Clinch Valley News, Jeffersonville, VA

July 2, 1915


A fearful automobile wreck occurred two and one half miles west of Lebanon about 8 o'clock Friday evening, killing Andy Kestner, of Moccasin Gap, Washington county, and slightly injuring chauffeur Arnold Thomas, of Lebanon, and Reynolds Shoemaker, of Hansonville.

Mr. Thomas was returning from Bristol, having gone there the day before with a runaway couple and on his way home picked Mr. Kestner up in Moccasin Gap, who was coming to Lebanon to visit his daughter, Mrs. Phelps, and was later joned at Hansonville by Reynolds Shoemaker. The car belonged to S. Aston and had been loaned to the eloping couple.

The chauffeur, we are told, was drunk or drinking and a short time after passing Hawkins' store control of the steering wheel was lost and the car started to leave the road, whena quick turn of the wheel caused the car to turn bottom side up. The chauffeur was caught under the car with the steering wheel resting on his chest, and Shoemaker, who was thrown clear of the wreck succeeded in getting Thomas out. Mr. Kestner was picked up at the rear of the car and it was at once seen that he was seriously hurt, having a large hole cut in the back of his head that exposed the brain. The wounded man was brought to Lebanon and taken to the home of his daughter, where physicians attended him, removing pieces of bone and taking gravels off the brain. Without regaining consciousness, death resulted twenty hours after the accident.

The deceased was about sixty-seven years old, a splendid man, and being afraid of automobiles this was said to be the second time he had ever ridden in one. The machine was a Ford tourng car and was considerably torn up. One wheel was torn to pieces and the fenders were torn off, It was the same car that was in collision with another car on Lebanon-Cleveland road ten days ago.-Lebanon News,