A Sense of humor

Hank’s cabin – Route Bay

In the early 70’s, Eloise and I drove to Dryden to visit Hank and his wife Ora at their hunting cabin on Route Bay. It sat at the end of a long bay with a beautiful beach running the full width of the bay. It was in a very remote area with no one else living within at least thirty miles.

Hank wanted to drive us around on the old bush trails to see the area and at the same time check for moose. Just before we were to drive off a woman that Ora worked with at the mill arrived with her husband. Hank quickly advised them where we were going and invited them to join us. The truck Hank drove was an old delivery van that sat six with room in the back for hauling game (moose) back to the cabin.

All the trails we drove on were left over from woodcutters cutting pulp wood for the mill in Dryden. The trails were very rough and the woods were starting to grow back in, making passage difficult for vehicles. The van we were in was used by Hank for hunting so it went places vehicle were not suppose to go. Any brush was simply pushed aside or driven over. Young trees up to four inches were knocked down, adding a few more scratches and dents to the body of the vehicle.

Hank was driving while the male guest sat by the right front door. I was sandwiched in between them. The women were in the back seat and each sat behind their husbands.

We spent a couple of hours surveying the area and knocking down our share of trees. We had a few beers with us but the temperature kept rising and the beer quickly disappeared. I had known Hank and Ora for many years so I quickly picked up on the fact that Hank was not impressed by the man who sat beside me and talked endlessly in an effort to convince us with his outdoor knowledge and hunting experience.

At some point Hank said we would head for home to cool off and have a few more beers. The woods trail back to the cabin approached the bay from the bottom and then when it was about thirty feet from the lake it turned a sharp right and proceeded to the cabin about a thousand feet away. The brush all around us was thick so it was difficult to navigate the rough road very fast.

The trail was about twenty feet higher than the lake. As we approached the right angle turn, heading down hill, Hank started stamping his foot on the floor boards and mumbled something about the brakes not working. We missed the turn and continued downhill in the thick woods, hitting and knocking down some good sized trees with the front bumper. The women were all yelling in the back seat as they bounced around and had no idea what was happening. (Other than the fact were were off the trail and heading for the lake.)

The fellow beside me was very excited and kept asking Hank, “What’s wrong, what’s wrong?” Hank yelled back, “My brakes have failed!”

Knowing Hank as well as I did, I could see he was not in a panic and had a smirk on his face as we bounced and crashed our way down the hill, heading for the lake. It was at this point the man on my right opened the truck door and jumped into the thick woods. The next tree we passed on the right slammed the door shut and the truck left the trail and landed in the lake with a huge splash.

It was instantly apparent that the water was only two feet deep and we did not even get our feet wet. Hank swung the truck to the right and then drove along the beautiful sandy beech all the way to his dock where he easily took the ramp back up the hill and parked by the cabin. Hank and I and our wifes were having a great laugh when our former passenger walked up to the cabin. We tried not to laugh but it was difficult.

The guys wife was very unhappy with her husband and quickly pointed to her watch and said they were late and had to get going. As they got into their vehicle we could hear the wife chewing on her husband for bailing out of the truck and abandoning her to her fate.

When pressed, Hank admitted his truck brakes were fine.

A Dead Shot.

Hank had a nephew who was a good deer hunter but had never shot a moose. He lived some distance away and came to Dryden to get some advise and instructions on how to shoot a moose. Hank was happy to help and gave him some good shooting and hunting tips and made a suggestion just where to hunt.

On the last day of the hunting season the nephew showed up at Hanks cabin and admitted defeat. He had been out hunting all week long and never got a shot at a moose, even though he saw a couple. Hank agreed to go hunting with him and would try to find him a moose.

After many hours of driving up and down logging trails they finally spotted a large cow moose as she came out of the woods and stood near the edge of the road. Hank immediately stopped the truck and told the young man to open the door slowly and quietly and take the shot using the open window of the door as a gun rest.

