Remembering an Accident 1966 Larry Clark

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Remembering an Accident 1966 Larry Clark

I noticed a comment regarding my 63 Chev wagon that was parked in front of the ESSO station; that and the tragic news of David Hagerman’s death caused me to reflect on a most fortunate conclusion to a head-on collision we had on the Friday 1st Dec, 1966. ( Dowdall’s Esso and Hank’s Tire- Jo-Anne Dowdall-Brown and Larry Clark)

The accident took place on Hwy 17 between Cobden and Haley Station Rd.  There were six of us in the car (Chev wagon) I was driving, Beth sitting beside me in the front seat and my 7-8 month pregnant sister, Eleanore beside her (loved those bench seats). The three children in the back. 

My youngest son Keith was lying on the back seat and the other two were way in the back, luggage area (probably fighting?) surrounded by a variety of Christmas presents. 

It was dark of night (very black). I had just turned my head slightly to speak to Eleanore, when my attention was drawn to an on-coming car breasting the hill, but one with four headlights-I reacted quickly as two of them were in my lane. Here my memory is rather vague-I must have cranked the wheel severely to the right-and then oblivion. I must have been out for only a couple of minutes and my next memories were of being in a stranger’s car being driven to Renfrew hospital-not sure who else was with me-perhaps the other adults (children?). 

Dec 2 1966

Arriving at the hospital, in a state of confusion, I very relieved to find out that everyone had survived albeit with a variety of broken bones , cuts and contusions. The doctor wanted to examine me but I  insisted he look after the others first. Later determined the Beth had a broken collarbone and a very large gash along her jawline requiring many stitches  (the gearshift lever); Eleanore some bleeding and was being monitored closely (the two of them had numerous small facial cuts from flying glass); Brent a small gash on his face; Aimee and Keith, no apparent injuries. 

In the middle of all this, the other driver was brought in but quickly ambulanced to Ottawa with a severe eye injury (I knew him from CP but forget his name, which is why I was looking for the newspaper article). Not a way to meet someone from our home town.

I called my parents with the bad news and arranged for a family member to come and drive myself and the children to my parents as Beth and Eleanore, were being held overnight (in fact Eleanore was being driven to Carleton Place Hospital by ambulance) in hospital. I would regret this decision later when, a pain in my left/ankle of which I had been dimly aware of, manifested itself in an increased, barely bearable throbbing, with which I had to put up with for the remainder of the night. 

Throughout the night I had to keep immersing my foot in near boiling water to distract from the throbbing. I did make it through the night and arranged to be driven back to Renfrew to gather the remainder of our belongings, visit the accident site, take pictures of the car and most importantly to arrange for the release of Beth from the hospital. I also persuaded a nurse to provide me with pain pills. 

A few days later, a friend (Dave) who was on course in Ottawa, joined Beth and I on a visit to Eleanore in Hospital. It must have been a sight coming down the hall, three abreast as I was limping, Dave was on crutches (broken ankle due to a fall off a ladder) and Beth with a large bandage on her face and left arm in a sling. It was cause for another bit of excitement.

Nine months late, having lost my limp, I was in a very fastidious (didn’t much like him for that reason) doctor’s office for my annual medical (ATC licence) and on questioning/examining me, pulled out a great protractor-type thing and upon applying this gismo to my arm, asked when I had broken my arm/elbow. 

I explained about the accident which of course arched his eyebrows and led to a much more thorough examination which alarmed me a little but nothing more was determined other than my arm was 20 degrees from being straight. This, over time resolved itself to near perfection (like the rest of me:)

A year and more later, I attended the trial of the other driver; he was defended by a very good lawyer (one of the Anka’s-Paul’s uncle, I believe) and by the time the trial was over it was hard to believe that the accident had actually happened. 

I was of little or no help as I didn’t remember much. The charges were dismissed. However the other witnesses (the ones being passed) tried their best to paint a complete picture. I took them to lunch and it was only then that my memory came flooding back (or at least their version). 

I had forgotten that I had cursed the onlookers who had gathered- for not acting quickly enough in getting the kids out of the back seat. I passed the kids, one at a time through the opening that should have been the windshield except that I couldn’t find Keith. He had been sleeping on the back seat and when the other two were projected forward, breaking the rear seatback and covering him when he was forced to the floor. This would have slowed their forward movement so that it had (probably) minimized the effect on those of us in the front seat and reduced or nullified any potential injuries they may have suffered as a result of the crash. 

The main witness testimony (a truck being passed) was that when they perceived what was about to happen they pulled to their right leaving their lane virtually clear but the overtaking vehicle. He, instead turned to his left thus colliding with our vehicle (he may have attempted to turn back) thus turning a head-on into a partial head-on??

Related reading

Ritchie Feed and Seed Part 3– The Egg Grading Station-Cecil Hicks — Larry Clark

Tales from Ritchie Feed and Seed — Larry Clark part 2

Tales From Ritchie’s Feed and Seed — Larry Clark — Story 1

Memories of Ritchie Feed and Seed Carleton Place

Home Boys and Family–Mallindine Family — Larry Clark

1963 Riverside Park — Stills from a 8 MM Movie Camera — Larry Clark

Dowdall’s Esso and Hank’s Tire- Jo-Anne Dowdall-Brown and Larry Clark

More Photos of the Hazwill Pony Farm… Larry Clark — Wylies– 1962-1963

Photos of Carleton Place — Larry Clark— Findlay Memories

Memories of Larry Clark’s Photos- Bonds Horricks and Tombstones

Riverside Park Comments Larry Clark ‘The Dip’

Larry Clark Photos Documented 1963 Parade

Get me to the My Future Wife On Time — Larry Clark

I Was Axed — Memories of Larry Clark — Bell Street

1954 CPHS Graduation Pictures — Larry Clark

Cruisin Through the Dance Halls- From Carleton Place and Beyond!! Larry Clark

The Summer of 1956- Larry Clark

The Carleton Place Night Patrol: Aka Skin Dogging — Larry Clark

Larry Clark — Upper Bridge Street in Carleton Place

Memories of a Photo — The Forgotten Canadian Forestry Corps, Booze and a Mud Quagmire

Update to the Charles Lindbergh Story — Larry Clark

 Tales You Did Not Know About—Charles Lindbergh Landed in Carleton Place

Memories of Neighbourhood Kids — Larry Clark

Larry Clark Memories : Billings Bridge, Willow Trees and the Orange Lodge

Skating on Fraser’s Pond and Hobo Haven — Larry Clark

Glory Days in Carleton Place– Larry Clark

Larry Clark — Your Veribest Agent

A Personal Story — Caught in the Ice– Rocky Point- Larry Clark

Women of the Red Cross — Mary Slade –Larry Clark

Old Notebooks Larry Clark and I Once Had a Math Teacher like This!

Memories of Mulvey’s Candy Store and Joie Bond — Larry Clark

My Family – Larry Clark — Hilda Strike — Olympic Medallist

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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