One of the most serious and tragic automobile accidents in the history of this county occurred shortly before 8 o'clock Tuesday evening of this week when seven members of the Alonzo Richardson family were either killed or seriously injured south of Wilmore as they were on their way to that city to attend a basketball game. The car missed the end of a narrow culvert and ran directly into a four or five foot bank of earth at the side of the road at a point seven miles east and three quarters north of Coldwater. A short time before the accident Mr. Richardson met a car from Wilmore and apparently did not realize he was near the culvert, which is narrower than the road itself.
The Wilmore driver and three men from the Robbins ranch, sensing that the Richardson car might go off the road, stopped to investigate. They managed to get the injured persons to the M. E Jordan farm home which was nearby. Gary Allen, the 18 months old son of Mr. and Mrs. Richardson, is thought to have been killed outright, due to a blow on his forehead. Mrs. Richardson died soon after reaching the Jordon home and before the doctors could arrive. His injuries are said to have included a broken back, a broken arm and leg, a crushed chest and serious head injuries.
Three Ambulances Summoned.
Dr. A. J. Shelley of Coldwater, Dr. L. G. Glenn of Protection and ambulances from Greensburg, Protection and Coldwater were summoned. The Fleener ambulance from Greensburg took the dead to the Hearldson funeral parlors in Coldwater and the Peacock ambulance of Protection and the Hearldson ambulance of this city took the remainder of the family to the Hardtner hospital. The doctors there stated that in all their practice they had never before seen a group brought in where all were so seriously injured.
Two registered nurses, Mrs. Gwen Baker and Mrs. Myrl Dellinger of Wilmore, gave valuable assistance in helping care for the injured following the wreck.
Mr. Richardson had several ribs broken on his right side and the bones of his nose and face were crushed as though they had been hit with a sledge hammer. A leader and an artery were cut on his right wrist and he sustained a deep cut on his forehead and on one leg. He suffered the loss of much blood. However, he regained full consciousness after being taken to the hospital and on Thursday afternoon was able to be brought to Coldwater to help make funeral arrangements for his wife and son.
Two Daughters Still Unconscious.
Beverly Richardson, 14, received a gash which extended entirely across the top of her head, and her skull is fractured. On Thursday she had not yet regained consciousness and her condition is still considered very grave.
Charlotte, age 7, suffered a broken right leg near the thigh and has a brian concussion, due to a heavy blow on the head. She, also, is reported to have not yet regained consciousness.
Lonita, 10, had a number of lower teeth knocked out and suffered a deep gash two or three inches long on her lower lip, and another on her head. She like all the others, suffered serious body bruises. She also had a slight concussion of the brain.
Larry, age 9, was the least hurt of any of the five children, but one knee was cut nearly to the bone and one hand was mangled, with at least one finger broken. He, alone, was fully conscious after the wreck.
The car was completely wrecked and the steering wheel was folded tightly against the windshield. It is said that three of the family were thrown out of the car when the car struck the high bank.
Funeral Friday Afternoon.
Funeral services for Mrs. Richardson and son will be held in the Christian church in Coldwater, Friday afternoon of this week at 2:30 p.m. and burial will be in the Coldwater cemetery. Mrs. Richardson was 40 years of age. The only member of the family not in the tragical wreck was Mrs. Ed Dunn who lives at Teagarden, Okla.
A complete obituary and an account of the funeral services will be published in next week's Star. All join in extending sincere sympathy to the sorrowing relatives.
The Western Star, January 17, 1947.
Richardson Funeral Held Last Friday
Last Rites for Auto Crash Victims Were Largely Attended
Funeral services for Mrs. Alonzo Richardson and her 18 months old son, Gary Allen, who were killed January 7 when their car struck an embankment south of Wilmore, were held in the Coldwater Christian church at 2:30 o'clock last Friday afternoon and were in charge of the pastor, Heber Pitman and a former pastor, Lloyd R. Sparks of Carmen, Okla. Mr. Sparks brought a comforting message.
Mr. and Mrs. Gurney T. Hadley sang, "Safe in the Arms of Jesus," "Precious Jewels" and "In the Garden," and were accompanied on the piano by Mrs. Jess Hill. There were many floral offerings.
