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Police-Sergeant's Gruesome Discovery. BY THE LIGHT OF A BICYCLE LAMP. Police Sergeant J. A. Hughes, Welshpool, was next engaged for rearly half-an-hour in relating what he knew about the tragedy. About 4-35 p.m. yesterday, in consequence of information received (he said), I proceeded up the Berriew- road on a bicycle in company with P.C. Williams, Forden. Close by the turning to the Red Lane, nearly a mile from the town, I saw a crowd of people. I also saw a man and a woman lying dead on the road. The Coroner: In a heap ?—Yes. Close by there were two large pools of blood. Further on there was a trap overturned on the right side of the road. On the left side of the road there was a motor-engine with van attached and another van behind. I had the two bodies conveyed to the mortuary at Welshpool. I examined the roadway and vans. First of all I saw a dark spot on the hind wheel of the last van-which I took to be oil-on the kerb of the wheel and also on the spoke. But after having a bicycle lamp lighted I examined it mora carefully, and I found it was blood and matter-I myself was of opinion it was brain-mixed with hair. I also examined the front wheel of the same van and found similar marks, but not quite so much blood. I examined the other two wheels, and the wheels under the van attached to the engine, and the engine as well. I found nothing on them. The Coroner Now, Sergeant, we want to know about the road ?—Last night I took measure- ments. But it being dark I left it, and this morning about eight o'clock, in company with P.C. Jones. I went ud again and took correct measurements. The roadway possible for convey- ances would be about 15 feet, leaving the grass on the right and the footpath on the left. From the water-table on the right side of the road to the hedge there would be nine feet of grass. I ROADSIDE WASTE: NINE FEET WIDE. I examined the position of the motor-engine last night, and I found the near wheel within six inches of the side of the road. Where the bodies were lying in a pool of blood is about. 15ft wide, but further on the road widens out on the road entering the Red Lane. The van would be about 7ft. wide. The Coroner: In that case there would be 8 A ieet tor the cart to pass j'- L here was six inches between the van and the left side of the road, so that leaves 7ft 6in. The off-wheel of the hind van was as near to the centre of the road as I can say. Did you find on the right side anything at all that would draw attention as regards the em- bankment ?-I did, sir. I measured it-from the water-table to the hedge there were 9 feet of grass of embankment-and in some places about 2t feet high from the road. In this embankment there were two drains cut across to let the water through from the road. I found a track of a trap entering on to the embankment about 80 feet previous to coming on to where the accident happened, and for a considerable time during that length the two wheels of the trap were tracked on to the grass. And '-t was to be seen now! When the trap had travelled a considerable space on the embankment, it came to the first trench, and the cff-wheel left a deep impression on the soil of the embankment. From there on for about two yards there was a track of this off-wheel going on to some sand on the top of the embank- ment. There I lost the trace of the furthest wheel. The nearer wheel I could trace further on, and coming ouc about six inches on to the road. The road had been cut by a dashboard of a trap just by where I saw the bodies lying. HOW WAS THE TRAP OVER-TURNED? I examined the mark with the dashboard to-day, and it tallied. Further on there was a mark, a kind of a cut, in the road just opposite where the pools of blood were. The two pools of blood were about a yard apart, and were running almost to- wards each other. This was about 10 feet from the hind wheel of the van. Where the impression of the off wheel ended there was a hard lump of sand. Mr Woosnam: Your impression was that the wheel struck this hard lump of sand and over- turned the trap, and the dashboard Struck by the mark in the road ?—Yes, sir. Mr Albert Turner You have no positive infor- mation that the tracks on this side of the road were made by the trap that met with this pir- ticular accident ?—No I haven't. Mr Alfred W. Humphrey: Did you measure the track to see did they correspond with the wheels of the vehicle ?—No; I didn't measure that. The Coroner: I don't suppose he could put his finger and say that they were caused by this trap. That is not insinuated. But this is simply a link with other things. The only question is: What would be the probable cause ? Mr J. McKenzie: You noticed the tracks after you found the bodies ?-I didn't examine so care- fully last night as I did this morning. I examined it much further back towards tha town. They were a combination of marks I had found. Mr Woosnam: Have you any doubt that the tracks you saw along this bank were made by the trap whose dashboard struck the road?-That is my belief. Because there are no tracks further on ?—No and more than that, there is a trace on the road of the trap being lugged all along to the very spot where I found it lying on its side last night.
An Eye-Witness Who Warned.
