Delaware County NY Genealogy and History Site

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Vehicle Out of Control on Liberty Hill


Frease Conklin and Stiles Fairchild are Now Confined to Hospital With Injuries.

Stiles Fairchild of Walton is in the Maimonides hospital at Liberty suffering from a fractured skull and Frease Conklin, also of Walton, is in the Roscoe hospital with internal injuries, the result of injuries received Tuesday afternoon when a truck owned by Henry Tietjen, Walton, got out of control on a hill near Liberty.

Conklin, the driver of the truck, had been employed by Mr. Tietjen the day before and was making his first trip to New York with a load of soft cheese and cream from the Breakstone plant at Walton. The load weighed approximately five tons, Fairchild was evidently accompanying him for the ride.

The accident occurred on the hill between the Youngs Gap hotel and the railroad bridge just north of Liberty village. This grade is not excessively steep and evidently Conklin failed to put the truck in a low gear at the top of the incline. As the truck descended it gathered speed and part way down the hill Conklin attempted to shift to a lower speed. Because of the speed of the truck he was unable to mesh the gears and the truck, running in neutral, fast gathered momentum.

Conklin told Fairchild to get out on the runningboard and jump. It is thought that Fairchild tried to follow directions but stumbled as he jumped and landed on top of his head. Conklin jumped a moment later.

The truck veered to the left side of the highway, a rear wheel hit one of the concrete guard posts and then the vehicle plunged over the bank at almost right angles to the highway. The truck body was smashed open and the load of cheese and cream was spilled over the landscape. Mr. Tietjen believes little damage was done to the truck outside of the refrigerator body.

The two men were taken to Maimonides hospital at Liberty where it was found Mr. Fairchild had a fracture of the skull and was suffering from a concussion. Conklin showed no outward signs of serious injury and insisted that he felt all right and wanted to return home. On his insistence he was allowed to start back to Walton in an automobile. When he reached Roscoe he began to feel some pain and showed evidence of internal injury. He was taken to the Roscoe hospital where he was suffering from a hemorrhage of the kidney. Dr. Miller describes his present condition as "fair".

Personal Note from Tamara Sanford-Wong, November 7, 2008:

Family records show this accident occurred 2 years prior to the death of Stiles Fairchild which would put the year of this accident in 1943. Stiles had to have a steel plate put in his head due to the injuries received in this accident. The steel plate would cause great problems but he ultimately passed away due to heart problems. Stiles Fairchild(s) or Styles Fairchild(s) as he was also known was my maternal Grandfather.

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