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Information for Helen Betty Prater Whiffin

24 February, 1915 - 15 January, 1937

From the Caldwell News-Tribune

Saturday, 16 January, 1937
Contributed by Dennis McIndoo

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Caldwell Women Are Killed
When Automobile Is Struck
by Passenger Train

    Canyon county peace officers were investigating today the deaths of two Caldwell women, Mrs. Wayne Whiffin, 21, and Miss Doris Evans, 17, who were crushed when their car was struck by the Union Pacific's westbound Portland Rose here last night.
    An inquest will be conducted at the courthouse tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock, Coroner William D. Talley said, when the crew of the train will be called for questioning.  O. E. Norman of Pocatello was conductor and H. Joslyn of Glenns Ferry, engineer.
                  Not Reported
Sheriff Frank Piersall said he would attempt to learn why the accident, which occurred at 6:30 p. m., was not reported to peace officers immediately.  Both Piersall and Talley said they first learned of the tragedy from newspaper men.
    The two women, who were dead upon arrival at the Memorial Park hospital where a passing motorist, Jack Smeed, had taken them, were killed as their automobile was driven onto the Twenty first street crossing near the Union stockyards.
                View Obscured
    Apparently, onlookers said, their view of the approaching passenger train was obstructed by a passing freight train and they drove onto the tracks and into the path of the passenger engine as the caboose of the freight train cleared the crossing.
    Struck broadside almost at the side of the car's driver, the automobile, a light sedan, was nearly crushed.  Force of the impact sent the car hurtling down the track but it did not overturn.
    The two women were badly crushed by the force of the blow.  Neither was thrown from the car.
    Removed from the wrecked automobile the two women were taken immediately to the hospital but both were dead upon arrival.  Neither regained consciousness.
    Smeed, who had waited in his car behind the Whiffin car, said he honked his horn when he saw the women were driving onto the track but he blamed the fact that a radio was being operated in the death car for the failure of the two women to heed his warning.
    A small dog, riding in the car with the women also was a victim of the crash.
    Mrs. Whiffin was the wife of Wayne Charles Whiffin, automobile salesman at the Shorb-McCampbell motor company.  She was Miss Helen Prater of Nampa before her marriage.
    Miss Evans, who was a senior at Caldwell high school, was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Evans, operators of the American Gardens on Indiana avenue.  In addition to her parents she is survived by a sister, Mrs. Ruth Hennis, and a brother, Harry Evans, Jr., both of whom reside at home.
    Funeral arrangements have not been made.  The body of Miss Evans is at the Case Funeral home while that of Mrs. Whiffin is at the Peckham chapel.


Also this article from The Caldwell News-Tribune
Monday, 18 January, 1937


Last Rites For
 Accident Victims
  To Be Conducted

    Mrs. Wayne C. Whiffin, 21-year-old train-motor car crash victim, was buried today in the Canyon Hill cemetery.  Funeral services were held at the Presbyterian church with Dr. H. H. Hayman of the College of Idaho in charge.
    Miss Doris Evans, Mrs. Whiffin's companion who was also killed in the smashup, will be laid at rest Tuesday afternoon.  Funeral services will be held at 2:30 with Dr. James Millar of the College of Idaho and Rev E. P. Lawrence in charge.  Burial will be in the Canyon Hill cemetery.
    Mrs. Whiffin is survived by her husband who is associated with a local garage, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Prater of Nampa, a sister, Mrs. Freda Lester of Nampa and three brothers, Billy and Wayne of Nampa and Jack, who is with the United States marines at Shanghai.
    Miss Evans, who was 17 and a senior at the Caldwell high school, is survived by her mother and Father, Mrs. and Mrs. Harry Evans, of Caldwell; a sister, Mrs. Ruth Hennis; a brother, Harry Evans Jr., of Caldwell and a number of aunts, uncles and cousins in Colorado and California.
    Sunday afternoon a coroner's inquest of the accident, which occurred Friday evening when the Portland Rose struck the young women's car on a crossing near the Union Stock yards, was held at the Canyon county courthouse.  The jury decided that the girls came to their death as a result of the collision but placed no blame.  Coroner William D. Talley of Nampa conducted the inquest.




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