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LADY STATED TO BE HURLED INTO…

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LADY STATED TO BE HURLED INTO THE SEA. IS IT A TRAGEDY? TI-IE illYSTERY DEEPENS. RELATIVES' REMARKABLE SILENCE. ,) Great sensation was created on Sunday morning in this neighbourhood by the report that a motor-car accident of a singular kind had taken place about nine o'clock on Saturday night in the urban district of Penmaenmawr) on the Pen- 4 maenbach point. Two ladies, daughters of Mrs Charlesworth, of Boderw, St. Asaph, were returning to St. Asaph from the direction of Bangor. The younger Miss Charlesworth was steering', and the chauffeur sat beside her, whilst her sister sat behind. The oar is a large one, and was seen to pass through Penmaenmawr About the time stated. The part of the main road along the coast where it came to grief is about 50 yards on the Conway side of Penmaenbach point, where there is a jagged piece of rock prejecting upwards a considerable height between the road and the precipice, and known locally as "The Devil's Thumb." The road dips downwards on the Conway side of this rook, but not at all steeply. What hap- pened to cause the accident is not known, but for some reason Miss Charlesworth lost control of the machine, which swerv- ed suddenly to the left, dashed towards a narrow opening in the boundary wall, knocked part of the wall down, jumped through the gap, and came to rest, within about 18 inches of the edge of the cliff. Just here there is a kind of natural recess between the rocks, and the wall through which the motor burst its way is intend- ed for the protection of vehicles and foot passengers using the road. There is a right of way down to the beach, though the climb down to the shore is a rather hazardous one, and the gap in the wall is to give access to the top of the cliff and to the declivity. The rock and the face of the descent is much serrated at this point. The younger Miss Charlesworth was thrown from her position at the wheel, through the glass screen at the front of the car, it is believed, and over the edge of the cliff. No doubt in falling down the cliff she would be stunned and much in- jured, but, in any case, her body rolled or dropped a distance of 60 feet into the sea, the tide being at the flood at the time, and was carried away, her hat only being afterwards found. The elder Miss Charlesworth was not thrown out of the car, and only sustained a severe shock. The chauffeur was thrown from his seat and fell on to the rock, narrowing escap- ing his mistress's fate. He was badly bruised, and rendered for the time quite helpless. By some means tidings of the accident reached the occupants of some cotta.ges half-a-mile nearer Conway, at the end of the Morfa, and messages were sent to Pen- maenmawr and to Conway for assistance. Superintendent Rees, of Conway, obtained a carraige, and drove as fast as possible to Penmaenbach, accompanied by Sergt. Evans and a constable. When they arrived the elder Miss Charlesworth and the chauffeur had been laid on the ground and given such attention as was possible. Very shortly afterwards Mr R. J. Hughes, surveyor to the Urban District Council of Penmaenmawr, arrived, with Dr. Roberts and a constable. Under the care of Dr. Roberts the lady and the driver were taken in a carriage to Penmaenmawr and given n.Lo the charge of a nurse at Gwynfa, a boarding-residence n that town. Superirstenden; Rees, Mr R. J. Hughes, Dr. J. R. V." Mums, Penmaen- mawr, and a large number of volunteers proceeded to search the beach for the body of the other lady. The tide had by this time fallen, and it was possible to walk round the point on the sands. There was brilliant moonlight, by the aid of which every likely spot wa.s visited, but the body could no: be found. The moon was shining brightly also at the time of the accident, which adds to the mystery of its occurrence. Strangely enough, the car was but little damaged. It was got out of the small re- cess and driven back to Penmaenmawr. On Sunday, the surviving lady and the driver were both reported to be suffering from severe shock and nervous prostra- tion, but were progressing satisfactorily. zn ZD Fishermen and boatmen searched the Conway estuary on Sunday without find- ing a trace of Miss Charlesworth's body. Her hat and note-book were found on the rocks below where the car came through the wall. The opening in the wall was two feet wide, and through it the debris falling from a steep acclivity on the other side of the road had been wheeled, form- ing a, trip, the top of which was about 36 square yards in area. Un this ledge the car stopped. The rear wheels rested ] against the kerb in the road, which pre- vented its going over. The chauffeur, whose name is Albert Watts, believes that the car struck a stone, which caused it to swerve, SEARCH OF THE SPOT. Several men reached the spot a short time after the accident. Mr Ivor Parry, of Conway, immediately he learnt that a lady was missing, climbed down the rocks, and found that the sea did not reach the foo-, of them. He searched about, but could find no trace of Miss Charlesworth. Mr Owen Roberts, of Penmaenmawr, cycling home from Conway, came across the wrecked car, and, on being informed by the chauffeur Watts that a lady was missing he went down on to the beach to look for her, 'but she had even then dis- appeared. He, however, found her hat on the sands at the foot, of the rocks, and I a pocket map, said also to belong to her, was on a ledge of the rocks. As he failed to see the lady, he thought it, better to go for assistance, and he rode off to Penmaen- mawr, where he communicated with Police Constable Owen. The latter telephoned to Superintendent Rees, and then went as quickly as possible to Penmaenbach, where he found Miss Lilian Charlesworth and the chauffeur in the distressed con- dition already described. On Tuesday night an "Advertiser" re- presentative interviewed Superintendent Rees, who told a remarkable story. He said that he did not interview the surviv- ing