As the young man got out of the truck he tried to load a shell into the rifle and dropped the whole box on the gravel road. As he fussed about trying to pick up the shells Hank calmly and quietly told him, “Leave the shells alone and just put one in the rifle.” As he spoke Hank opened his truck door, loaded his rifle and stood, pointing it at the moose that still remained at the side of the road. In a very quiet whisper he said, “I’ll give you the first shot and if you miss, then I will shoot.”

There was a loud bang as the nephew took his shot. Instantly the moose raced across the road and Hank fired. The moose ran up a bare hill of rock and then disappeared into the thick woods. It was all over in a few seconds.

The nephew started shouting and jumping up an down, “I shot him, I shot him,” then started running down the road to where the moose crossed. Hank got back in the truck and drove after him. The shouting and jumping was still going on when Hank checked the road and rock for signs of blood. Finally he turned and said, “If you don’t shut up and stop jumping up and down I am going to shoot YOU!”

“The moose is wounded so we have to track him and finish him off. Don’t make a sound as she could turn on us.” Ten feet into the woods Hank pointed to the body of the moose and after a quick check said, “She is dead.”

Hank sat down on a rock to have a smoke and sent the bug eyed nephew back down the road to pick up the box of spilled shells. By the time he got back Hank was busily skinning the moose. They managed to roll it over and as they were removing the last of the hide Hanks knife hit something hard. He soon dug out both rifle bullets stuck together! As they butchered the moose and hauled the pieces to the truck they came across the heart. On checking it closely they found both bullets had hit the moose in the heart!

Once they had the moose hauled home they had time to consider what happened. Hank believed the young man got off a perfect shot and hit the moose in the heart. As it bolted across the road hank shot the running moose and also shot it in the heart. The momentum of the running moose carried it ten feet into the woods where it dropped dead.

The first bullet went through the body of the moose and heart and came to a stop just under the thick hide. Hanks bullet did the same thing but hit the first bullet and caused them to stick together. It was an impressive example of excellent shooting with unusual results.

Hank kept the frozen heart in his freezer for years while the young hunter got to keep the two bullets. I had a chance to see the heart with the two holes. The nephew went home a happy hunter with a story he never tired of telling.

Moose Talk

I was in a coffee shop in Dryden, Ontario, Canada in the mid 1960’s during moose hunting season. It was about the third day of the hunt and the room was filled with many moose hunters, both local and out of towners. Many conversations were going on, the loudest from the macho men who had already shot a moose.

I had come to town to handle a couple of insurance claims for my old friend Hank, who owned and ran an Insurance Agency. Also sitting at our table were two old friends of Hank’s who were veteran moose hunters. The place was crowded so it was hard to ignore the conversations at the table next to use. Two moose hunters were loudly bragging how they had each got a moose on the second day of the hunt, and for one man it was the third moose he had shot in his life.

I could see that one of the men sitting with us was getting disgusted by the great out of town moose hunters that were bragging so loudly about their hunting prowess. He was staring at Hank who sat there silently drinking his coffee and ignoring the loud mouth.

The friend at our table spoke to Hank when there was a lull in the conversation. “Hank, did you get out hunting yet?” Hank answered in a rather bored manner and said “Yes”.

“What did you get Hank?” “I shot a large bull moose at sunrise on opening day”

It was at this point conversation stopped at the tables around us and the great hunters were staring at Hank and no doubt thinking, he doesn’t look much like a moose hunter. Hank was in his late 50″s, tall and of slight build and had been raised in Northwester Ontario. He had been hunting since his father first took him out when he was about ten years old.

With perfect timing, Hank’s friend asked another question, rather loudly. “Hank, how many moose have you shot since you started hunting?” There was a long pause, then, Hank said in a matter of fact voice, 54.

All conversation stopped and the loudest of the customers gulped down the remains of their coffee and slunk out the door with their tails between their legs.

I learned later that Hank helped his wife and children fill out their hunting licenses when they were down on their luck. He also helped needy old friends fill out their licenses because they depended on moose meat to get through the winters. The fact that Hank was an excellent shot helped.

