Auto Crash on Colonial Drive Kills Columbia Mother, Child

A midnight automobile crash on Colonial drive claimed the lives of a Columbia mother and daughter Saturday night and Sunday morning. The mother was burned to death at the scene of the wreck while the daughter, though severely burned, clung to life for 12 hours at the COlumbia hospital before expiring.

Three-year-old Dianne Ford, died in the Columbia hospital at 11:55 yesterday morning. Her 19-year-old mother, Mrs. Annie Mae Ford of 2528 Chestnut street, perished beside the family’s flaming automobile just after the accident on the 2800 block of Colonial drive.

The driver of a second car that was involved in the wreck, Wilson Alexander Coan, 25, of 1607 Bull street, a department manager of Miller Tire Service, was being held in the Richland county jail pending a coroner’s inquest an investigating officer said.

Mrs. Ford and her child were traveling south on Colonial drive at 11:50 Sunday night in a 1940 Plymouth tudor sedan driven by her husband, John H. Ford, 26, an employe of the Pepsi-Cola bottling company.

Mr. Ford was preparing to make a left turn onto Sligh avenue, a county road, an officer said, when a 1941 Chrysler driven by Mr. Coan smashed into the rear of his automobile.

The gas tank of the Plymouth exploded, the officer said, setting both automobiles afire. Mr. and Mrs. Ford were thrown from the car, and the young woman landed beside the left rear wheel of the vehicle where she was apparently sprayed with flaming gasoline. The blaze was so hot that rescuers were prevented from getting Mrs. Ford away from the fire. The fire was not extinguished until city firemen arrived and put it out.

The child was pulled from the pyre by passing motorist and rushed to the Columbia hospital by a Paschal-Regal ambulance, but she was so severely burned that physicians were unable to save her.

Mr. Ford escaped serious injury. His leg was bruised slightly.

The two passengers in the Chrysler, Mr. Coan and W. A. Gee of 4309 Mountain drive, both received minor cuts and bruises.

Both automobiles were demolished, investigating officers said.

Traffic was tied up for nearly an hour along the highway near the scene while Columbia city firemen battled the fire and wreckers cleared the street of twisted and blackened debris.

The accident was investigated by Patrolman O. L. Derrick, Sgt. E. L. Shealy, Patrolman W. O. Wilson, Patrolman M. O. Riley, Coroner William A. Plott, Columbia firemen, Columbia city police, Eau Claire police and Richland county sheriff’s deputies.

Mrs. Ford is survived by her husband, John H. Ford; two sisters, Mrs. Ezel Watts of Blythewood and Mrs. George Bowers of Milwaukee, Wis.; three brothers, Earl Shelton of Monroe, Mich., and Carl Shelton and Walter Shelton, both of Blythewood; and several aunts and uncles.

The child, Dianne, is survived by her father and her paternal grandmother, Mrs. J. W. Ford of Blaney.

Joint funeral services will be held at 4:30 this afternoon from the Spears Creek Baptist church, conducted by the Rev. M. V. Horne, assisted by the Rev. D. P. Blackwell. Interment will be in the church cemetery.

Active pallbearers will be: L. W. Smith, Jr., T. D. Palmer, H. R. Geiger, R. E. Cooper, L. B. Nelson, and E. F. Turner.

Honorary pallbearers will be: S. J. Rabon, J. C. Rabon, W. V. Carter, O. M. Jacobs, H. T. Lovett, W. G. Sloan, Heyward Lovett, J. D. Sloan, R. D. Davis, J. B. Chrisler, B. E. Stockman, I. J. Jacobs, Harry Carter, Jake Ellisor, Charles Porter, J. M. Coble, Johnny Burt, Joe McCay, Lonnie Jacobs, Earl Jacobs, and Clarence Jacobs.

The pallbearers, active and honorary, will meet at the church at 4:25 this afternoon.

The bodies will remain at the Paschal-Regal funeral home until the hour of the services.

September 10, 1951  State (published as The State)  
Columbia, South Carolina
Page 1
September 10, 1951  State (published as The State)  
Columbia, South Carolina
Page 6

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.