An Eye-Witness Who Warned. WHY HE DID NOT PASS. David Rogers, farmer, of Penylan, Forden, next gave evidence as an eye-witness of the accident. Yesterday, about a quarter-past four (he said) I started from Welshpool on horseback. About half-a-mile out of town I overtook a light motor drawing two vans. I thought it rather dangerous to pass. I remained behind, thinking they would be going Newtown way and I should be able to pass at the finger-post. Almost immediately a trap came along with four occupants. I didn't know at the time whose it was; I found later it was driven by Mr Jones, of Llyliiardu, Berriew. The driver remarked to 0 me why I didn't pass. I replied I thought it dangerous, at the same time advising him to be careful. He replied that his horse was quiet, and would be able to go by. When the horse got opposite the middle of the hind van, the hor3e seemed to shy to the right, the off wheel of the trap going on to the grass. I should say they went a few feet and then the trap seemed to topple over, the occupants being thrown on to the wheel of the van, I thought. I didn't see them. The Coroner: Did you see anything afterwards ? Was there any cry or shout ?-No, I don't think I heard anything. I was about 40 or 50 yards behind. On that Mr Emberton, the Belan, came along, driving the same way, And he jumped out and gave me his horse, and went on the scene. On that two ladies came along walking. I gave Mr Emberton's horse to held and I got on my mare and came back to the town as soon as I could tor medical help. "THE VAN MUST HAVE GONE OVER THEM." The Coroner: How did you know that they were killed or hurt ?—I could see they all seemed to be all together on the road. The van must have gone over them. You said just now that it was dangerous to pass. What did you mean?—I was riding a young horse and they were going at a iair rate, I should think five or six miles an hour. It would have taken me a certain time before I could pass them. Would you consider it fast travelling ?—No. I don't say that. Do you say they were going at a faster rate than they ought to ?-No, sir. I don't know what rate they should go at. Do you think that, considering the nature of a motor-van with certain appliances behind going along the roadway and the position they were in on the road on that side, that the position was dan- gerous with a quiet horse, if reasonable care was taken?—No, I should think someone might pass. If you had a six-year-old herse that you had reared vourself that was nerfectlv auiet. would you have passed ?— I shouln't like to say. Mr Albert Turner: When Mr Jones passed you did he seem quite capable ? Was his horse under control?—Yes, quite under control. And the man seemed alright himself, quite capable of looking after his horse ?—Yes, I noticed nothing whatever the matter with him. The Coroner You had a conversation with him and from your conversation you think he was quite capable of looking after himself and the horse ?- Yes. LIQUOR QUESTION AGAIN. He was not at all under the influence of liquor ? -I should think not. Mr T. Edwards Did you notice that pravious to the upset the off-wheel of this trap had mounted the ditch off the road?—It wasn't a ditch. It was a mass of road scrapings. About bow far had he one wheel on the ditch ? -I couldn't say. Fifteen yards or ten ?—No, I should say not so far. A few feet. The Coroner Was he on the road proper when be passed you?—Oh, he passed me on the right side as he should do. Mr Woosnam: How far were you from the hind part of the van when Mr Jones overtook you with the trap ?—I should think about 30 or 40 yards behind. Your point was to accustom your horse to the noise that is kept by the working of the motoi ? —I didn't want to take any risks. The pace Mr Jones was going must have been considerably more than a walk to have caught yo. up as you were walking ?—Yes, he was trotting. It was rather a sharp trot ?—No; a fair, ordinary trot. Mr McKenzie: You said after he passed you you saw the wheel go on the embankment for a few feet ?-Not after he, pwsed me, but at the bottom end of the van. The Coroner: In the nSeantime the van was moving.
" A Good Samaritan."
A Good Samaritan." David Emberton, a farmer living at the Belan, Berriew, next stated I returned from Welshpool about 4-15 p.m., driving in a trap. After going about half-a-mile, or a little more, I noticed a trap on its side, and three persons on the road— two together, and the other was a little distance from them. I got out of the trap, and went to them. I could see that two were dead. And the other was—well, as if he was trying to get up. I The Coroner: What did you do ?—I got him in the trap, and drove him to the hospital. That's all. sir. Was he dead before reaching the hospital2— Oh, yes! He was dead, I should think, i a few minutes after getting him into the trap. The Coroner (to the jury): His evidence is simply that he acted as a good Samaritan. 1 he Court next heard the story of the accident from the standpoint of the two steam-motorists.
What tfee Motorist Saw.
What tfee Motorist Saw. DREW UP IN 3 YARDS. Joseph Williams, Welsh Walls, Oswestry, said he was 19 years of age, and produced his license as motor-driver, which was issued last July. This was the first of its kind he had taken out, but previously he bad one for a motor-bicycle, and he had never been charged with any offence. On Monday, he said, he was in charge of the motor- waggon, which was eight horse-power. The Coroner: Do you mean to tell me that a motor with eight horse-power can pull a big furniture van !—Yes. One horse-power is one ton. I left Cswestry at one o'clock. I arrived at Welshpool about four o'clock. After you were a mile out of Welshpool what happened ?-We stopped for about ten minutes to oil the engine, and some sheep passed, and horses and traps. Thed we went on further. And we heard somebody shouting. We could not understand what they were shouting. At the same time I saw the horse's head. And then I reversed the engine, and applied the hand-brake I to stop the engine in the shortest distance I could. I drew up in about three yards. I saw the horse's head between the cabin and the sheet. I at once got off. Then I saw the trap over on its side, a man holding the horse.
" Oh, Dear " !
Oh, Dear The Coroner: Did the man say anything No. He cursed me! I said to my mate," There's an accident! I went to the back, and then I S8W-- But before the witness could say what he had seen everyone in the Court room was startled by a sigh, It was no louder than a stage-whisper, but there was a depth of feeling in it. If it had come from the hps of a woman it would have been pathetic. But coming from a man, and a farmer, it was indescribably saddening in its effect. Oh, dear!" exclaimed the bereaved driver sitting at the further end of the room. And the witness continued Two lying on the road. I thought they were dead. I was driving on my right side at the rate of about four or fire miles an hour. The Coroner What is the usual rate you go at?—About five miles per hour. Did you see before starting that everything was in order as regards the motor and the van with it, and everything ?—Yes. Did you examine that yourself ?-Yes. What about the sheet ?-The sheet was fastened securely at every corner with cord. Have you hooks or eyelets to fasten it ?-No; tied with cord it was. In the usual way ?—We don't have it on very often, only we couldn't travel without it yesterday. Why?-The wind and rain was blowing, you couldn't see. Would the she make it more difficult for you to steer ?-No. The steering was on the left side, and the sheet was on the right side. How many were there of you?—Two of us. Was he with you in the cabin?—Yes. It is not usual for you to have a third party behind the same as with a traction engine ?-No. NEVER SAW THE ACCIDENT. Can you explain the accident ?—No. I never saw it, only just saw the horse. That's all. It was done before I got off the engine. Mr William Thomas: Is 17 or 19 an infant or an adult age ? The Coroner It is sufficient in law-he can have a motor license, he has passed the age of 18. Mr Thomas: Is he licensed by the same authority as motor-cars?—Yes. Mr Woosnam (to witness): You really have been nursed with those motor-cars, haven't you ? —I've been on them five years. I know exactly the mechanism of them. I drove the thing back to Oswestry to-day, it was perfectly in order. When this unfortunate accident happened both vans were empty. There was no load, just two bags of coal. Mr Woosnam And you were driving as closely as you could to your side. And you mus't have been driving carefully to be within six inches of the near side ?—Yes. When you saw the horse's head first, WaS the horse opposite to you or behind you a little ?-The horse was right up against the sheet when I saw him. The trap was over. Then I saw the horse go over just like this- Witness suited action to the word by leaning his head down wards towards his left shoulder, and added, right across the sheet!"
