On April 18, 1951, William Randolph Cranston (Bill) was killed in a two car crash near the town of Tyndall, South Dakota. He was riding in the back seat of a Cadillac and the driver attempted to pass a car on a hill but met another car coming up the hill. The driver swerved to the left into the ditch in an attempt to avoid the collision, but the oncoming car, driven by Orville Grubele, hit the Cadillac near the right rear door as it went into the ditch. Bill was sitting in the back seat of the Cadillac on the right side of the car at the point of impact. He was not killed immediately but apparently suffered internal injuries the fatal injury being collapsed lungs. He couldn’t breathe and died shortly after the accident.
The following excerpt from the Mitchell, South Dakota newspaper, The Daily Republic, reports on the coroner’s inquest verdict that the cause of the crash was an accident.
Personally I think it was caused by the fact that the driver of the Cadillac had been drinking and perhaps was “under the influence” of alcohol. To my recollection, the four men in the Cadillac had stopped shortly before the accident and had a few drinks, although I cannot confirm this. Click on the image below to enlarge it and read the text of the report in the newspaper.