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Mail Tribune 100

June 18, 1915


Update: Stewart Patterson died at 2 o'clock this afternoon

Stewart Patterson, the orchardist, is hovering between life and death with a compound fracture of the skull, with slim chances for life; J.C. Baillargeon of San Francisco had his right leg broken in two places and L. Mitizer of San Francisco had three broken ribs as a result of an auto smashup early this morning at the Pacific & Eastern railroad crossing of the Pacific highway. E.L. Eyre Jr., also of San Francsico, the other occupant of the car, was thrown against the fence and escaped with slight bruises. Failure of the electric lighting system on the car, a 50-horsepower Simplex, while going at a high rate of speed on the curve, caused the disaster.  The car is almost a complete wreck.

The San Franciscans are members of a party that have been touring California by auto, arriving Thursday to visit Walter Bowne, a former classmate at Yale.  They were returning from a dance at the Country Club given in their honor and had accompanied Mr. Bowne in his car to Gold Hill, to leave Harry Porter, one of the musicians, at his home. Leaving Gold Hill, Mr. Mintzer in his Simplex took the lead, and when on the curve just north of the railroad crossing his lights failed and the auto dashed across the ditch and track embankment, piling up on the south side.

Mr. Patterson, who was in the front seat with Mr. Mintzer, was shot thirty feet forward, striking on his head. The other members of the party were hurled in various directions, except the driver, pinned in by the wheel. They were picked up by Mr. Bowne and taken to the hospital, where their injuries were dressed by Dr. Porter.

The lighting system on the demolished car had been out of order for some time. It was repaired yesterday, but the wires evidently became disconnected during the drove from Gold Hill.

Mr. Patterson came here several years ago from Chicago, and is a member of a well-known Chicago family. He owns an orchard near Talent. The other injured men are former Yale students and from prominent California families. Mr. Mintzer is the son of the president of the California Cement Co. A fourth member of the party, Livingston Baker, was with Mr. Browne at the time of the disaster.