July 31 1947: Assistant Euclid Service Director and Boy Killed in Crash at Gettysburg, PA

70 years ago today 2 lives were lost on a rainy day in a head-on collision.

Ronald Sabine, 12, and William Harry Stoneman, 43, assistant Euclid service director and president of coalition club were passengers in a Hudson owned and driven by Paul Hewitt Torbet, 45, Euclid city solicitor.


The threesome were on their way back from a business trip in Washington D.C.. Sabine was traveling with the men he referred to as "uncles". Torbet befriended the young Sabine after his father, Frank Sabine, died of meningitis 2 years prior. The boy had gone on previous trips with Torbet. On this trip Torbet and Stonemen decided since the boy had never seen Getttysburg, they would take him there.

The accident occurred about 8 miles south of Gettysburg, PA on Route 15, just minutes from their destination.

Paul Torbet was driving the 1947 Hudson when he attempted to pass another vehicle on a hill. It was rainy and they collided with a flat body tractor truck hauling 13 tons of brick. No one in the truck was injured.

Emmitsburg road hill, just north of the MD/PA border

12-year-old Sabine ended up beneath the wheels of the truck, dying instantly. It took some time for the body of the boy to be coaxed out of the car, which itself was pinned under the truck.

Stoneman died some twenty minutes after being admitted to Gettysburg hospital suffering from head injuries, a crushed chest, and fractures to both legs.

Torbet suffered a fractured right leg and shoulder, but survived.

William Harry Stoneman is buried in Euclid cemetery.
Ronald Sabine is buried in Calvary cemetery.

Paul H Torbet, who drafted the charters for Bratenahl, Eastlake, Linndale, and Willoughby Hills in addition to Euclid, retired to Florida in 1973 and died in Fall of 1981, at the age of 81.

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