Jlontgomeryshire Divorce Suit.
Jlontgomeryshire Divorce Suit. In the Divorce Division, the President had before him the undefended petition of John Frederick Blake, a chauffeur, employed by Mr Charles Edward Robinson, of Pentreheylin Hall, Montgomeryshire, for the dissolution of the marriage, by reason ot the misconduct of his wife, Kathleen Louise, with the correspondent, Richard Roberts. The marriage took place in 1902. There were no children. Mr and Mrs Blake afterwards lived at Enfield Cottage, Four Crosses, near to the petitioner's employer. The respondent was stated to be of intemperate habits, and Roberts did odd j ibs about tbe house. On one occasion the petitioner saw Roberts running out of his garden Roberts sat down by a hedge and pre- tended to be asleep. On other occasions he had seen co-respondent coming from the house, and once he caught Roberts and his wife together. She used bad language towards him. A decree nisi was graned for the dissolution of the marriage, with costs.
Journalists' Union. MONTGOMERYSHIRE & ABERYSTWYTH BRANCH FORMED. A representative numbec of local working journalists met last Saturday evening week at the Lion Hotel, Aberystwyth, and decided unanimously to form a Montgomeryshire and Aberystwyth Branch of the National Union of Journalists. Established three years ago to defend and promote professional interests, this organization now has 70 branches, and a membership exceeding 2,000. Registered under Trade Union rules, the Union ranks amongst its members such prominent journalists as Mr A. G. Gardner, editor of the Daily News'; Mr W. A. Sutherland, assistant editor of the I Birmingham Daily Post Mr F. E. Hamer, Welsh editor of the Manchester Guardian'; Mr R. D. Rider (formerly of New- town), chief sub-editor of the 'Sheffield Daily Independent'; &c. The following Branch officers were elected:- Chairman, Mr J. D. Spencer, Aberystwyth; vice- chairman, Mr R. D, Maxwell, Welshpool (' Mont- gomery County Times '); hon. treasurer, Mr 0. W. Hughes, Aberystwyth (' Observer') hon. secretary, Mr J. G. Morris, B.A., Welshpool (' Montgomeryshire Express '). Committee: Messrs P. A. Williams, Llanidloes (' Echo'); F. D. Brick, Welshpool, and F. Archer, Newtown ('Montgomery County Times'); D. E. Lewis, Machynlleth (' Genedl') D Griffiths (' Cambrian News'); W. Lewis and W. T. Howell Davies (' Welsh Gazette').
.FARMER'S DAUGHTER AND TWO…
.FARMER'S DAUGHTER AND TWO MEN CRUSHED TO DEATH. Market-Trap Party's Homeward Journey. Grief-Stricken Father the Sole Survivor. DISTRESSFUL INQUEST SCENES. Sensational Rumour Denied. Had He asked us, well w3 know We should say, 0 spare this blow," Yes, with streaming tears, and pray Lord, we love him, let him stay." # 0 In the midst of life we are in death. We think of her in silence, We did not see her die. We only know she passed away. And could not say good-bye. -From the funeral cards of the three victims.] Three men and a young women set out in a market trap from the White Lion, Welshpool, on their homeward journey last Monday afternoon. A few minutes after- wards three of the party were taken. And one was left. The victims of this highway horror—unparalleled in the history of Mont- gomeryshire road tragedies-were: I Miss Maggie Jones, aged 22, of Llidiardau, Berriew. Mr William Corfield, aged 60, farmer, of Fachwen, Tregynon. And Mr William Jones, aged 44, black- smith, of Brooks, Berriew. The fourth member of the party was the driver, Mr William Jones, Llidiardau. He escaped with his body unhurt, but he lost his daughter, who lived with him at home —a good farmer's girl, who could turn her hand to anything, a strong girl who would look after the cows and other cattle, when the men were not there. But the terrible tragedy was even more oi a family calamity. Not long ago the Llidiardau farmer's only other daughter became wedded to a son of Mr William Cor- field. So Mr William Jones has lost a daugh- ter and his other daughter her father-in- law. Last Monday the two parents had been discussing the marriage settlements of the young folks, according to couhtry custom. They were very friendly. (Note the words uttered by the survivor at the inquest-" The last thing that William Cor- field and me done was to have food to- gether.") His daughter alone had accom- panied Mr William Jones to market from Llidiardau-that banky farm at the very top end of Berriew parish, within a mile of Manafon and a mile and a half of Tre- gynon, a farm largely flanked by roads and possessing many gates that gave the place its Cymric name, Llidiardau "-but, start- ing from the White Lion, the two fathers- in-law and Miss Maggie Jones filled the front seat. Behind there was no seat. But on a bag in the corner sat another Mr William Jones. The blaoksmith of Brooks was such a good- natured chap that no farmer in the dis- trict would let him walk home from Pool market or fair. Not only a blacksmith, he was also rural postman, and he looked after the little church at Brooks. Anyone Would give him a lift home but last Monday, unwittingly, this common kindness Proved fatal. And, a widow with a family 4of eight children mourns in deep angush after -her husband. Along the Berriew or Newtown main road the party set out between half-past four and five. For the first mile they would have the Shropshire Union Canal and a footpath on their left. On the right they would come opposite Feggyleasowe, a very long field of Lord Powis's, extending from the Park palings down to the road. Just before coming to the first milestone, there is a by-road to the right, known as the Red-lane. And for some distance before reaching this turning the main road is flanked by an accumulation of road- scrapings, on which the grass grows green. It ought never to be allowed there it ought to be spread on the land," commented one experienced driver after last Monday evening. Just here, only a few, yards short of where the highway widens at the bottom of the Red-lane, the triple tragedy took place. Early that afternoon a steam motor-engine, with a furniture van attached, and another four-wheeled van trailing behind, had set out from Oswestry. In bold letters these covered-over waggons bore the name of the proprietory and furniture removers, J. E. Thomas and Sons, Welsh Walls, Oswestry," and two sons of the senior member of the firm were in charge. They reached Welsh- Pool without any untoward incident they coaled their bunker, and had scarcely three more miles to go—their destination was -Glanhafren, a house occupied by Mr Percy Fox, an official in the works department of Lord Powis's estate. When the crash came, the steam-motor