I’ve almost caught up on the topics for #52ancestors. The topic for week 13 is “In the Paper” which I assume means we talk about an ancestor who has featured in a newspaper report.
Many of the newspaper articles I’ve come across so far have been obituaries, notices of marriage and reports of court cases. Occasionally however I come across reports about sudden deaths and near misses.
One of these appeared in the New Zealand Herald on June 19, 1928
The report goes on to say that the impact was so severe that the two men were thrown 20 feet over a fence. The van which was tossed into the air, was wrecked. Both the vehicle and the men landed very close to the railway line. Two people nearby who saw the accident rushed to the scene but found Mr Liley was dead. “Mr Heenan had a wonderful escape from death,” it commented.
Another newspaper, the Horowhenua Chronicle, seemed to suggest that the driver of the van had not paid enough attention when approaching the crossing. “… it would seem reasonable to believe that there would have been time to pull up in safety had the oncoming train been looked for.”
Who was the Mr Heenan who had such a lucky escape?
The newspaper reports give few clues other than he was a member of the Havelock North Town Board and chairman of the local school committee. Unfortunately there isn’t any information available on line about the membership of the town board or the school committee.
Accessed via www.paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. Image of the article is published under Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence .