Joe Thomas Birdwell Jr.

Joe Thomas Birdwell Jr.

Birth
Death 31 Mar 1953 (aged 10)
Burial Baxter, Putnam County, Tennessee, USA
Memorial ID 63920870 · View Source
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Putnam County marked up its seventh traffic fatality of the year and its second within eight days when a car skidded on rain slick highway 70N and crashed into a parked bus loading school children about 7:45 o'clock Tuesday morning. The accident occurred 100 yards west of Evergreen Service Station about nine miles from Cookeville where the bus had stopped to pick up about 15 Baxter grammar school and Baxter
Seminary students.
Killed in the accident was Joe T. Birdwell, Jr., 10, fourth grade pupil at Baxter grammar school.
James Paul Watkins, 41, of Loudon, TN, the driver of the car was bound over to the Putnam County grand jury and placed under $2,500 bond after waiving preliminary hearing before General Sessions Judge John Bryan. The warrant for his arrest was sworn out by Arthur Birdwell, uncle of the Birdwell child charging Watkins with man slaughter.
Watkins who is assistant attorney general in the fourth circuit told highway patrolmen that when he saw the bus he applied his brakes and all four wheels locked throwing his car into a skid. He said his automobile whipped off the other side of the road and then skidded to the side where the bus was parked. Some of the children wre hit before the crash into the bus.
The three injured pupils are Ernie Pullum, 14 son of Mr. and Mrs. Fount Pullum; Virginia Brown, 13, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Brown and Shirley Gayle Stout, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Corben Stout. All are residents of the Ensor community. Shirley was released from General Hospital after first aid treatment. The others are not injured sereiously and were reported in good condition Wednesay morning.
Witnesses to the accident said that another car ahead of the Watkins vehicle had stopped to wait for the bus to load.
Driver of the bus was Douglas Boyd, 23 of Silver Point. Boyd and several children inside the bus were unhurt. The vehicle is owned by Bethel Palk and operated under supervision of the county school board.
Mrs. Ila Palmer was killed and Dr. and Mrs. Harry L. Upperman were seriously injured in a traffic accident
on the same highway Monday, March 23.
Funeral services for the Birdwell child will be at 2:00 p.m. Thursday at Baxter Methodist Church.
Interment will be in Odd Fellows Cemetery. Officiating at the funeral will be the Rev. Chester Stephenson, Rev. Isham G. Rogers and Rev. J. H. Roberson.
Survivors include his parents, a brother, David West Birdwell; his maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Kelly West of Poplar Grove Community and his paternal grandfather, Thomas Birdwell of Defuniak Springs, FL.


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  • Created by: imagal49
  • Added: 8 Jan 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 63920870
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Joe Thomas Birdwell Jr. (25 Nov 1942–31 Mar 1953), Find a Grave Memorial no. 63920870, citing Odd Fellows Cemetery, Baxter, Putnam County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by imagal49 (contributor 47223808) .