Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Fire Truck Accident death of Alfred B. Cromley

Tuesday, July 17, 1934 Rochester Sentinel

A. B. CROMLEY, fire chief in the town of Culver , was almost instantly killed and former Fire Chief, Arthur FISHBURN was critically, if not fatally injured, when the truck, which Cromley was driving, skidded and overturned on a freshly oiled "S" curve known as the Judah curve about 1:15 Monday afternoon.

Cromley's neck was broken, his body was badly crushed and he sustained other injuries. One leg was horribly mangled.

Fishburn was rushed to the office of Dr. H. H. TALLMAN, where his condition was believed serious, although full extent of his injuries had not yet been determined. It was thought he had sustained a skull fracture, however.

Two other firemen, Jack TAYLOR and Carey CUMMINS, Jr., sustained cuts and bruises on their faces and bodies and were not seriously hurt. Ed BOBERG, another fireman escaped uninjured. Taylor, Cummins and Boberg were riding on the rear end of the truck.

The accident occurred at the Judah curve. Eye witnesses declared that Cromley was driving about 50 miles per hour when he approached the curves. The truck skidded on the fresh oil, turned completely over and came to a stop standing right side up about thirty yards from where it started skidding.

Cromley lay about midway from the place where the truck started to skid and where it came to a halt. Fishburn had been thrown clear of the truck or attempted to leap clear, and landed in the road a short distance from where the truck overturned.

Boberg, Taylor and Cummins had been hurled from the rear end of the truck before it overturned, rolling into the ditch by the side of the road.

When the three firemen and other witnesses reached Cromley he gasped a few breaths and died. Fishburn was rushed to the physicians office, unconscious.

The truck which the town of Culver purchased new for about $7,500 three years ago, is almost a complete wreck. It was the only modern piece of fire fighting equipment the town of Culver had available.

The fire which caused the alarm to be given was a grass fire, started by a carelessly tossed cigarette, near the H. A. RICE cottage on the east side of Lake Maxinkuckee. Cottagers had succeeded in extinguishing the fire before the fire truck tragedy occurred. No damage was caused by the fire.

It was reported by people along the road that Cromley was driving about 50 miles an hour when he took the curves. The truck had skidded when it went around a curve on the concrete highway and again on the hard surface highway almost turning around at one of the curves.

When the truck hit the Judah curve, it skidded to the left, into the ditch, turned over, rolling and skidding for 50 yards. Cromley was proprietor of the Culver Dray Line. He was appointed fire chief about a year ago.

Besides his wife, Cromley is survived by a daughter, Helen [CROMLEY], about 17, and a son, Merwin [CROMLEY], about 7 years old.

Funeral services for Mr. Cromley will be held from the Grace Reformed church at Culver at 2 p.m. Wednesday with the Rev. Harvey HARSH in charge. Burial will be made in the cemetery at Culver .

The condition of Arthur Fishburn, former Culver fire chief, was so much improved today that he was moved to his home at Culver from the Kelly hospital in Argos. Fishburn received a sprained ankle and had cuts on the legs, arms and head.

25 July 1934

The Indiana Fireman's Association and a number of delegations from fire departments of this part of the state made impressive fuenral rites Wedensday at Grace Reformed Church in Culver for Culver fire chief Alfred B. Cromley was killed July 16 when the fire truck turned over on an East Side Road run.

Four other fireman were injured - though not badly - and the truck badly wrecked. Amons other diffculties with the run, a grass firs was i ncorrectly reported as three cottage fires, causing the firemen to add extra hurry to their effort, Ctomley, an experienced driver, was 38 years old, having been born at the Cromley homestead on the south end of the lake, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Cromley. Cheif Cromley's bereaved family is left without a means of support, and a fun has been established, at the suggestion of an east shore cottager, towards their needs

Judah's Curve today - first view is north to south and second is south to north-
The cottage on the curve at the north end is first what today is the Edward and Susannah curtis cottage 1880 East Shore , the next being what was formerly the Judah cottage at 1910 East Shore - hence the name "Judah's cruve"