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On February 7, 1942, the Army driver made the following statement regarding the accident:
"I was coming in a southerly direction on Broad Street in the Borough of Shrewsbury, I was going about 12 miles an hour. At a point opposite the home of C. F. Borden on Broad Street there is a three-lane macadam road with two white lines. At this point I was driving in the center lane, as I intended to turn my truck around at the first driveway I saw. I continued in the center lane at the rate of about 10 miles an hour for approximately 125 feet. I then put out my hand as I started to turn left into a driveway of a home on the east side of the road. At that moment, without any.warning, a car which I later learned was driven by Mrs. Harriet W. Vanderhoef, residing at 49 West Sunset Avenue, Red Bank, N. J., license P45E, blew its horn. I was turning into the driveway when she blew her horn. I turned the truck back to the right and when I turned it back she sideswiped the left front wheel and bounced off and hit the light pole of the Jersey Central Power & Light Co.
This pole is about 500 feet from Sycamore Avenue, Shrewsbury, on the east side of the road."
The record fails to disclose that there were any disinterested eyewitnesses to the accident.
The report of Second Lt. Peter A. Beronio, the investigating officer, dated February 7, 1942, reads as follows:
"In light of my investigation and upon weighing the two stories, I believe the story of the Government driver
to be the correct one, basing my finding on the fact that had he been on the right side of the road and abruplty turned left and had Mrs. Vanderhoef been in the center lane for passing, the speed of the cars were not great enough to carry her to the far side of the road and permit her to hit the light pole so hard. Further if it had happened the way Mr. Vanderhoef claimed, the Government driver would have had to swing hard to the left to make his turn and this would have brought the vehicles at right angles to each other. These facts, in my mind, place Mrs. Vanderhoef on the far left side of the road and driving against traffic. This is a traffic violation and definitely places Mrs. Vanderhoef in the wrong."
On January 19, 1942, W. G. Herrman, radiologist at the Riverview Hospital, Red Bank, made the following report concerning the injuries sustained by Mrs. Sherman:
"Radiographs taken antero-posteriorly and laterally of the right ankle, and obliquely of the tibiofibular joint.
“No evidence of fracture about the ankle joint is noted, although there is considerable swelling below both malleoli.
"This examination was not taken for toes, but we note a fracture at the junction of the head and shaft of the fifth metatarsal. We believe the patient should be reexamined to take in the toes and the metatarsals. We cannot tell from the present examination the amount of deformity, since the fracture is seen only in one direction, and neither can we tell whether it is an old or a new fracture."
On February 10, 1942, Mr. Herrman submitted the following supplementary report: "Radiographs were taken dorso-plantar and laterally oblique of the right foot.
"As previously reported we note evidence of a fracture of the fifth metatarsal, at junction of head and shaft. The head is angulated slightly dorsally on the shaft. We do not detect other fractures in the metatarsals or phalanges. We suspect a chipping fracture at the base of the cuboid. The patient has an accessory scaphoid. Such accessory scaphoid is often the result of an old fracture or may be congenital. It does not appear to be the result of any recent trauma in this case.
“The patient has a rather marked hallus valgus, with considerable enlargement of the head of the first metatarsal and hypertrophic new bone formation. In addition, there are a few rather sharply defined small areas of decalcification. They may represent merely pseudo-cystlike formations as the result of the overgrowth of the head of the metatarsal. However, we would suggest ruling out gout."
The evidence of record indicates that as a result of these injuries Mrs. Sherman incurred medical and hospital expenses in the amount of $200.50, as follows: Riverview Hospital, Inc., Red Bank, N. J.
$18. 50 Dr. Melvin Wainright, Eatontown, N. J.
32. 00 Dr. Edward W. Mulligan, Red Bank, N. J.
The following alleged expenses incurred by Mrs. Sherman and listed by her attorneys are not proved: Medicines, liniments, alcohol, and bandages
$25 Expense of cleaning clothing
5 Employment of extra household help
170 On September 30, 1943, Mrs. Sherman, a widow, died at the age of 77 years, leaving no dependents. Dr. Edward W. Mulligan, of Red Bank, N. J., made the following statement regarding her death:
"Phoebe Sherman, of 99 Broad Street, Eatontown, N. J., was under my care from August 1942 to September 1943. The cause of death was determined to be congestive heart failure.
