The accident occurred just north of Reeder Road. This extremely hazardous unlighted road has continuous deep dips for a two-mile span which limits visibility. The area is posted at 30 miles per hour.
Driver of the car was Charles Surprise, publisher of the Lowell Tribune, accompanied by his wife, Lucile. They were enroute to Cedar Lake, Crown Point and Hebron to deliver Tribunes to postoffices. A young hitchhiker in an ROTC uniform who was standing on the edge of the road at the base of the hill below Reeder Road, said the Surprises were traveling about 20 or 25 miles per hour when they passed him. However, contemplating on picking him up, they slowed almost to a stop, then decided the ride wouldn't be far enough to help him as they planned to stop at Annello's for supper, as is their usual Thursday evening custom. As they neared the crest of the hill they met a car traveling south. As the Surprises' car mounted the hilltop and the lights beamed down on the road they saw before them Mr. Taylor standing in the center of the road. Surprise, traveling less than 15 miles per hour, applied his power brakes and seemed to stop immediately as Mr. Taylor lunged in front of the car. However, his head struck the right front light and he died of a cerebral concussion about three hours later.
Mrs. Clyde Taylor called Eller ambulance and Mrs. Surprise called the Sheriff's office, both responding promptly.
Driver of the southbound car said Mr. Taylor was standing in the center of the road when he passed him seconds earlier and he swerved off the road to avoid hitting him. The only explanation is that undoubtedly he became terrified and made a lunge for the east side of the road.
Ernest Taylor was a respected and loved resident of this region. He did carpenter work and drove a school bus for Center Township. He was born August 21, 1892, at Cedar Lake. His parents were Alfred and Mary Taylor. His mother survives with his wife Lillian (Fronek) Taylor, his son and family, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Taylor and three children; also a brother, Tom Taylor, all of Cedar Lake.
Lake County's sheriff's deputies reported he was hit by an auto driven by Charles L. Surprise, 46, of S. Nichols St., Lowell, a printer.
Deputies William Nolan and Emil Paluga reported that Surprise was northbound on Cedar Lake-Lowell road and was slowing down to pick up a serviceman who was hitch-hiking a ride near Reeder Road.
Before coming to a complete halt, Surprise told the deputies he spotted Taylor, swung his vehicle to the left, and struck the pedestrian with his right front fender and headlight. With Surprise was his wife, Lucille.
The Lake County sheriff's office reported that the accident took place on an "extremely hazardous" road, which has continuous dips for a two-mile span and which intermittently limits visibility to a few hundred feet.
Taylor reportedly died of a cerebral concussion at St. Margaret Hospital, Hammond.
Survivors include his wife, Lillian; son, Clyde; brother, Thomas; mother, Mrs. Mary Taylor; and three grandchildren, all of Cedar Lake.
Rev. Charles Sites of Cedar Lake Methodist church officiated at services and burial was made in Maplewood.
According to report from the Lake County sheriff's office, driver of the car, Charles L. Surprise, publisher of the Lowell Tribune, was traveling north on the Cedar Lake-Lowell road approaching Reeder road. At the foot of a rise in the road he slowed to pick up a hitchhiking soldier. He had just passed the soldier when he noticed Taylor in front of his car. He cut to the left to avoid hitting him but Taylor was struck with the car's right fender and headlight. Suffering a fractured pelvis, head injuries, lacerations and shock, he was taken to St. Margaret hospital, where he died a short time later.
No charges were field against Surprise.
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