Prairie Grass Fire at night

A prairie grass fire is a beautiful thing to watch at night, as long as you are on the upwind side. Hundreds of years ago the sight of an approaching fire terrified Indians and Whites alike. The speed of its advance depended on the time of the year and the speed of  the wind.

If you could not get around either side and find safety in the burned grass, the best thing to do would be to head for the river or a nearby lake. The history books are filled with the details of fires many miles wide and a hundred miles long.

Indians set the fires to deprive the buffalo of food and control were they fed, so they could be hunted. The Blackfeet Indians in Southern Alberta got their name from walking across the burnt prairie.

When the first settlers arrived on the prairie, trees were limited to along the rivers. The regular prairie fires killed anything but grass. Prairie grass had dense roots that went ten or more feet into the ground. Any new seedlings of other plants or trees that did penetrate the grass roots, were killed by fire.

There are many old photos in the Kittson County Museum taken of homesteaders working on their farmers and there are no trees in the background for miles.

Our county has a unique type of oak tree called a Burr Oak.  It has a very thick cork like bark that protects the trees, young and old, and allows them to survive a prairie fire. To this day Burr Oak still grow in dense groves all along the river banks.

Blog World Statistics

My blog automatically keeps a number of statistics that allow me to keep track of how many people read it and what posts attract the most readers. The above list records the number of people across the globe that have accessed my blog in 2018. Naturally the greatest number of readers are in the United States, followed by my friends and relatives in Canada.

I have relatives in Ireland and Scotland (UK) so the numbers there are understandable.  What is amazing are the six countries at the bottom of the list.  I can only imagine these people used a search engine to pursue a topic that is related to the tabs posted with my blogs. Unfortunately I am unable to determine just what topics attracted my foreign readers. It will be interesting to watch the various statistics during the count down to the end of this year.

Minnesota roadside marker

Minnesota Highway #75 marker.

A number of years ago I drove passed this marker, and having not noticed it before, I backed up and took a couple of photos. This is the south side of it as you drive north and it sits on the west side of the road, just before you cross the railway tracks a few miles north of Humboldt.

View looking south.

The highway sign/monument is built of stone and wood and is tastefully done.  I wish more road signs were built in this manner, but the rockwork would be costly.  I wonder what year it was built.

Ingolf, Ontario

In the spring of 1949 I applied for a summer job, posted in a Winnipeg Newspaper, and went for an interview along with a school chum of mine. The owner of Tall Timbers Lodge was a widow named Lil Hayes. Her husband had died a few years back so she managed the tourist camp by herself. It was the first time I had gone for a job interview so it was a new experience.

I was thirteen at the time but was tall for my age. Later, that July I turned fourteen.  My pal Bill Lutz was not as big but he was strong and wiry. The job entailed lots of physical labor needed to operate a tourist camp. We tended to the rental and maintenance of a number of fishing boats but our biggest task was to travel down the lake two or three miles to the Railway station at Ingolf and pickup all the supplies needed to sustain the camp all summer long. It required a trip once or twice a week, depending on how many guests needed to be fed.

Bill and I got the jobs and were suppose to start work as soon as school was out.  We were in grade nine and for some strange reason I did very well in that grade and was exempt from exams.  I was able to start work before Bill.

Ingolf was located in North Western Ontario a few miles east of the Manitoba border. It did not have any road access but was limited to regular travel by train. Lil got me a ride with a couple of guys who had a cabin nearby. We were able to drive to within about a half mile of the lake and then had to hike in. The boys had a boat and motor at the end of the trail and were able to haul me right to the camp dock.

A arrived before any guests were at the camp so I was put to work right away cleaning the dust and dirt that had accumulated in the various cottages spread around the property. There were lots of trees and branches that came down during the winter and they all had to be cut up and hauled away for firewood or burned on the brush pile.

I got a crash course on the maintenance of all the boats and motors stored in the big boat house. Lil was a very capable woman and quickly taught me all I needed to know. The guests rented the equipment to go fishing or just joy riding on the lake. The smaller fishing boats were flat bottomed and strongly built in order to haul all the supplies from the railway station.

