be in charge of the Rev. Roy D. Kendall and the Rev. James L. Turner. Interment will be in the Oakwood cemetery.

Arrangements are in charge of the J. F. Floyd mortuary.

Funeral services were held for Lowe at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon at the Eden church near Fingerville with the Rev. J. C. Nunelly and the Rev. J. R. Green officiating. Interment was in the church yard.

Active pallbearers were C. C. Lowe, Jr., and Charles William Lowe, Joseph, Benjamin and Carl Albertson and James Jolley. Flower girls were to be Pauline, Elaine and Marian Lowe, Beatrice Smith, Mabel Jackson and Sarah Flynn.

Surviving Mrs. Cole, in addition to her husband and the six remaining children, are her father, Charlie Parham, Spartanburg; five brothers, Lattie, Taylor, Weldon and D. S. Parham, Spartanburg, and Lonnie Parham, Saxon Mills; and five sisters, Mrs. Martha Cole, Spartanburg, Mrs. Rachel Padgett, Buffalo, Mrs. Louise Haney, Buffalo, and Miss Ada Mae Parham, Buffalo.

Funeral services for Mrs. Kimbrell, 66, wife of Fielding Kimbrell, will be conducted at 2:30 o'clock this afternoon from the Mountain View Baptist church by the Rev. Olden Strange, the Rev. J. W. Hilson and the Rev. J. G. Wood. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Nephews will serve as active pallbearers.

She was born Nov. 7, 1874, in the Mountain View community of Spartanburg county, the daughter of the late Webb Horton and Mahalie Crocker Horton. A life-long resident of the county, she had lived in the city for the past five years.

Mrs. Kimbrell was married 48 years and 11 months.

Survivors include her husband; seven sons, Ernest Kimbrell, Claude Kimbrell, Webb Kimbrell and Otha Kimbrell, all of Spartanburg, Landrum Kimbrell of Chesnee, route 2, Joe Kimbrell of Spartanburg, route 1, and Ezell Kimbrell of the U. S. army, now in Honolulu, T. H.; seven daughters, Misses Eliza Kimbrell and Meda Kimbrell, Mrs. Minnie Stephens, Mrs. Lorena Williams and Mrs. Nellie Collier all of Spartanburg, Mrs. Clara Bradley of Chesnee, route 2, and Mrs. Lila Young of Spartanburg, route 1; five brothers, J. J. Horton and O. C. Horton, both of Spartanburg, route 1, G. C. Horton of Inman, route 1, C. L. Horton of Chesnee, route 2, and N. H. Horton of Wellford, route 1; five sisters, Mrs. J. T. Brock of Inman, route 1, Mrs. W. M. Stephens of Chesnee, route 2, Mrs. Tom Bradley of Campobello, route 1, Mrs. Frank Melton of Spartanburg, route 1, and Mrs. R. S. Bishop of Chesnee, route 1; one half-sister, Mrs. Bertha Castleberry of Switzer; her step-mother, Mrs. Lilly Horton of Switzer; 35 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

The body will be at the home until the hour of the service.

The J. F. Floyd mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

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