Was being steered within a few inches of the footpath on the left side of the road. It was a wet and windy day, and the cabin had been protected the other side by a tarpaulin sheet. Mr William Jones, driv- ing his horse homeward, tried to pass. He failed. One of the trap wheels was on the Toad-scrapings embankment. And a gust of wind flapped the tarpaulin sheet outwards, just as the horse was drawing near. The near-wheel snapped off at the axle, and the driver, gripping the reins, was dragged along the ground, away from the wheels of the heavy vans that crunched over everything in their way. The head of the frightened horse pushed pnst the tarpaulin sheet, and startled the engine-driver. He stopped motor and all within about three yards. But too late! Ten feet behind the rear furniture van was a dead heap of two mangled human beings. Nearer the van, William Corfield was on the road in a sitting position, not dead, nor, to all outward appearance, even mauled. But he groaned from the agony of a fractured pelvis—both haunch-bones broken. One of the motor-men raised him up and carried him to the roadside. There was no one at hand to render first-aid." But with all good intentions, a farmer took up the sufferer and carried him to the Welshpool Nursing Institute. The poor man died on the way. The heavy off- wheels of the rear waggon had apparently not gone across him. He was pitched out of the trap, not at right angles to the van, but more in a parallel position with the wheels. The unwitting Juggernaut car did not touch the body of the poor girl, but the heavy wheels went quite over her head, crushing all tlys bones of the cranium and face into pulp. The wheel only partially passed over the face of the unfortunate passenger, who had been riding behind. His greatest injuries were on the right side there the face bones were all broken, and the cranium partly so, whilst the first and second fingers of the right hand were also wounded. Not too soon did kindly hands lay a travelling rug over the human heap just before a small crowd of country and townspeople were drawn to the scene. The sole survivor of the market-trap party was well-nigh demented for the time being by his shocking experience, and, though friends tried to persuade him not, he would persist in seeing the two dead bodies being uplifted gently from the road into a carriage to go to the Welshpool mortuary. Mr Hermann Gregory, of the White Lion, was foremost in his solicitude for the poor old farmer. At last the grief- mortuary. Mr Hermann Gregory, of the White Lion, was foremost in his solicitude for the poor old farmer. At last the grief- stricken father consented to quit the scene of the tragedy, and returned to the place whence only an hour before lie ana ms I daughter and Corfield, with William Jones, the blacksmith, had set out on their home- ward journey toward Berriew. Three of them had now gone to their long home- the fourth was a mourner about the road -but in giving up their lives they left a never-to-be-forgotten lesson for many of the living.
The Inquest. Jury's Advice to the County Council I've been on many inquests, but never felt it so much as to-day. I'm quite upset! A Welsbpool juryman, who spoke these simple words last Tuesday night, gave a faint idea of the strain on the nerves of several who had to inquire into the cause of the threefold highway horror. The story of the tragedy was told in the Town Hall, in the room where the Welshpool Corpora- tion, the Montgomery County Council and Educa- tion Committee and other local authorities hold their meetings. The usual atmosphere of this Council Chamber is one of cold, matter-of-fact routine and administration-as undramatic as the substantial tables and chairs which have served generations of public men. But last Tuesday at one of these same tables there were clustered not Town or County Councillors, but good men of the jury" "to inquire for our Sovereign Lord the King" when, where, and by what means William Corfield, William Jones, and Margaret Jones came by their death. At the cross-table Dr. R. D. Thomas, as the Welshpool Coroner, took his seat with the Mayor of Welshpool (Mr T. J. Evans) on his lett. Police Sergeant Hughes acted as Court Officer, standing at the doorway and summoning the jurymen in one by one from the landing: Alfred E. Bond, Thorn s Edwards, William Thomas,, Albert Turner, Joseph McKenzie, Rees James, Richard S. Roberts, James W. Davies, George Humphreys. T. W. Davies, William Grand, Ford, Albert Mytton, Alfred W. Humphrey. Fourteen of them, and they rose from their chairs whilst the Sergeant a few minutes after four o'clock opened Court with the quaintly- worded proclamation that begins Oyez! Oyez! Mr Bond was selected as Foreman. He was sworn separately, the others in groups of four. Meanwhile there had entered quietly Mr Martin Woosnam, solicitor, Newtown, who took his seat at the table to the Coroner's right. He was there instructed by Messrs Minshall, Parry Jones, and Pugh, Oswestry, to watch the proceedings for the proprietors of the steam motor-van. Police Con- stables Jones and Parry stood in attendance on the Court. SYMPATHY AND SORROW. The Coroner rose from his seat and spoke: Now, gentlemen of the jury, you are called together to-day to inquire into a most tragic affair. I don't know of any such sad occurrence as this during the time that I have been in the county, nor from inquiries I have made do I think there has been before such an occasion as to have three deaths at the same time to hold an inquest upon. Practically speaking, there were four deaths yesterday. On" inquest was supposed to be held practically when this tragedy happened. I don't think I can express sufficiently in words on your behalf and also on behalf of myself our feeling towards the bereaved friends upon their loss. His Worship the Mayor has very kindly come to this inquest to express, on behalf of him- self and also on behalf of the burgesses of the town, deep sympathy and condolence upon such a sad occasion. It would not be advisable for me at this stage to pass any remark whatever upon the merits or demerits of the case; that you will find out as wo proceed with the evidence. In cases of this kind there are all kinds of sayings and rumours in the district, some of them partly true and some the blind inventions of the fertile imaginations of some people. But I am sure the jury this evening will bring in a true verdict according to what they have been informed. The Mayor then spoke: I should be obliged if you will grant me permission to say how deeply we deplore the sad calamity that occurred on the Beriiew-road, the result of which was so disas- trous. I am sure f am expressing the feelings of every inhabitant of the town of Welshpool when I say how grieved we are over the misfortune. We all sympathise with the friends, and we sorrow with the sorrowing families of the deceased. VIEWING THE BODIES. The Coroner (to the jury) Now comes a matter which I hope in not the very long distant future will be done away with.