sister, Miss Lilian Charlesworth, on the Saturday night. He had intended doing so on the Sunday morning, but found that she had left. Penmaenmawr at four o'clock a.m., and he had received no communication from her since. The first intimation of the accident was given, he said, by Miss Lilian Charles- worth to a, boy of sixteen at Penmaenbach. This was not until three-quarters of an hour after Miss Violet had disappeared over the cliff; but the distance the sur- viving sister would have to walk would account for part of the time. The boy ran before Miss Charlesworth and met the chauffeur, Watts, close to the car. Watts told the lad that he had fallen on his back on the rocks and that the lady had gone over the cliff. SEARCH IN THE SEA. The lad descended the cliff to the water, but could find no trace of the lady. He waded in up to his waist, and searched the sea for a wide circle, but still could not, find anything. The father of the boy then arrived!, and to him the lady made practically the same, statement. The Superintendent, cont.-Inuing, said that. many people came from Penmaen- mawr, including Dr. Roberts, who exam- ined Miss Lilian Charlesworth and the chauffeur, and said, they were not injured. The chauffeur appeared to be dazed, and could only say, "Where is the la,dy?" and "She has gone over into the sea." Dr. Roberts then took them in a carriage to Penmaenmawr, and left them in charge of a nurse at an establishment known as Gwynfa. He (the superintendent) examin- ed the car, but, found no trace of blood. The tide was full at the time, but the water would only be shallow. The cliff was after- wards exmined but there was no trace of blood to be seen. On returning to C'onway the Superin- tendent, telephoned the news to St. Asaph, and a neighbour, a Mr Buxton, who is well-known in the district, came over and took Miss Oharlesworth and the chauffeur away about four o'clock in the morning. The search for the body was kept up all day on Sunday and Monday, but the only things found were a, Tam o'Shanter cap and a, black note book. The surviving Miss Charlesworth was wearing a similar cap. l Asked about the position the car was L in when he arrived, the Superintendent said it would require a great deal of skill to guide it into the gap. The glass was broken, and only one lamp was burning. The mysterious part. of the business to him was that he had not received any com- munication from the family since the acci- dent happened. The car was a powerful one, bearing the number LB 6,709. MEDICAL MAN'S STORY. The Superntenclent not heling able to throw any more light on the tragedy, he got into communication with Dr. Roberts, of Penmaenmawr, who informed him that the lady and chauffeur appeared to be in a state of collapse while he drove them to the nursing home, and they could tell him nothing. At three o'clock the following morning he was called up by a gentleman who said he had come to fetch the lady and chauffeur but the nurse would not allow them to be disturbed until he had sanctioned it. He gave his permission, but since then had heard nothing from them. He was able to inform him that, some- one had been to Penmaenmawr that day, and taken away the car which had been left at, a, cycle-repairing shop. After receiving that message, he com- municated with the police at St. Asaph; and the officer in charge there said he had just received a note in the hand- writing of Mrs Charlesworth instructing him to offer a reward of £ 20 for the re- covery of the body, which offer would be circulated in the morning. He then tele- phoned to the home of the missing lady, Boderw, St. Asaph. The second chauffeur, a man of the name of Heywood, answered the call, and in reply to a. ques- tion, said that Miss Charlesworth was able to get, up, as was also the chauffeur. He asked if the latter could be spoken to, and he was told he was on other duty. Miss Charlesworth, said his informant, had been, confined to her bed until that day, and that accounted foi' her silence. Later in the evening he learnt that Mr Sydney Holloway, of Tottenham-court- I y road, London, had called on Superin- tendent Rees, and informed him that all the family at Boderw were ill. The ladies had left St. Asaph .in the car in the after- noon of Saturday, thinking of taking a short. drive only. The day was so fine, however, that they had gone as far as Bangor and had tea at an hotel there be- fore returning. This was the first com- munication the officer had received from the family since the accident. LOCAL OPINIONS. Mr G. A. Humphreys, the local agent to the lVlostynEstate interview by an "Advertiser" representative, said he was well acquainted with the road on which the accident is reported to have taken place, and frequently motored past that spot. In his opinion the road was not dangerous to a person exercising ordinary care, and he could not understand how the accident, occurred, or how a person occupying the driver's seat, could be thrown from that position over the steer- ing wheel, through the glass wind shield, and down the cliff. Asked whether he considered it dangerous for a woman tOI drive along that road, Mr Humphreys replied that if a woman could drive at, all she could take the car with safety along the road in question. In his opinion.1. it was possible that a, large piece of stone might, have fallen from the rocks on the side of the road owing to the frost, and if the car, had run suddenly up against, this piece of stone the shock would be communicated to those in the car, and the person driving might inadvertently turn the steering wheel, causing the car to run into the wall. Mr Thomas Foster, manager of the Llandudno Motor and Garafe Company, was also of opinion that the road was not at all dangerous to. those driving cars with ordinary care. Mr Foster speaks, with considerable experience, as during the summer months several cars and motor charabancs belonging to his Company daily pass along the Penmaenmawr road.

CHAUFFEUR'S STORY.

MISS VIOLET CHARLEiSWORTH'S…

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