Doors to the Past
Hit and Run
Transcription of Huntington Newspaper
Friday Evening January 19, 1934
GUYANDOTTE MAN ADMITS DRIVING HIT-AND-RUN CAR
CAR TO OHIO
CWA Worker Arrested by Police
Looking for Witness of Accident
Donald Stewart, 23 years old, of 237 Tiernan Street, Guyandotte, a CWA worker, was arrested shortly before noon today by Motorcycle Patrolman O. L. Childers and Ted Riffle, a special CWA policeman as the alleged driver of a “hit and run” automobile which last night which struck and killed Wm. “Boss” Prichard 62 years old of 25 B Street.
Stewart was brought to police headquarters and booked on a manslaughter charge.
A warrant charging manslaughter was issued against him at 1 o’clock today by Justice of the Peace Sturm.
Questioned by the two arresting officers and City Detectives Price and Vernatt, who are investigating the fatality. Stewart admitted that he was driving the death car. He repeated the admission later when interview by an advertiser reporter in the presence of witnesses.
SAYS ACCIDENT UNAVOIDABLE
Stewart told the newsman that he remembered hitting a pedestrian at the intersection of Third Avenue and Twenty-fourth street, shortly after 6 o’clock last nightand admitted that he fled from the scene without stopping.
“I don’t know why I didn’t stop,” he said. “I know that I should have, but I was scared.”
He further declared that he could not avoid striking the aged man, who, according to the prisoner, walked in front of the automobile despite a warning blast from its horn.
Stewart stated his wife and a friend were in the automobile with him and immediately after the accident he took them both home and drove the death car to Ohio, leaving it on a relative’s farm near Gallipolis.
He made his way back to Proctorville intending to take the ferry home back to Guyandotte, but arrived too late. Stewart said he remained in Proctorville all night and returned to his home this morning.
ARRESTED BY CHANCE
He denied that there were three other men in the automobile as stated in the police report of the fatality. The prisoner also said that he had not been drinking.
Although Detectives Price and Vernatt let it become known this morning that Stewart was being sought for questioning in connection with the accident, his arrest came by chance.
The investigating officers learned the identity of one occupant of the automobile and a search was initiated immediately for this man so he could be questioned relative to the identity of the driver. Special Officer Riffle who happened to be in the police station this morning recognized the name of the man for whom they were seeking as someone he knew and volunteered to assist in finding him.
GET DESCRIPTION OF CAR
Also aware that Stewart was suspected as being the owner and driver of the automobile, the CWA policeman, accompanied by Motorcycle Patrolman Childers, went to Guyandotte in the hope of picking up the witness.
“While driving through Arlington Addition, near the Robey bridge, they saw Stewart walking along the road. The officers recognized him and Stewart was immediately taken into custody and brought downtown
Suspicion was directed toward Stewart through a somewhat meager description of the automobile obtained by witnesses to the accident who failed, however, to note the license number. The detectives assigned to the case recalled that such an automobile was once owned by a Stewart and a search for the suspect was started.
RECEIVED FRACTURED SKULL
Various details of the case were yet to be worked out by the two detectives this afternoon.
The automobile victim who was an employee of the Huntington Water Corporation was attempting to cross the street when he was struck by the automobile. The aged man was knocked more than fifty feet and the car passed over his body, according to the witnesses.
Prichard received a fractured skull and a broken leg , according to Dr. F. X. Schuller, county “coroner”, who was called to the scene.
His body was removed to the Willis Funeral Home pending funeral arrangements.
Prichard is survived by the widow, three daughters , Miss Elva Prichard at home. Mrs. Minnie Romimer of Winfield, and Mrs. Mattie Dille of Huntington, three sons, Alfred and Lonnie Prichard of Huntington and Albert Prichard of Salt Rock; two sisters, Mrs. Polly Prichard of Branchland and Mrs. Myra Adkins of Midkiff, and two brothers, Henry and Lafe Prichard of Branchland.
Prichard’s was the first automobile death of the year.
Submitted by Ed Prichard