In time Bill arrived and helped ease the load on me.  We slept together in a big old bed on the second floor of the lodge. No matter the weather, there was no heat on the second floor. Once the weather improved we spent the summer wearing a bathing suit and rarely wore shoes. We were soon tanned a dark brown and people were amazed that even when it got chilly we never wore a shirt. Later in the summer a former guest sent the camp  photos she had taken of people grouped in front of the lodge.  Bill and I were burned so dark we looked like a pair of Indians.

At least once a week Bill and I would each take a boat and motor down the lake to a small dock and then walk up the trail to the train station. When the train arrived they unloaded all the food and supplies on the platform, along with 25 gallon steel drums of gasoline. We had to wait for the train to leave before we could cross the tracks and start hauling items.

The trail between the station and the dock was at least five or six hundred feet in length and consisted mainly of bed rock along with sand and gravel. It was too steep to use a wheel barrow and too rough for any kind of wagon. Bill and I would spend a couple of hours hauling boxes and cartons down the hill and loaded them in our boats.

The worst items were the barrels of gasoline. They were far too heavy to lift so we had to roll them carefully down the hill. As the weeks went by we began to hate the gasoline drums as they left us exhausted after each one was manhandled down to the dock. Eventually, if we picked the right route, we could let go of the barrel and watch it roll down the slope until it was stopped by a rock or a depression in the ground. We then walked down the hill, rolled it to an open spot and kicked it on its way. We tested our method many times and soon learned the barrels could take a very solid blow on a rock with out blowing up or even leaking.

We learned to move the barrels last because that way most people at the train station or at the docks were long gone and we had no witnesses to our methods of moving heavy gasoline drums.  By the end of the summer we would simply kick the barrels over the edge of the hill and head back to the depot for another one.  On a few occasions the damn things took off on a new route and we would waste time hunting for them on the hillside or even in the lake. Fortunately they floated like a cork.

Because of the size and weight of the barrels they were very difficult to roll off the dock and into the boat. Depending on whether we each had three or four barrels, their positioning in the boat was critical.

Another curse was cases of bottled pop. Sweating in the sun and carrying a large case of pop caused us to break out in a sweat and almost die of thirst. Only once did we fall to temptation and slosh down a pop. We of course replaced the tops and everything looked normal as seen from above. When someone was served a fresh cold empty pop from the cooler we were ratted out and the pop was deducted from our slim pay.

Once the boats were loaded, we pushed off from the dock and the fear factor kicked in. The old flat bottom boats sat so low in the water no more than two inches of the boat side sat above the water.  Early in the summer we learned that if we loaded the boat lightly, it meant we had to go all the way back down the lake for another load.

Boat travelers on the lake use to be amazed to see us plod by with groceries piled high on the boats. They learned that we had so little free board they had to slow down or their wake could sink us. In calmer moments they claimed they could not see any part of the boat as we went by.

Each boat was equipped with a little four horse power motor so we moved at a snails pace with our over loaded boats. We traveled together just in case a boat went under. Before we  went to the train station we always checked out the wind and waves on the lake.

On one occasion, when about half way home, the wind picked up and we knew the waves it created would sink us for sure. We motored close to a little bay in the shore and each tossed out a barrel of gas and safely made it back to the lodge.  That evening when Lil was busy serving her guests we went down to the boat house and took the large launch that was used to haul guest to the station. We drove away from the boathouse at slow speed and then once far enough away, where we could not be heard, we raced off at high speed.  Our barrels were still floating hidden in the bay.  We carefuly loaded each one so we did not damage the fancy launch.  Once home and in the boat house, we unloaded the last two drums of gasoline and no one was the wiser

The summer just flew by and by the end of August we knew we would soon have to return home to school. In our free time we were allowed to use the rental canoes and it was at this time in my life that I began a lifelong association with canoes and canoeing.