Burial was in Crown Hill cemetery near this city. The pallbearers for Mrs. Richardson were Martin L. Zerby, Victor J. Allderdice, Huron Atteberry, Charles Gregg, Otha Landess and Paul Evans, the latter of Wichita. The pallbearers for Gary Allen were Harold and Darrol Hackney of Wichita, Dan Parcel of Protection and Merle Richardson of Coldwater.
Emma Mae Bibb daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. C. Bibb, was born in Vandalia, Mo., March 17, 1906, and departed this life January 7, 1947, at the age of 40 years, 9 months and 21 days.
When she was three years of age she with her parents came to Coldwater where she spent the remainder of her life. She attended the Coldwater schools and was graduated with the Class of 1925. In early childhood she united with the Coldwater Christian church and lived the life of a consistent Christian.
On January 15, 1927 she was united in marriage in Coldwater with Alonzo Richardson. To this union five daughters and two sons were born. One daughter, Fonda Mae, died at the age of 20 months and one son, Gary Allen, died at the age of 18 months. The surviving children are: Patricia Joyce Dunn of Teagarden, Okla., and Beverly Ann, Lonita Yvonne, Larry Alonzo and Charla Imogene of the home.
Also surviving are her husband, her father, Tom C. Bibb, five brothers - Claude, Charlie and Clyde Bibb of Coldwater, Victor Bibb of Wichita and Virgil Bibb of Dodge City, Leliah Shipp of Dodge City and Lottie Mills of Coldwater, and by a number of nieces and nephews, besides a host of friends.
Her mother and one sister, Mrs. Ann Magers preceded her in death.
Mrs. Richardson was a devoted and thoughtful wife and mother, patient and kind at all times, and all who knew her were her friends.
Mr. and Mrs. Richardson, who made their home on the V. J. Allderdice farm, formerly the Funkhouser place 18 miles southeast of Coldwater, had been making plans to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary on Sunday, January 12, but the fatal accident five days prior to the anniversary observance changed the plans.
Gary Allen Richardson
Gary Allen Richardson was born July 1, 1946, at Hardtner, Kans., and departed this life January 7, 1947, at the age of one year, six months and six days. He leaves to mourn his passing his father, one brother and four sisters. Gary was a likable child and his smile and cheery nature endeared him to everyone who came in contact with him.
The untimely death of Mrs. Richardson and son elicits the sincere sympathy of the entire community.
ATTEND RICHARDSON FUNERAL LAST FRIDAY
Those from out of town who attended the funeral of Mrs. Alonzo Richardson and her son, Gary Allen, were Mr. and Mrs. Jack Hackney and family, Paul Evans, Myra Ann Richardson, Mr. and Mrs. Leon Richardson and Mr. and Mrs. Victor Bibb of Wichita, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Richardson and son of Argonia, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Towner and daughters and Mr. and Mrs. Don Lehr and daughter of ElDorado, Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Bibb and Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Shipp and son of Dodge City, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Dunn and son, Richard, Chas. Huffmaster and Alberta Huffmaster of Satanta, Mr. and Mrs. Andy Dehnan, Mr. and Mrs. Bert Fox, Belle Folks and Mary Folks of Ashland, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Neas and son of Greensburg and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Richardson and Mrs. Harry Marshall of Hutchinson; also a grandson, Bobby Lee Dunn of Teagarden, Okla.
Richardson Family Shows Improvement
One of the Daughters Still Unconscious at Times on 9th Day
The many friends of the Alonzo Richardson family which suffered serious injuries, two of them fatal, Tuesday evening of last week, will be pleased to learn that the two girls, Beverly and Charla Imogene, who were rendered unconscious by the accident, are slowly improving.
On Thursday of the week Charla Imogene had regained full consciousness and Beverly is conscious part of the time - nine days after the accident. However, Charla Imogene's broken leg has not yet been set. A third sister, Lonita, was brought home from the Hardtner hospital on Wednesday.
Alonzo Richardson, the father, is making a remarkable recovery, considering the seriousness of his injuries, with his ribs and face bones crushed and is at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Mills in this city.
Fonda Mae Richardson, daughter of Emma Mae (Bibb) Richardson.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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