"The patient was also treated for cardiac asthma. It is not known whether there was any relation between her accident and the cause of death.”
Mrs. Vanderhoef was treated at Riverview Hospital for contusion of both knees. A fracture of her right forearm was suspected but
X-ray photographs disclosed none. Capt. A. Putterman, Medical Corps, Station Hospital, Fort Monmouth, N. J., examined Mrs. Vanderhoef on October 27, 1943, and made the following report:
"Head: Entirely negative, except for upper denture plate. "Neck: No signs of any pathology.
"Chest: Heart-Blood pressure 130/90; R. S. R. no enlargement, no murmurs heard. Lugs-Entirely negative.
"Abdomen: No scars present. No masses felt, no rigidity illicited.
"Hands: There is a small scar on the dorsum of the first joint of the right middle finger. There is no loss of motion present. Otherwise upper extremities are entirely negative.
"Lower extremities: No signs of any scars present. No swelling of any joints. There does not seem to be any loss of power nor function in these extremities.
"Neurological examination: Negative.”.
The evidence shows that Mrs. Vanderhoef incurred medical and hospital expenses the amount of $25 and her attorneys allege, without proof, that in addition she spent $25 for medicine and incidentals and $4 for having her clothing cleaned.
Mrs. Vanderhoef is 53 years of age, a daughter of Mrs. Phoebe Sherman, and is married to Allan W. Vanderhoef, age 56 years, who supports her. She has no children or other dependents. She states that, while she was not employed at the time of the accident, she was a furrier by occupation, and that because of the injtry to her right wrist she was unable to continue in the pursuit of such occupation.
Mrs. Vanderhoef's automobile was covered by a $50-deductible collision-insurance policy issued by the Universal Insurance Co. of New Jersey. It was damaged in this accident to the extent of $348, and on November 16, 1942, Mrs. Vanderhoef filed a claim with the War Department in the amount of $50 for property damage not covered by insurance. On January 20, 1943, the Universal Insurance Co. of New Jersey, as subrogee, filed a claim with the Department for $298. No claims for personal injuries arising out of this accident have been filed with the War Department, and no action has thus far been taken on the property damage claims.
While the facts in the case are in dispute in respect of the traffic lanes in which the two vehicles involved were being driven immediately prior to the accident, it is the view of the War Department that the evidence of record wholly fails to establish any fault or negligence on the part of the Army driver either in causing or contributing to the accident. Section 39:4-88 of the Motor Vehicle and Traffic Laws and Regulations of New Jersey, entitled “Traffic on marked lanes,” provides that
"Upon a highway which is divided into three lanes, a vehicle shall not be driven in the center lane except when overtaking or passing another vehicle or in preparation for a left turn
The evidence fairly establishes that the Army vehicle was, in accordance with the above-quoted law, being operated in the center lane with a view to making a left turn, that the Army driver had clearly indicated his intention to make such turn, both by driving in the center lane and by giving a hand signal; and that the proximate cause of the accident was the negligence of the civilian driver, Mrs. Vanderhoef, in attempting to pass the Army vehicle in disregard of such obvious indications of the Army driver's intention to turn left. The War Department,
H. Repts., 78—2, vol. 3 -47
therefore, is constrained to recommend that favorable conside aion be not given to these three bills. It may further be stated that the enactment of H. R. 2356, for the relief of Allan Vanderhoef, would in any event necessarily be opposed, insofar as it would compensate him for damage to the Vanderhoef automobile, as the evidence of record fails to disclose that he has any interest in or right or title to the vehicle in question.
The fiscal effect of the bills is manifest. The Bureau of the Budget advises that there is no objection to the submission of this report. Sincerely yours,
HENRY L. STIMSON,
Secretary of War.
STATE OF NEW JERSEY,
County of Monmouth, 88: Harriet W. Vanderhoef of full age, being duly sworn according to law, upon her oath, deposes and says:
1. 'I am a resident of the county of Monmouth and State of New Jersey. I formerly resided at 49 Sunset Avenue, Red Bank, N. J. I now reside at the corner of Riverside Drive and Pinewood Drive, Shark River Hills, Neptune, N. J.
2. I am a daughter of Phoebe Sherman, formerly a resident of 99 Broad Street of the Borough of Eatontown, county of Monmouth and State of New Jersey.