Grand Beach – Part 2

As the day warmed up, more and more people gathered on the beach. Far out on the lake boat traffic increased. After lunch and a rest I went back out onto the lake and paddled along the shoreline to the north. As the temperature rose the wind switched until it was blowing off the beach and into the lake. At one point I watched a young couple in a rented canoe launch from the beach and head west out into the lake. Both paddlers were very awkward as they zig zagged into deeper water. The boy at the back was about 17 years old while the girl in the front was a few years younger. 

The beach was slowly filling up with more swimmers and sun tanners and I was considering hauling my canoe out and heading home home. At some point I realized I could no longer see the pair of young canoeist on the lake. Since the wind  and waves had decreased considerably, I stood up in the middle of the canoe in order to see farther out on the water.  In the distance, almost out of  sight I could see about four or five boats but no canoe between us. Luckily I saw the heads of two people in the water, holding onto the upside down canoe.

Because of the waves, no one on the beach nor boaters farther out on the lake noticed the two people in trouble. I quickly sat down in the canoe and started paddling further offshore. At first I was unable to see the heads in the water but they were directly west of me so I eventually got close enough to spot them clearly.

When I reached the canoe the boy was scared and did not know what to do. The girl was terrified and crying and had trouble swimming. Their life jackets were floating in the water nearby. The canoe was upside down with only a small portion of the bottom showing as both people in the water were holding on to it is keep their heads above the waves.

At first they seemed relived to see me, but when I tried to give them instructions as to what to do, they ignored me. I had to shout at them to listen to what I was saying or I was going to leave them and go back to the beach.

I got the boy to grab one side of my canoe in the middle. I had a harder time to get the girl to let go of the upside down canoe and grab my canoe on the side opposite to the boy. I instructed the boy to hold down his side of the canoe while I helped the girl climb into the other side.  We shipped a little water but soon the girl was sitting in the bottom of my canoe and starting to calm down and not look so terrified.

The boy could swim enough to follow my instructions and we soon had the nose of the upside canoe pointed at a right angle to the side of my canoe. With the help of the boy in the  water I raised his canoe nose until it sat on the edge of my canoe. From there the two of us dragged the upside down canoe onto and across my canoe until it was completely out of the water and balanced across the sides of my canoe. During this time the girl sat paralyzed the the bow of my canoe.

After the water had drained out of their canoe I rolled it upright and then slid it back into the lake.  Once it was positioned alongside my canoe, I held one side firmly while the boy climbed into it from the far side. When the boy was out of the water I told him to calm down and rest while I padded my canoe around the scene of the accident and picked up the two life jackets and two paddles as they slowly blew away. As each item got within reach I had the girl lift them out of the water.  When she was so occupied she seemed to accept that she was now safe and calmed down even more.

When all the items had been collected I paddled back to the boy’s canoe and gave him a life jacket and a paddle.  I made sure they each put on the life jackets. The young woman was having trouble with her life jacket so I just sat and patiently waited until she finished tying it on. It was then that I turned around and saw the other canoeist determinedly paddling his canoe out further into the lake?

I quickly realized that without his passenger as ballist, he was unable to control the canoe and the wind from offshore was blowing him further out into the lake. He was trying to turn the canoe around but the harder and faster he paddle the further west he went.

I had to yell at him to stop paddling but he was so traumatized by the entire situation that he just ignored me or failed to hear me. I ended up having to paddle as fast as I  could until we pulled alongside and I used my paddle to knock his paddle out of his hands.  As we sat there with the two canoes bobbing up and down, all three of us were breathless and highly agitated.

Eventually I had the girl grab the nose rope of his canoe and we dragged it around until it faced the beach. I followed him to the beach and each time he started to lose control I would paddle along side and force his canoe to point towards the beach. When we got closer to shore I noticed about a hundred silent people were standing and watching our activities.

As the young man ran his canoe up onto the beach he was so embarrassed by all the attention he was almost in tears.  I helped the girl out of my canoe and she stormed up the beach glaring at him with disgust. I hauled my canoe to my vehicle and tied it down for the trip home.

The last I saw of the other so called canoeist, was him dragging his canoe all the way back down the beach to the rental shack, no doubt telling himself he would never go canoeing again. On the drive home I realized that in all the excitement neither of the rescued parties ever thanked me.