—(The Foreman: Hear, hear.)—That is, the viewing of the bodies. As the law stands now, it is compulsory, and I am afraid I must ask you to view the two bodies that are down in the mortuary, and also the unfortu- nate man who is dead at the Institute. Will you just follow the police P The jury filed out of the Council Chamber, and from Hall-street they went down some steps into the basement of the Town Hall. Here there are quite a lot of cellars. Straight on in the gloom the jury went to the furthest door on the right hand side, and in this subterranean chamber, under the gaslight, they glanced at t,he mangled remains of Miss Maggie Jones and William Jones, the blacksmith of Brooks. Out into the open air again, and a walk down to the Nursing Institute, where the body of William Corfield bad been laid out. The jury was away from the Council Chamber altogether for twenty minutes. It was not a duty to tarry over. Meanwhile the Coroner, with Sergeant Hughes and Mr Woosnam, had been considering a sketch plan of the scene of the accident. With Mr Woosnam was a clerk of Messrs Minshall, Parry Jones, and Pugh. Mr J. E. Thomas, Oswestry, the senior proprietor of the steam traction engine and furniture vans arrived later, and took his seat near Mr Woosnam. In the meantime, atso, a woebegone little company of four countrymen sat on a line of chairs against the wall the opposite end of the room. Next to the corner was Mr William Jones, the driver and bereaved father. Near by also sat the matron of the Nursing Institute, whose nursing skill had been sought too late last Monday evening. The jury re-appeared, re-took their seats, and went through the formality of answering to their names. Then the Coroner stated that each of the thr..>e bodies would be identified separately, but the depositions would be taken collectively. In such cases as these he never called a medical man in, but if the jury wished Dr Skinner to come and give a description of the injuries, he would send one of the officers for him. The Foreman (to the jury) Is it your wish to have the medical officer? Voices: No. It's not necessary. The Coroner I agree with you. The first witness will be Frederick Corfield 1
IA Son's Testimony.
I A Son's Testimony. "MARKET PEART" HABIT DENIED. A young farmer then rose from amongst the group of men mourners, and stepped forward. He said he lived at Ty Gwellt, Tregyron, and the deceased William Corfield was his father. He could not tell his age exactly-about 60 or 62. The Foreman: Mr Coroner, ask him to speak up. The gentlemen here can't hear. The Coroner: I am afraid the rooms in this building are not good enough from the acoustic point of view. Witness said he had seen the body, and identified it. His father had been a farmer for 28 years, but he was not very well in health of late years. The Coroner: At any rate, was he in as good health yesterday as generally he was ?-I didn't see him since Sunday night. Then he was as good as usual. You heard about his death when ?-Last night, sir. Do you describe your father as a fairly moderate man or how ?-I can't understand, sir. How would you describe your father as regards having drink ?—He was not unreasonable. Some- times he was taking a little drop. I never saw him a little the worse for drink. But he was in the habit, was he ?-Of having a little drop. I never saw him the worse for what he was doing. Often ?-No, not often. Every time he came to town ?-No, not every time, and not so much these last years as he has been taking. Do you say that it was his habit or not, when he ca. to town, that he used to go home what we call market-peart ? "-Not a habit at all.
The Widow's Evidence.
The Widow's Evidence. A TEARFUL SCENE. Alice Jones The Coroner called the name. I The police sergeant went out of the room. There was a silent pause of painful expectation. Then the sound of footsteps. Then there appeared a woman, dressed in mourning. She was the widow of the Brooks blacksmith, and leading her was her sister-in-law, Mrs Collins, Brook-street, Welshpool. The poor woman uttered a deep sigh as she came on the scsne, and cried pitifully. This juryman's eyes, that juryman's eyes became dim with tears. Mrs Alice Jones, in trembling voice, repeated after the Coroner, "I swear by Almighty God, &c., &c. and then the Foreman broke the spell for a second with a kind query: Will you allow the witness to sit down, Mr Coroner ? A chair was fetched by a ready policeman, and, seated, the witness answered the Coroner's ques- tions about her deceased husband, 44 years of age. The body is that of your husband ? Sobbing, the witness whispered Yes." Whom you last saw alive when ?—Monday morning. A pin might have been heard drop in the Court- room. Amid the oppressive silence, batween each answer and the next question, the scratching of the Coroner's pen on the depositions could be plainly heard. Where was he then?-At home. The Coroner (to the Jury): Can you hear, gentlemen ? A chorus of sympathetic voices Yes! Did he leave shortly after ?—Yes. For where?—Welshpool. "HOW HE GOT BACK." And the first thing you heard was ?--That he was killed Was that last night P-Yes. What time ?—-From 7 to 8; I can't say exactly. Would you describe your husband as a strong, "Y healthy man ?-He hadn't been these last two years. He had been suffering from diabetes for the last two years. He was very much better now. But was he m his average health yesterday morning ?—Much better. Was he a sober man ? At this question the widow paused in her grief, and sighed audibly, but did not speak. How do you say, Mrs Jones," pressed the Coroner, evoking a reply from Mrs Collins, He wasn't drunk, Sir! >> "She must reply said the Coroner sternly. And then the witness found strength to say, He liked a drop of beer! Would you call him a moderate man?— Moderate. He wasn't a sober man, but he wa3 moderate in his habits ?—Yes. The Coroner (to the police) She can go outside for a short time, but mustn't leave the building. The Foreman: How did Mr Jones get to Welshpool ? Witness: He started from home walking. I don't know if he walked all the way. The Coroner: I don't think it really matters, because we are dealing with how he got back.
