Mildred (1917 - 1946)
Contact: Crystal Wendt
----Sources: Scrap book two: by Erna Schenk Price, Contributed by Halbert "Bud" Hardrath
THREE PERSONS KILLED IN SPENCER CROSSING CRASH
Driver of Car Slightly Hurt
Auto Collides With Freight Train on Main Street of Village
Car Carried 52 Feet
Spencer - Three persons met instant death early today when the panel truck in which they were passengers collided with a Soo Line freight train at the main street crossing here.
The dead are:
Harold A. Barkow, 23, Athens, who received a broken neck, a fractured right knee, and cuts and bruises.
*Mrs. Martha Ampe Wehe, 31, Loyal, Route 2, who sustained a frontal skull fracture and a broken neck.
*Mrs. Mildred Domine, 30, also of Loyal, Route 2, who suffered a broken neck and a fractured left leg.
The driver and owner of the vehicle, Bruno Chekitis, 27, of Greenwood, Route 1, sustained minor injuries and was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital at Marshfield for treatment of bruises to his chest, left hip, and right shoulder, and a few minor lacerations.
All of the victims were riding in the front seat of the vehicle.
The tragedy occurred when Chekitis, driving west on Highway 93, collided with the southbound freight. The light truck was carried 52 feet from the point of impact. All of the victims remained in the vehicle.
The train, No. 24 on the Minneapolis to Chicago run, was due in Spencer at 12:05 a.m. and arrived at 1:35 o’clock. The engineer was Arthur Hartel and the conductor Alex Lepinski, both of Stevens Point.
INQUEST NEXT WEEK
The right front of the demolished car collided with the left front of the cowcatcher of the locomotive. The engine was not damaged.
John Hildensperger, acting Marathon County coroner, quoted Chekitis as saying that the panel truck was moving about 15 miles per hour when it reached the crossing.
Hildensperger said an inquest would be held early next week.
Chekitis, a veteran receiving on-the-job training as a mechanic at the Otto Stock garage at Loyal, told a reporter this morning that he had been with Darkow since early last evening, and that they had met the women at Loyal about 1 ½ hours before the tragedy.
The four later drove to Spencer to eat at a café there. After eating they proceeded eastward across the railroad crossing to Highway 13, turned around, and where re-crossing the tracks when the collision occurred.
PINNED IN VECHILE
Chekitis said he was pinned underneath the steering wheel and against the floorboards in the crash, and that the door of the vehicle had to be pried open to enable him to get out of the twisted wreckage.
Both of the women were farm wives. Mrs. Domine is the mother of two children, and Mrs. Wehe the mother of six. A Spencer businessman received a telephone call from Mrs. Darkow this morning, checking rumors of Darkow’s death.
Marathon County Traffic Officers Frank Cartwright and Jack Nutter investigated the accident.
Photo Caption - The bodies of three persons who died instantly of broken necks were removed from the remains of this panel truck after the vehicle collided with a Soo Line freight train at a crossing in Spencer early this morning. The driver and owner of the car, Bruno Chekitis, 27, Greenwood, who received minor bruises and lacerations in the crash, was extricated from the wreckage after a door was pried open by rescuers. The dead are Mrs. Martha Ampe Wehe, 31, and Mrs. Mildred Domine, 30, both of Loyal, route 2, and Harold A. Darkow, 23, Athens.
**Both women are buried in the St. Anthony’s/St. Balthazar’s Cemetery, Loyal Township, Clark County, Wisconsin
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