3. On the 19th day January 1942 I was operating my car south on Broad Street through the Borough of Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, N. J. There were riding with me as passengers at my invitation my mother, Mrs. Phoebe Sherman, and my nephew, Benjamin F. Summers, who was then 18 years of age and whose address is at present as follows: Pvt. Benjamin F. Summers, 12134253, B-503, Seven hundred and sixty-fourth T. S. S., Buckley Field, Colo.
4. The automobile which I was driving belonged to me. It had been purchased from the Studebaker Agency about 3 weeks before the accident. a 1940 Studebaker, engine No. H-9722, and cost me in excess of $850.
5. As I was driving my car south on Broad Street and had reached a point about 1,000 feet south of Sycamore Avenue, I was going about 18 miles per hour. At this point the road changes from a two-lane to a three-lane highway. There was an Army truck directly ahead of me in the slow or westerly lane, moving in the same direction as I was. I pulled into the center lane in order to pass this truck on the left-hand side. When I reached a point about midway of the truck, the driver suddenly swerved to the left. The left front wheel of the Army tryck collided with my right side. In an effort to avoid a more serious accident, I swerved sharply to the left, going across the street to the east side of the highway and collided with a telephone pole at this point.
6. The name of the driver of the Army truck was Billy Bernard, of the One Thousand Two Hundred and Twenty-sixth Quartermasters, Fort Monmouth, N.J. His driver's license was No. 27522. The number of the truck was W 437-407-U.S. A.
7. At the time the driver of this Army truck swerved to the left across the highway, he gave no signal of any kind which would indicate to me his intention to do
I had no notice that he was going to turn and he was practically into my car before I had any knowledge of what his intentions were.
8. After the accident the ariver of the Army truck stated that he had forgotten something and had intended to turn around and go back in the direction from which he had come. · There is a ariveway at the point of the accident and it was into this driveway that he was apparently going to turn around in.
9. After the accident a Mrs. Crosby whose address is Sycamore Avenue, Little Siver, took the injured persons in her car to Dr. William Heatly and thereafter to the Riverview Hospital. After emergency treatment at the Riverview Hospital, we were all sent to our homes.
10. Benjamin Su mers did not require any medical treatment so far as I know. Both my mother, Mrs. Sherman, and I sustained personal injuries as a result of this accident.
11. Following our return from the hospital, my mother and I went under the care of Dr. Melvin Wainright. Dr. Wainright is at the present time serving in the United States armed forces in the Medical Corps. I am advised by his mother that he is now overseas. I have endeavored to contact him with a view toward obtaining an affidavit and will continue to endeavor to do so.
12. In the accident Mrs. Sherman's head had been forced against the windshield which was shattered by her head coming in contact with it. I struck the steering wheel and as a result of the blow the steering wheel was broken.
13. In the accident I sustained injuries to both my knees, to my right hand and arm, to my left hand, to my abdomen and chest. These injuries were all treated by Dr. Melvin Wainright.
14. In the accident my mother, Mrs. Sherman, sustained injuries to her ankle, to her head, to her left wrist and back. In addition to her doctor bill there was a bill of $10 for X-rays taken at the Riverview Hospital. I had an $11 bill for X-rays also.
15. As a result of the accident Mrs. Sherman was compelled to remain in bed for approximately 6 weeks. I was confined to my bed for 2 weeks. Both my mother and I used medical supplies and medicines to the amount of approximately $25 each. After I recovered from my injuries I went over to my mother's house and took care of her for approximately 4 weeks at which time she was laid up in bed. I made no charge for my services. My mother told me that she would see that I was paid for helping her. I have not submitted any bill and do not intend to
16. Following the accident my mother regained her health somewhat but never completely: She continued to suffer from the head injuries which she sustained until the time of her death, which occurred on the 30th day of September 1943. She had pains in the head, which were of a severe nature. Apparently she also suffered from her ankle, where I was told she sustained a fracture. The bones of her ankle never seemed to knit together, and after the accident Mrs. Sherman was never able to get around very much. The extent of her walking was around the rooms of the house where she had something to hold on to. She had to give up all other walking activities and after that whenever she wanted to go anywhere she had to be taken in an automobile.
17. My mother never received Dr. Wainright's entire bill for treatment. He did send a bill for $53, but I do not believe this was the doctor's entire bill.
18. In addition to Dr. Wainright's bill my mother spent the sum of $5 for cleaning her clothing:
19. Ďr. Wainright's bill for treating me was the sum of $14. I have recovered to a considerable extent from the injuries in question and I am not now going to the doctor, My injuries bother me at the present time in the following respects: nervous shock and traumatic neurosis.