Grief-Stricken Father's Story.
Grief-Stricken Father's Story. THEIR LAST MEAL TOGETHER. William Jones!" The Coroner called out the name. The grief-stricken father rose from his chair, and walked slowly forward towards the table. His uplifted right hand trembled, as be held the Testament to take the oath. The ordeal of giving evidence lasted 40 minutes by the clock, but no one knows how long it seemed to the bereft parent. Will you allow me to sit, sir ? he asked in a low tone after the swearing ritual had been performed. Certainly," replied the Coroner, who proceeded: Deceased, Margaret Jones, is your daughter, 26 years of age ? f. Hardly that, sir. I made a hit of a mistake last night," said Jones, meaning the statement he had made to the police. -1 She would be about 22! The Coroner: She looked older?—That's what her mother told me to-day. She was not married, a strong, healthy young woman, who never suffered from anything in her life. She was in that good health yesterday At this point the Coroner asked the Jury to take particular notice of a sketch-plan of the scene of the accident, which Sergeant Hughes had prepared, with measurements attached. The jury also bad handed to them a picture postcard, showing the steam motor waggon with furniture van attached. Well, now, Mr Jones ? he thr, n remarked, and the witness continued his story of how the daughter came with meto Pool in a trap. We started from home about 8 o'clock, arrived from half-past nine to ten, and put up at the White Lion. My daughter was doing marketing —she had butter to sell-and I was on my busi- ness. We started home from four to half-past." The Coroner: I take it you had food in the town?- Yes, sir. The last thing that William Corfield and me done was to have food together! Witness said his horse was a good, half-bred quiet vanner, rising six; he had reared and broken it in himself, when it was two year-old. The trap was an ordinary market trap. "I DO THINK THAT SAVED ME"! The Coroner: Holding how many ?—Four of us were in then. It would hold more—three in each seat like. Leaving the White Lion, myself and my daughter and William Corfield sat in front, with William Jones sitting behind. We proceeded from the White Lion for Berriew, and when we had gone just a mile to the end of Red Lane we overtook the traction engine. First we overtook Rogers, of Penylan's son on horseback just going up to it. I said, "Go on, Rogers," when I came up. No, I rather not," he says. He sank back I tried the horse would he draw on. I don't know what made him say No." I thought to go on because my horse was quiet. I thought to pass somehow-they were going very slow. I overtook the motor van soon after I passed Rogers—he was close to, he only turned on one side, and I went on on the right. The Coroner: Well, what happened now?—As I went on, the horse shied at a tar-sheet on the side of the engine. How far had you gone past the van?—It was going with us. How far had you gone alongside ?-It might be 10 or 15 yards. Had you passed one van ?—Yes, we were about half-way of the length of the engine and the motoi-van. The tar sheet was hanging on the side of the engine. The wind shook it right in the horse's face. And he shied on to the ditch. And the trap overturned right over to the motor- van lurry, whatever you call it. Did you see them being thrown on the road ?— Well, sir, I was holding to the horse. I didn't see them going. What was the first thing yoij/f knew after the trap was turned over?—The horse lugging me right from the traction engine with the reins. I do think that saved me. DRAGGED ALONG THE GROUND. Did the horse get loose from the trap ?-No. He lugged it a distance, and I held tight on to it. Where were you now, in the trap or on the round ?-On the ground holding the reins. The trap was on the ground. I worked my way and got hold of the horse's head. How far were you dragged this way ?—From 15 to 20 yards. How near did you go to the engine?—Real level with it! The horse stood very quiet. He didn't plunge. What did you do after ?—Called out for assist. ance to loose him. Who came ?—No one the flrat time. I called again. One of the men with the engine came, and helped me to loosen him. What happened after ?—I took the horse off in my hand, and called out to ask were they dead. I left the trap where it was on its side on the road, and turned round with my horse in my hand, standing by the engine with me at its head. Did vou tell somebody to go and look for the people W who were thrown out ?—They were with them. What do you know yourself after ?—I know I went with the horse on the other side ef the engine between it and the canal, and came around to the dead bodies, and looked at them. Then I don't remember no more about it. I was upset too bad after that. I couldn't remember nothing. Witness, who had been leaning forward de- jectedly on his chair, now buried his face in his right hand. But the Coroner's examination had to go on: In overtaking the motor-van were they on the right side ?—Yes, sir. Did they give you sufficient room to pass Well, it was hardly sufficient, I think. Bat it was all as was to be had. THE BLAME OF THE WHOLE THING. Did they give you as much as they could ?-I didn't look the other side to see whether they did. You said you came around with your horse?— There's a footpath there by, the side of the canal. At any rate, you passea on your right side. Did you think you had sufficient room to pass ?— Yes, and I would have gone if the horse hadn't bolted. Do I take it, then, that you put the blame of the whole thing on this sheeting?—Yes; it flapped out in the horse's eyes. On your side, before reaching this motor-van, there is a little embankment with grass for some distance ?—Yes, sir. Did you, or did you not, drive with one wheel over this embankment for some distance before coming to the motor-van ?-I couldn't say for sure. The Coroner: Now! Now!-—No, sir. That is a very serious thing against yourself. I don't think you understood me. You know there is a road in the middle. On the left hand there is a path. On the other side there are the road-scrapings ?—Yes. The Coroner: More or less in quantity with grass growing on them. Is it a fact, or is it not, that you tor some distance ueiore overtaking the motor-van were driving with one wheel over this ? —I'm not sure of it, sir. No, sir, I never was awore." Do you understand my question ?—Yes. You must have known that you were on the road or not ?-I think as I was. I wasn't U awore" that I was off. Or one wheel not on the road ?-I don't know. I didn't look. VERY STEADY." Leading from that question, you are not an abstainer, are you ?—No, sir. You take drink ?—Yes. Did you have much drink yesterday ?