John Joseph Hartman, III
Aged: 21.7 years
Kingston Daily Freeman, Saturday, October 12, 1946
Three Kingston Veterans Are Killed When Car, Bus Crash Early Today Near DeWitt Lake
Four on Bus Injured in Collision
John Egan, 27; John J. Hartman, Jr., and Vernon Van Etten Are Crushed
Car Is Demolished
Adirondack Trailway Bus Is Damaged Badly
Three Kingston young men were killed instantly and four other persons sustained slight injuries in a head-on collision between a passenger car and an Adirondack Trailway bus, about 4:30 this morning on Route 32 a short distance south of the DeWitt Lake intersection.
The major tragedy increased to five the number of persons killed in automobile accidents in Ulster county within a week.
John F. Egan, 27, of 60 East Chester street, Kingston, presumably the driver of the car.
John J. Hartman, Jr., 21, of 79 Henry street, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Hartman, and an apprentice printer with The Kingston Daily Freeman.
Vernon Van Etten, about 21, 119 Cedar street, employed by the C.A. Baltz Company.
All three victims are ex-servicemen, young Hartman having served in the Navy, while Van Etten and Egan were ex-GIs.
Four Are Injured
The injured were:
Kenneth Bushey, 34, of Malone, N.Y., but now residing in Kingston, driver of the bus. He is at the Kingston Hospital with bruises of the right leg and left ankle and bruises about the head. An X-ray will be taken to determine the full extent of his injuries.
Frank Moone, 26, of Rosendale, held in the Kingston Hospital for X-rays for possible chest injuries.
Kenneth Post, Rosendale, a driver for Adirondack Trailway, who was riding as a "deadhead," treated for minor brusies and shock and then released.
George Matthews, Seaman 2nd class, U.S.N., of Maybrook, N.Y., assigned to the U.S.S. Valley Forge at Newport, Rhode Island, released from the Kingston Hospital after first aid treatment.
The sheriff's office investigators said it was drizzling at the time but the highway at the scene of the accident showed no marks of skidding.
The front half of the Egan machine, a 1935 Oldsmobile was completely demolished, while the bus was somewhat damaged about the left front ends with the headlight jammed in.
According to a statement by the bus driver and witnesses riding in the bus, the Trailway bus was proceeding south, going downhill toward Rosendale when the tragedy occurred.
'Slowed' For Intersection
The driver said he was going between 35 and 40 miles an hour and was slowing up for the intersection. He had passed a short distance south of the intersection and was rounding a slight grade to the left when he saw the headlights of a car coming over the hill toward Kingston.
The driver and witnesses said that when the car got to within 40 to 50 feet of the bus it suddenly swerved to the left and bolted across the highway directly in the path of the bus.
Swerves Off Highway
In attempting to avoid striking the car, the driver said, he applied the brakes and swerved off the highway to the right and piled into a bank jamming the front end of the bus into the bank.
Bounces Across Highway
The Egan car, the witnesses said ricocheted off the left side of the bus, bounced across the highway to the right and came to a halt enmeshed in the wires of a guard rail.
The car struck the bus with terrific impact, shearing the car in half. It came to rest almost opposite the bus, with what was left of the front end of the guard pointed toward an easterly direction against the guard rail.
Egan was pinned behind the wheel and it was necessary to use a wrecker to pull the dashboard away to release him. At first it was though that acetyline torches would be needed, but Egan's body was cleared from the wreckage before the torches were applied.
The upper half of Van Etten's body was on the floor in the back of the car, with his feet resting on the ground. The backseat cushions were piled against his face.
Thrown to Pavement
Young Hartman was thrown to the pavement with his feet just touching the car.
The location of the bodies indicated that young Egan was driving and Hartman was in the front seat, while Van Etten was riding in the back seat.
Investigators said that all three bodies appeared to be horribly crushed.
The Kingston Police Department was notified of the accident about 4:30 a.m. and immediately called Sheriff George C. Smith, who dispatched County Investigator Clayton Vredenbergh and Deputies Leonard Belmore and Ray Winne to the scene.
Coroner Ernest A. Kelly and District Attorney Louis G. Bruhn also were on the scene a few minutes after the authorities were notified. Cpl. John Metzer of the B.C.I. division of the state troopers and Trooper Austin of the Highland barracks also investigated.
Pictures Are Taken
The sheriff's office and district attorney's office took pictures of the accident.
Conner's ambulance conveyed the four injured men to the Kingston Hospital. The bodies of the three victims were then taken to Kingston by Conner's ambulance, Jenson and Deegan and Coroner Kelly.
A wrecker from Van Kleeck's Truck Service removed the bus from the embankment, while Doc Smith's Garage wrecker removed the Egan machine.
Young Van Etten, who was single, served for two and a half years in the army with Battery D of the 785th A.A. Battalion. He spent two years in the Pacific area. He had been making his home with his mother, Mrs. Ada Van Etten, at 119 Cedar street. He was employed by the C.A. Baltz Company.
Surviving young Van Etten in addition to his mother, are two sisters, Mrs. Frank J. Sass of Woodlawn, L.I., and Mrs. Frances Brady of this city; also three brothers, Harold J. of Albany; Edwin Van Etten of the Kingston Fire Department, and Kenneth M. Van Etten, a bus driver for the Kingston City Transportation Company and prominent in local bowling circles.
The funeral will be held from the late residence on Tuesday, October 15, at 2:30 p.m. with interment in Wiltwyck Cemetery.
Van Etten was a member of the Clinton Avenue Methodist Church and Cordts Hose.
Egan Funeral Tuesday
Young Egan who was recently discharged from the servic attained the rank of Technical Sergeant in the United States Army Air Forces. He was in service for about three and a half years and was in the European Theatre of Operations for several months. He was an airplane mechanic in the air force. Young Egan was single.
The funeral of John F. Egan, 27, will be held from the home, 60 East Chester street, Tuesday morning at 9 o'clock and thence to St. Mary's Church where at 9:30 o'clock a high Mass of requiem will be offered, with burial in St. Mary's cemetery.
He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Frank Egan; three brothers, Francis and James Egan of this city, and Robert Egan with the U.S. Army in Germany, and three sisters, Mrs. John Byrne of Zena, Mrs. Joseph Carey and Miss Clair Egan.
Young Hartman is the son of John and Bertha Parkes Hartman, of 79 Henry street. He was discharged from the Navy early this spring and joined the Kingston Daily Freeman composing room staff as apprentice printer. His father, John Hartman, was for several years prominently identified with the Kingston Twilight Baseball League as secretary and is also well-known in bowling circles.
Funeral services for young Hartman will be held from the funeral parlors of Jenson and Deegan, 15 Downs street, on Tuesday, October 15, at 9 a.m. and at St. Joseph's Church at 9:30 a.m., where a high Mass of requiem will be offered. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery.
~ Courtesy of fultonsearch.org, database of Tom Tryniski