20. I spent the sum of $4 to clean my clothing in addition to my doctor's bill and the sum of $25 for medicines, etc.
21. At the time of the occurrence of the accident in question, I had signaled my intention to pass the Army truck by blowing my horn. At that time the truck had been going at a rather slow rate of speed. His brakes had not been applied, so that I would have noticed that the driver was going to make a sharp turn. I endeavored to avoid the accident by all means within my power. The accident would not have happened had it not been for the negligence of Mr. Bernard, the driver of the Army truck.
22. In the accident my automobile was badly smashed. I had swerved my wheel to the left and the Army truck pushed my car into a pole on the left side of the road. My car was taken to the Studebaker agency, whose estimate to repair the car was $369. Thereafter the car was repaired under an agreement with my insurance carrier, which paid the sum of $348 for the repairs, of which amount I was required to contribute $50. I will be glad to furnish such further information as may be requested by the committee. In addition to the actual costs of repairs to my automobile, it has greatly depreciated in value. I estimate this depreciation at $100, based upon the opinion of garagemen who are familiar with this type of work,
23. Messrs. Parsons, Labrecque & Borden are my attorneys in charge of prosecuting this claim, and I have agreed to pay them a reasonable counsel fee for their services.
24. My mother died on the 30th day of September 1943. She left surviving her a number of children and grandchildren. I am familiar with my mother's affairs and particularly of the facts concerning her expenses mentioned above. I know she suffered from the effects of the injuries from the time of the accident until her death. Her injuries were a fracture of the ankle, cerebral concussion, post concussional syndrome, traumatic neurosis, and nervous shock. She never recovered her health.
HARRIET W. VANDERHOEF. Sworn and subscribed to before me this 3d day of March 1944. (SEAL)
SHIRLEY G. GRENGER, Notary Public of New Jersey.
STATEMENT OF HARRIET W. VANDERHOEF (WIFE OF ALLAN VANDERHOEF) For damages sustained as a result of an automobile accident which occurred January 19, 1942, due to the negligence of the operator of a United States Army truck, W437-407' U. S. A. 1. For medical services.
$64, 00 2. For medicines, liniments, bandages, etc.
25. 00 3. For pain and suffering;
300.00 4. For nervous shock and other injuries (sprain of both knees, sprain of
right hand, contusion of back and abdomen, and internal injuries) -- 500.00 5. For cleaning clothing, etc...
5. 00 6. For counsel fees.--
STATEMENT OF PHOEBE SHERMAN
1. Amount of doctor bills.
$250 2. Amount of medicines, liniments, alcohol, and bandages, etc.
25 3. Compensation for pain and suffering---
1, 000 4. Compensation for injuries, including nervous shock, concussion, post
consussional syndrome, traumatic neurosis, and fracture of ankle...- 2, 500 5. For cleaning clothing, etc.
5 6. To costs for further medical care.
300 7. To extra care in household (6 weeks)
140 8. For counsel fees..
STATE OF NEW JERSEY,
County of Monmouth, 88: Benjamin F. Summers, of full age, being duly sworn according to law, upon his oath, deposes and says:
1. My name is Pvt. Benjamin F. Summers. My home is Little Silver, N. J. At the present time my address is B. F. S. Eighteenth Replacement Wing, Salt Lake City, Utah.
2. On the 19th day of January 1942, I was a passenger by invitation in an automobile which was being driven south on Broad Street in the Borough of Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, N. J. This automobile was being driven by Mrs. Harriet W. Vanderhoef, of Neptune, N. J. Mrs. Phoebe Sherman, of Eatontown, N. J., was also a passenger in this automobile. The car was a Studebaker, year 1940, and was owned by Mrs. Vanderhoe.
3. As the car in which I was riding was being driven in a southwardly direction on Broad Street at a slow rate of speed, possibly 18 miles per hour, I noticed an Army truck directly ahead of us. This Army truck was being driven in the slow lane which is the most westerly lane of the highway. It was moving in the same direction as we were and the driver was giving no indication that he was going to turn or do anything except proceed straight ahead.
4. The driver of the car in which I was riding pulled into the center lane to pass the Army truck. I remember that the driver of our car blew her horn as she started to pass the Army truck.