Driver Trapped In Blazing Car Near Kooskia
Kooskia, May 28. - Lewis W. Choate, 21, resident of the Cavendish-Teakean community, was burned to death and his companion, Miss June Pemberton, 18, daughter of Mrs. Ida Pemberton, Kendrick, was injured when a car driven by Choate plunged off the South fork highway a mile above Kooskia this morning at 1:30 and burst into flames.
The car, a Dodge pickup, turned over and rolled into a ditch, Deputy Sheriff Rufe Wisenor, who was called to investigate, reported. It was demolished by fire and the charred body of Choate was found in the wreckage.
Miss Pemberton was thrown clear of the car and sustained several broken ribs on the left side and bruises on her body. Her condition is not believed serious, the attending physician at Kendrick reported last night. Before taken home she was given first aid at Stites. The pickup was owned by Tom Nygaard, Stites.
Glenn Ailor, coroner of Idaho county, accompanied Wisenor, and Coroner George Blake, CLearwater county, were summoned to the scene of the fatality. Both coroners said death was due to burning and suffocation, that no bones were broken.
When the accident occurred several cars were en route home from a dance at Kooskia, an Orofino report said.
"An unknown person, I was told, stopped at the site of the wreck and heard Choate groaning," Coroner Blake said. "He struck a match, I was informed, and approached the wreck, causing the gasoline to ignite."
Choate had been employed by the Potlatch Forests, Inc., logging camp near Stites. He was born at Teakean, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Asa Choate, Clearwater county pioneers. In addition to his parents, he is survived by two brothers.
Lewiston Morning Tribune , May 30, 1944
Transcribed by Jo Frederiksen, 2014
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