This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Saturday, August 3, 1935.
A charge of negligent homicide was today placed against Talbert Ribble, Detroit, driver of the truck that struck and fatally injured Horace Edmund Manzer of Michigan Ave. at Park St. Friday afternoon. Justice a. M. Vanderall of Municipal Court fixed bond at $5,000.
The first fatal traffic accident within the city limits during 1935 claimed the life of H. Edmund Manzer, 55 year old Platt resident, who was struck by a truck while walking across E. Michigan Ave. at Park St. about 4 o’clock Thursday afternoon. Three other accidents within one and one half hours following the tragic crash injured another man and damaged automobiles.
Mr. Manzer, carpenter and roofer by trade, died in Beyer Hospital a few minutes after he had been struck by the 10 ton truck driven by Talbert Riddle, 29, 8094 Witt Ave., Detroit. He was crossing north on E. Michigan Ave. with the green light, witnesses state, when he was run down. He died of head, chest, and internal injuries.
The truck also struck a car belonging to Prof. and Mrs. Frederick B. McKay, but neither Professor nor Mrs. McKay, who were in the car, were injured.
The truck was operated by the Detroit-Chicago Motor Freight Company and was westward bound. According to statement of the driver and his helper, George Kurdts, 24, Chicago, to Chief of Police Ralph Southard, the accident was due to damaged brakes.
As he approached the light, Mr. Ribble said, he saw it change, but when he attempted to apply his breaks, the foot pedal went loosely down to the floor boards, indicating that something had happened to render his brakes useless. He applied emergency brakes, but they were of little use.
Ahead of him were the Manzer truck parked at the curb, the McKay car standing nearby as Prof. and Mrs. McKay, driving on Michigan Ave., waited for the light, and Mr. Manzer crossing toward his truck which he had parked while he walked across Michigan Ave. to a store.
Mr. Ribble did his best, he said, to avert an accident. He struggled to miss the parked machines and avoided the Manzer truck, but swerved directly onto Mr. Manzer, stricking the side of the McKay car as he turned.
Amos Kline, 28, roofing companion of Mr. Manzer, was seated in the Manzer truck. He saw the freight truck approaching and realizing as he noted its speed, that it could not stop, got out. He was the first to reach Mr. Manzer and summoned aid.
Mr. Manzer was rushed to Beyer Hospital, but he was so badly injured that physicians could do nothing for him and he died within a few minutes, without regaining consciousness.
Whether he had failed to see the approaching truck, or merely disregarded it, assuming that it would stop because of the light, remains, of course, unexplained. Mr. Kline is of the opinion that he did not see it till it was too close to avoid.
The truck was heavily loaded with wheels and ran on past the scene of the accident approximately 1,000 feet before it was brought to a stop.
Under direction of Chief Southard it was examined at the Silkworth service station in an effort to determine what had happened. Workmen found that a steel pin had been lost, and that this missing part would account for failure of the brakes to operate.
An inquest will be held to officially determine cause of the death, and search in being made along the highway for the missing pin in an effort to determine how long the truck had been running in crippled condition. Ribble said his last stop was made in Wayne and the brakes were satisfactory at that time.
Mr. Manzer was born in Van Buren Township, Wayne County, but had spent practically his entire life in Ypsilanti and vicinity. He was 52 years old, being born April 2, 1883. Mr. Manzer was a carpenter by trade and had been working on county welfare relief projects, recently at the Ann Arbor High School. He had been married on two occasions but was living alone in Platt.
Surviving are two brothers, Melvin Everit, Livingston County near Fenton, and Robert, Detroit. His parents, George and Agnes Manzer have passed.
Funeral arrangements were to be completed this afternoon.
Within one half hour after the fatal accident John Carey, R. F. D. 1 was taken to Beyer Hospital with a deep cut above his right eye, received in another collision on E. Michigan Ave. just east of the bridge and not far from the spot where three persons lost their lives and two others were seriously injured last year. Mr. Carey was taken to Beyer and was able to leave after treatment.
Mr. Carey was a passenger in a machine driven by Fred Stoddard, also R. F. D. 1, who collided with a parked car owned by Dorothy Fuester, Davison, Mich., according to police report. The accident occurred during the heavy rain storm and Mr. Stoddard told police he did not see the Fuester machine in time to avoid the accident. Sides of both machines were badly damaged.
One man is suspected in two cases of reckless driving reported to police. Complaint was first received from Mrs. May C. Johnson, 520 First Ave., that a machine containing two men was driven into her yard and smashed two wash tubs.
It is believed the same two men crashed into the barricade on Washtenaw Ave. where the pavement is being repaired, broke three lanterns, but failed to stop. Both mishaps occurred shortly after 5 o’clock. Police were given a license number, and are investigating tody to learn the name of the driver.
Small damage also resulted during the rain storm when machines driven by Pro. Carl Lindergren and Samuel G. Smith collided in the business section. There were no injuries.