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MailTribune.com
  • July 5, 1913

  • Donald Helms, the 21-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. A.D. Helms, living at 219 N. Central Ave., driving an underslung, 50-horsepower American, going at 50 miles an hour, was instantly killed yesterday afternoon in the Fourth of July automobile race at the fair grounds, when, blinded by dust, he struck the Buick car ahead, breaki...
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  • Donald Helms, the 21-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. A.D. Helms, living at 219 N. Central Ave., driving an underslung, 50-horsepower American, going at 50 miles an hour, was instantly killed yesterday afternoon in the Fourth of July automobile race at the fair grounds, when, blinded by dust, he struck the Buick car ahead, breaking an axle hurling the car over twice. Newton H. Marks, the mechanician who rode with Helms, was badly injured in the smashup and was taken to the hospital but was able to leave today and expects to be about next week.
    Is Instantly Killed
    When the car turned over, Marks crawled out from under the wreck, shut off the gas and then extricated his companion, who, frightfully injured, died in a few minutes, without regaining consciousness.
    When the right fore axle snapped and the car hurtled over, three of the tires blew up.
    The break indicates an old flaw in the steel. The race had already gone the required five laps but Helms did not see the signal, as he was riding in a cloud of dust. Speaking of the disaster, Mr. Mark said:
    "I warned Don, not to try to pass anyone on the turns and kept putting my hand up on all the turns for him to slow down and not pass anyone, but he seemed to want to pass them.
    "We were riding in a continual cloud of dust and it was almost impossible at times to tell whether we were on the road or not.
    "When we passed the starting point on the last lap, I remarked to Don that we had gone five laps and slow down, but he said, 'They're still going,' meaning the Buick, the car he collided with, and he started to speed up."
    Collided with Car
    "At the turn where the accident occurred there is a little raise on outer edge and when we struck this it turned our car into the Buick and we struck them about midway causing our car to turn around. Don lost control of the car and at this moment I threw my feet into the air causing me to roll out of the car. Our car made a complete somersault and made about three-fourths of another turn. I rushed up to the car and pulled Don out, he still being in the seat.
    "I find no fault with anyone for the accident, but they should have allowed our car to start first, on account of the driver's youth and inexperience."
    Mrs. Helms, the young man's mother was a witness to the disaster and is prostrated with grief.
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