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Raymond A. "Ray" Dahl 1898-1962

DAHL, FLETCHER, PETERSEN, FRIESNER, ANDERSON, LARSON, MELEEN

Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 11/8/2012 at 00:41:01

Ray Dahl is Killed, 4 Injured in Crash
Mrs. Fay Higgins is Critical
(By Barry Huntsinger)
Dickinson County’s first motor vehicle fatality of the year was recorded late yesterday afternoon about a mile west of Superior on Highway 9, when a head-on crash claimed the life of Ray Dahl, 63, Estherville, and hospitalized three other Estherville residents and a nineteen-year-old youth from East Chain, Minn.

Mrs. Fay (Kathleen) Higgins, 43, a passenger in the car driven by her husband, 56, remains in critical condition with a skull fracture. She also has a broken leg and a badly lacerated leg. Mr. Higgins is reported in serious condition with chest injuries and a shattered knee cap.

Their daughter, Mary, 17, and her friend, Alvin Eckmann, 19, Fairmont, were riding in the back seat of the Higgins auto when the crash occurred. Mr. and Mrs. Higgins were riding in the front seat of the car, officers said.

Miss Higgins sustained a broken leg, broken collar bone and facial lacerations and Eckmann, who was unconscious until early today, sustained a head injury. Both are reported in satisfactory condition by their attending physician.

Investigating Highway Patrolman, M.L. Grebe said that Dahl, eastbound on the highway, was in the act of passing a car driven by Dale Schumacher of Armstrong, about 5:30 p.m. when he apparently failed to notice the oncoming Higgins auto in time to avoid the collision.

An eye-witness, Robert Laing of Algona, had just been passed by Dahl and he said it appeared Dahl attempted to apply his brakes, causing the car to swing broadside into the path of the Higgins car.

Another witness, Larry Jesperson of Los Angeles, supported Laing’s account of the mishap and said he was westbound behind the Higgins car when the crash occurred and that he got his car stopped within inches of the Higgins car, as the screeching autos came to a halt.

Grebe said there were several feet of skid marks from the Higgins car, however, there apparently were no marks to indicate Dahl had applied his brakes. Patrolman Grebe said there was no indication of excessive speed although he estimated both cars were traveling in excess of 60 m.p.h. when they struck.

The injured were pinned into the car and were not removed until two Estherville physicians, Dr. John L. Powers and Dr. E.K. Vaubel, happened upon the scene en route to Estherville from their summer cottages at the Lakes. Vaubel and Powers pryed the car doors open and removed the injured. Two ambulances dispatched from Estherville brought the four injured persons to Holy Family Hospital.

Dahl was killed outright in the collision, they said.

Relatives of Dahl said he had been suffering from heart seizures recently, and had always tried to hurry home when he felt an attack coming on. Authorities reason that Dahl may have suffered a heart attack, since he sustained only a broken arm, and cuts of the arm and forehead. Authorities said there will probably be an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Relatives of both Dahl and the Higginses drove upon the accident scene before the bodies were removed.

One of Dahl’s sons, Richard, a member of the Estherville Police Department, had left yesterday afternoon to attend a police school in Iowa City. Dahl was notified of the death as he stepped from his car at Iowa City, and he and Captain Robert Seylar returned to Estherville early this morning.

A daughter of the Higginses, Mrs. Bill (Carol) Ridout, and her husband, flew to Estherville last night from Iowa City, via a chartered plane.

It is believed Dahl may have been doing farm chores near Terril and was returning to Estherville via Milford. There were fishing poles and tackle in his car, which authorities believe may indicate he had not turned onto the highway from the Terril blacktop, near which the collision occurred. Witnesses say Dahl had passed them farther west of the blacktop cut-off leading to Terril.

Funeral services for Dahl have been set for 2 p.m. Thursday at the Calvary Baptist Church here. The Rev. D.F. Neumann will conduct a family service at 10 a.m. at the Sternborg-Reese chapel as well as the public service at 2 o’clock. Burial will be in East Side Cemetery.

Friends may call at the funeral home from 6 p.m. Tuesday until 10 a.m. Thursday.

Dahl was born in Harcourt, Nov. 23, 1898, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gust Dahl, and attended school there. He was married Sept. 16, 1925 at Duncombe to Evelyn Fletcher, who survives.

The couple lived for some time in Palo Alto County before coming here in 1942. Dahl did farm work most of his life.

Survivors include six sons: Donald, Kansas City, Kan.; Dwane, Ottawa, Kan.; Marvin, Richard, Dale and Kenneth, all of Estherville; and two daughters, Mrs. Wayne (Vivian) Petersen, Estherville; and Mrs. Willard (Elaine) Friesner, Windom, Minn.; and 24 grandchildren.

Six brothers and three sisters also survive. They are Paul of Wilmar, Minn.; Harry and Nels of Murdock, Minn.; Bill of Sedan, Minn.; Marvin of Minneapolis; and Winfield of Wilmar; and Mrs. Olive Anderson, Minneapolis; Mrs. Lorena Larson, Murdock; and Mrs. Opal Meleen, Milaca, Minn.

Dahl was preceded in death by his parents and one sister. (Estherville Daily News, Estherville, IA, June 18, 1962)


 

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