—No, very little. I had two bottles of Bass in the Smithfield-one with a bit to eat, and one after- wards. Of course, I want to be perfectly impartial.— That is all I had. The Coroner: I am given to understand from outsiders that you were in drink yesterday ?—Not the least bit yesterday. Also, that you were driving irregularly, and for some distance before coming to this van you were driving on the grass embankment?—No irregular driving at all, sir. Very steady. Were you driving on the road the whole way before you reached the van ?—I understood I was. That will not do ?—I think I was. You don't care-I don't want to tell un- truths. I don't know. You say you had only two bottles of beer from the time you came to the town in the morning until four o'clock in the afternoon. Is that correct ?—Yes, one with my food. Did you have any more ?-No, sir. We came to Mrs Reed's, and had something to eat with it. You don't think there was any blame attached to yourself at all yesterday in this matter?- Well, I might have missed a little bit guiding the horse going by. That is all. What do you mean ?-tle got on the side a little bit when going by. That is all. I don't quite understand you.—That was all. Just as going on he got the one" Wheel a little on the grass. You mean to say that if there was a fault on your part at all it was a little on passing that one wheel got on the grass ?—Yes, sir. That you could not avoid ?-No, sir. The Coroner now called the jury's attention to the sketch-plan of the accident scene. He pointed to a depression or drain in the road-scrapings em- bankment. Whether William Jones drove along there or along the road, he commented, the acci- dent happened when the one wheel got into it. That in itself was sufficient to throw the whole I thing over. ROAD-SCRAPINGS IN WRONG PLACE. At this point P.C. T. C. Jones brought in two brass candlesticks, which were placed lighted on the table in front of the Coroner. The Borough Surveyor of Welshpool (Mr Goorge Snook) was now standing in the rear of the jury, evidently following the proceedings with grave concern. The Coroner, in further explanation, said that on the roadside there was "a very bulky mound. I do not know- that it is the fault of the roadmen. But I certainly don't think that it should be there." Mr Tones, I happened to be there last night," continued the Coroner, addressing the poor old man. "Is it not a fact that the motor-van was within a few inches to the pi&th ?"-I' I don't know. sir." Mr James W. Davies: You have no idea what pace you were travelling at when driving ?-Oh! walking, sir. The Coroner How long were you alongside the engine ?—A bit, sir, because it was going. Andit takes longer when it is going the same way dinna it? Mr Albert Mytton: Would it be possible for you to pass and walk the same time?—Well, a sharp walk it was. I thought if I got on I could get by when we come alongst the turn [to the Red Lane]. Mr Martin Woosnam How is three of yourf'de in the front of the trap and only one behind when you started from WelshpooL?—We had no seat behind. And he was sitting on a bag in the V.l-Ut11.1 It's a very wide road, isn't it, Mr Jones, from Welshpool up there ?—Yes, with the footpath and where the dirt is. Ha<1 you no idea that you were driving on the ditch-bank before you came up?-No, I thought I was perfectly right. Well, it was light ?-Yes. Now, if the tracks of your wheels sho-v that you did in reality drive some 60 or 70 or 80 y.rds along the ditch-bank ?-Not so far as that. May I correct myself ? If the marks of some wheels, your wheels it is suggested, were to be seen for 80 feet-you cannot deny they are there to be seen plainly-before you came up to the engine or to the vehicle at all?-Well, I wasn't awora of it, if it was so.
The Steerer's Story.
The Steerer's Story. AFTER THE CRASH. Joseph Thomas, furniture remover, a member of firm of Messrs J E Thomas and Sons, Oswestry, followed his younger brother as witness. I was with my brother yesterday in charge of the motor (he said). About half-a-mile from Welsbpcol, it would be about half-past four- The Coroner: What happened ?-I heard a crash I was standing on the left hand side of the waggon steering. And I said to my brother What's that' Something gone wrong with the engine ? He said to me, There's an accident!" At the same time he was reversing the engine and applying the foot-break. The motor was stopped. I jumped down and went around the other side. I saw the trap turned over and the horse attached. On looking further to the back I saw the three lying on the floor. There were two lying down. And the other man was in a sitting position. One on top of the other By what I could see they were dead. The other was groaning in a sitting position, so I raised him up and carried him to the side of the road. And I lay him there. And I went to see the other two, and had to lift the fur off the girl's face, and, when I saw it, it was covered with blood. The Coroner: Did you assist with this man to the hospital ?-Yes, after I had helped the man with the horse out of the trap he was shouting. What rate were you going at ?—About five miles an hour. Would there be any means for you to have seen it coming without you going out of the cabin to look arouiid ?-If I had turned around on my seat I could see a long way back on the road, which I did occasionally to see if there was anything coming. I could d) that quite easily. HE TOOK EVERY CARE. Did you take ever.v precaution yesterday in driving thia motor?—Yes. Could you have tken apy more care ?-No, sir, because I was running all the way on the one side from Welshpool, knowing it was market day and there would be traps coming from Welshpool. Can you give any explanation as to how the accident happened ?-No, sir, nothing. Mr Albert Turner How do you see behind ? Is tliare any window ? According to this photo you couldn't see unless there is a bend in the road ?- If the road is straight I can see a long way. Doesn't this van behind the engine appear to be rather broader than the engine?—No, I don't think it is so wide as the engine. Unless there was a carve of some sort, it would be difficult; at any rate, you couldn't see ?-I couldn't it he was right close at the back. Mr McKenzie: Is this tarpaulin fixed to go over the engine?—Just'down this side. Mr Woosnam From the front of the engine to the end of the last van, is it 21 feet in length ? It would be about that. The length of the first van (which is fastened to the engine) ie about 13 feet, and the van at the end would be about two feet longer. It was a wet and stormy day?—Yes, a rough day—very windy. Nurse Blanche Elliot, matron at the Welshpool Nursing Institute, said that between half-past four and five p.m. on Monday she received the dead body of Corfield at the Institute. She could see no injuries except abrasions on the left side.
The Coroner's Charge.
The Coroner's Charge. This ended the evidence. The inquest had lasted three hours, when the Coroner rope to address the Jury. He observed that William Jones thought he would be able to pass the motor- engine and van. But something happened. One idea was that the tarpaulin attached to the engine frightened the horse. Another theory was that the wheel of the trap was really riding over the embankment, or mud-heap, or mud-scrapings by the roadside, which," commented the Coroner, at this part certainly are more than ought to be' I considerably more. In fact, whether they had J anything to do with the accident, they had no I right to be there as means to cause another acci- dent, no doubt. "The question you have to decide is-What was the cause of the accident ? Was it due to carelessness or negligence, culpable or otherwise, on the part of any party, either those in charge ot the motor-engine or in charge of the trap ? That is, was there a carelessness which amounted to a criminal charge against either of these parties ? If so, you must say so; if not, it was due to accident, that is, due to circumstances over which no person would have any control. You may consider whether William Jones, the man who drove the trap, misjudged the width of the road, whether there was really sufficient room for him to piss. Taking the evidence altogether, it seems to me that those in charge of the motor are entirely free from blame. They were within six inches on their own side to the path. Their rate of travel- ling has not been disputed at all. Everything seems to point that they were not to blame, ex- cept were they to blame as regards not fastening this tarpaulin ? There is no reason at all to dis- believe the young fellow that he did fasten it. Whether it come loose afterwards without know- ing is the only case you might advance that wav. On the other hand, there is the probability that the owner and driver of the horse probably wanted to go home, and not waste time on the road. Being rather indiscreet—I don't think you can call it more than indiscreet, if that is the case-in going possibly one wheel went over this embankment or mud-heap, which has accumulated there. Coining into the open drain at a certain portion, the bump of that would be sufficient to overbalance. It is a matter for you to consider; but to me it appears the whole thing is purely accidental.
i i Verdict: " Purely Accidental."
Verdict: Purely Accidental." The Court room was then cleared, and the Jury deliberated for nine minutes. When the Court re-assembled the Coroner addressed Mr A. E. Bond: Now, Mr Foreman, have you agreed on your verdict ? Mr Bond Yes, Mr Coroner. The Coroner: And your verdicc is Mr Bond Purely accidental, Mr Coroner. The Coroner And no blame attached ? Mr Bond No blame attached to anyone. But the majority, I may say all of the Jury, recom- mend tha.t Mr Thomas' attention be called to the side of the cabin-- The Coroner: Is that a majority of a united recommendation Mr Bond: It is unanimous. And that some other means should be employed, such as glass, in preference to tarpaulins, that flip and flap about. They also recommend," added the Foreman, tbat the County Council be called upon to remove the lumps and tumps on the roadside, giving greater facility for vehicles to pass each other." The Coroner: I have no right and it is no part of my business whatever to endorse any part of those recommendations. At the same time I will be very pleased to send your recommendations to the County Council, or better, if you suggest, that I should draw the attention of the County Surveyor to the matter, if that will meet your wishes ? LIFE-LONG TEETOTALLERS. The Coroner then asked Mr Woosnam to draw the attention of the owners of the motor-van to the reccommendation that affected them. Mr Woosnam replied: Mr Thomas is here. He has heard exactly what the jury wish. He is the senior partner of the firm, and of course, he will take that recommendation into consideration. I should like to say before I leave how deeply Mr Thomas and his sons regret this unfortunate accident. I am quite sure anyone who knows these young men, will readily come to the con- clusion that they are most careful in driving the traction engine. They are both life long tee- totallers, and I think everyone that knows them about Oswestry and wherever they go say that they are really quite blameless in everything they do—(Messrs Minshall, Parry Jones and Pugh's Clerk: Hear, hear). No one regrets more than Mr Thomas this lamentable state of things. I should also like to add my deep sympatny, because I know the persons who unfortunataly are no more, and also their relatives. The Foreman Mr Coroner, the Jury wish to tender their sympathies with the bereaved families in the trouble they have gone through. The Coroner I will do so.
Stitch in Time.
Stitch in Time. There is an old saying, A stitch in time saves nine," and if ukon the first symptoms of anything being vTong with our health we were to resort to some simple but proper means of correcting the mischief, nine-tenths of the suffering that invades our homes would be avoided. A dose of Gwilym Evans' Quinine Bitters taken when you feel the least bit out of sorts is just that stitch in time." You can get Gwilym Evans' Quinine Bitters at any Chemists or Stores in bottles 2s. 9d. and 4s. 6d. each but remember that the only guarantee of genuineness is the name Gwilym Evans on the label, stamp, and bottle, without which none are genuine. Sole Proprietors :-Quinine Bitters Manu- facturing Company, Limited, Llanelly* South Wales.