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 Thelma Vergie <I>Robinson</I> Byer

Thelma Vergie Robinson Byer

Murray, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Death 13 Feb 1944 (aged 30)
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Burial Murray, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Plot 08 056 2
Memorial ID 126452 · View Source
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Auto-Train Crash Kills
Salt Lake Woman, 30

Tragedy climaxed a birthday celebration early Sunday morning when Mrs. Virginia Robinson Byer, 30, 157 East Commonwealth avenue, was killed instantly when the automobile in which she was riding was struck by a Denver and Rio Grande Western freight engine at Sixth West and North Temple streets.

Three others riding in the car miraculously escaped serious injury. They are:
Howard Stanley Byer, 32, her husband; Harry M. Thoreson, 157 East Thirty-second South street, and his wife, sister of Mrs. Byer, all of whom suffered cuts and bruises.

Police traffic investigators reported that the car, driven by Mr. Thoreson, was traveling east on North Temple street at 1:12 a. m., when it was struck by the southbound locomotive, which was drawing a caboose into the rail-road company's yards.

Mr. Thoreson told investigators he was traveling about 25 miles per hour and "saw the car ahead of me clear the crossing. . . . I didn't see the train at any time, and don't believe any of us did."

Horace Ladd, 52, 1602 South Main street, engineer, told investigators he saw the Thoreson auto mobile approach the Crossing, but thought the car would stop because "signals were working."

The automobile was struck as it crossed the tracks in front of the train, police said. The locomotive plowed into the left side of the car, tearing away doors and panels and virtually demolishing the entire left side of the vehicle.

"It was my birthday," Mr. Byer told police officers. "We had been dancing and were on our way home where my wife had prepared a birthday supper when the accident occurred.

"We were riding in the back seat, discussing plans for the party at home and did not see the train approach. My wife was sitting on the left side and apparently took the full force of the collision," Mr. Byer said.

Mr. Byer and Mr. and Mrs. Thoreson were treated for minor cuts and bruises at police emergency hospital and then were taken to their homes.

Other crew members aboard the engine and caboose, police said, were O. L. McNelly, 3672 Ninth East street, switchman, and John A. Diamond, 322 Shelmerdine court, fireman.

A daughter of William F. and Ann Morris Robinson, Mrs. Byer was born in Murray, June 19, 1913, and resided there until September 26, 1936, when she was married to Mr. Byer and moved to Salt Lake City.

A graduate of Murray high school, Mrs. Byer was organist for the L D S Primary and Relief society organizations of the newly formed Columbus ward.

In addition to her husband and parents, she is survived by a 4-year-old daughter, Annette; six brothers, W. A. Robinson, Seattle, Wash.; Luke M., Wilford and Joseph Robinson, all of Salt Lake City; Henry A. Robinson, Alaska, and Marion M. Robinson, Murray; three sisters, Mrs. Ethel R. Parker, Murray: Mrs. May Thoreson, Salt Lake City, and Mrs. Amy R. Bills, Logan.

Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday noon in the Murray L D S First ward chapel.

The Salt Lake Tribune, Monday Morning, February 14, 1944

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  • Maintained by: Anne
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 126452
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Thelma Vergie Robinson Byer (19 Jun 1913–13 Feb 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 126452, citing Murray City Cemetery, Murray, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Anne (contributor 46788213) .