Bio: Sleater, Harry (Collision - 1953)


Contact: Dolores Mohr Kenyon


Surnames: Sleater, Grant, Miller, Schmidt, Frantz, Struble, Lyons, Eisentraut, Huckstead, Quicker, Marg 

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) July 16, 1953  

Harry Sleater (Collision - 9 July 1953) 

Death rode in a two-door car on Thursday, July 9, when two automobiles were in collision on the Granton hill.  The new Buick, driven by Harry Sleater, was a two-door car.  Mr. and Mrs. Sleater were in front, Mrs. Sleater’s parents in the rear.  As always with a two-door car, the front seats were hinged. The impact hurled the Grants against the front seats, which flew forward on their hinges, adding to the violence with which Mr. and Mrs. Sleater were hurled against the steering wheel and the instrument panel. 

This is believed to account, in whole or part, for the fact that the more serious injuries were received by the four persons in the Buick.  Mrs. Sleater was killed.  Mr. Sleater suffered a broken jaw and broken left leg, together with cuts and bruises. 

This situation will presumably be developed when a coroner’s jury seeks to untangle the uncertainties surrounding the fatal crash near Granton on Thursday, July 9.  A jury was promptly impaneled, and its members visited the scene. Adjournment was then taken, awaiting the improvement in condition of the survivors. 

Except for Mrs. Harry Sleater of Eau Claire, who was killed instantly, there has been relatively rapid improvement. Of the eight persons involved, the Sleaters were the most unfortunate.  Mr. Sleater is in the Luther Hospital in Eau Claire, with a broken jaw, and a broken left leg.  He is expected to make a good recovery. 

With the Sleaters were Mrs. Sleater’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Grant of Peoria, Ill.  Both were hospitalized, but the injuries of Mrs. Grant were not serious.  Mr. Grant however had had a heart attack recently, was ill prepared to endure the shock of the collision, but is making a good recovery. 

In The Left Lane -

The Sleaters were in a 1953 Buick and were driving to Marshfield.  As they broke over the crest of he hill just before the junction of US-10 and County Trunk K, their car straddled the middle line of the pavement, and the left wheels continued to the left of the middle line, until the Buick was in head-on collision with a Hudson car, which was just completing the Maple Works curve on U. S. 10. 

The Hudson was driven by Joseph Miller of Milwaukee, who was thought at first to have suffered serious injury, but was presently released, with injuries no more serious tan broken toes.  With him were his wife, 39, who is in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Marshfield, with a broken pelvis; Mrs. Raymond H. Schmidt of Marshfield, who is in St. Joseph’s Hospital with cuts and bruises; and Mrs. Schmidt’s little daughter, Mary Louise 5, whose injury was a sprained ankle, and who was soon released from the hospital.  

Why in Left Lane? 

The testimony before the coroner’s jury may shed some light on the reason, or lack of it, for the Sleater car to have been occupying part of the left lane.  Both drivers were familiar with the road.  As officers were at work at the scene the next day, they noted that other cars, breaking over the hill, also veered to the left. This occasioned further study of the location, and it was noted that the sign of the curve was of ordinary dimensions and is under a tree, being thus somewhat inconspicuous.  Also it is noted that the crest of the hill comes a very short distance from the junction of K and U. S. 10, with K looming straight ahead as an inviting piece of road. 

After sizing up the location, Traffic Officer Harry Frantz concluded the curve was not properly marked. He made a recommendation that a conspicuous sign of a more impressive nature be installed in a more conspicuous location. 

The coroner’s jury consists of Delbert Struble, Jud Lyons, Alvin Eisentraut, Harold Huckstead, Hubert Quicker and Albert Marg. 



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