I doubt they ever forgot their trip to Grand Beach.

Grand Beach – Part 1

Lake Winnipeg is a very large lake which lies about 50 miles north of Winnipeg, Manitoba. My father was employed by the Canadian Pacific Railway and had a railway pass so we road the trains for free. In the 1940’s we made regular trips to Winnipeg Beach, which lies on the western side of the lake in the southern basin. The CPR developed the town and beach about 1900.

The Canadian National Railway, not to be outdone, developed Grand Beach Manitoba on the eastern shore of the lake. Grand beach got it’s name from the fact that the prevailing north west winds built up huge sand drifts, more than ten feet high all along the beach. Today, Grand beach can be reached by car in about a hour and a half.

I was familure with both beaches but I was particularly attracted to Grand Beach because the north west winds during and after a storm produced very high waves at Grand Beach.   The lake is about twenty miles wide between Winnipeg Beach and Grand beach and average depth of the water was about 39 feet deep. The strong winds and shallow water produces waves of four six feet in height. Canoeing at Grand Beach in the waves is  similar to surfing.

When I was in my mid twenties I watched the weather forecasts and waited for the right rain storm over Lake Winnipeg. After the storm had passed it took a day or two for the waves to die down.  Timing was everything. You had to wait for the storm to pass and the sun to come out but not wait too long and miss the large waves crashing ashore.

One morning I made the drive to Grand Beach with the canoe on the roof of  the car. As I untied the canoe I was very pleased to see four foot waves crashing onto the beach, under clearing skies. I soon had the canoe in the water and was paddling with all my strength to get through the waves and get about a hundred feet off shore.  I then quickly turned the canoe around and headed for the beach, driven by the wind and waves. Each time I came ashore the canoe was driven high and dry high up on the beach. It took all my skill as a canoeist to stay in control and not be swamped by the high waves.

I was on a portion of the beach that was unoccupied, but further south I could see fifty or so sun bathers or swimmers in the water. I also noticed a life guard in a small boat, patrolling back and forth in the area of the swimmers.

After I had made a half dozen trips out into the lake and back onto the beach I suddenly found the life guard and his boat beside me.  I  was informed that I could not paddle out into the lake when the waves were so high as it was not  safe!

As we bobbed up and down on the storm tossed water I politely explained I had a right to go where ever I wanted to on the lake but was particularly staying away from the beach occupied by the swimmers.  I explained that I had extensive training as a life guard and had traveled many miles to be on the lake as the storm was dying down.  After convincing the 17 or 18 year old life guard that I was in no danger and had no intention of leaving, he motored back to his duties further down the beach.

About an hour later as I sat out in the lake and made preparations for another dash ashore, I noticed the lifeguard in his boat. He was heading in my direction, parallel to the beach with the wind coming from his left.  Suddenly a strong gust of  wind snatched his baseball cap off his head and it landing in the water on the beach side of the boat.  Without a second of hesitation he swung the boat towards the beach and cut the speed to zero.

I sat there amazed as I watched the next large wave climb up the back of the boat and over the transom. The boat instantly filled and started sinking. I turned my canoe and stated paddling towards the sinking boat. Just as I neared the boat the heavy motor at the back of the boat sank out of sight. I pulled alongside the boat as it sank and helped the lifeguard into my canoe. at almost the same moment all but the nose of the boat sank out of sight.

There was no way we could recover the boat so I paddled my passenger toward the beach and landed him before a large beach audience who were standing transfixed aloong the shoreline. The waves eventually drove the boat into shallower water where it could be recovered and dragged ashore. The drowned motor prevented any more life guard patrols that day.

I felt sorry for the soaking wet and embarrassed lifeguard as he dripped up the beach to his shed.


Boys will be boys

In the early 60’s I was assigned to investigate the death of an eight year old boy who was hit and killed on a rural road in south west Manitoba. The site of the accident was a section of paved road that ran north to south in rural farmland. The road was straight and level for about a mile and lay between two small hills. The hills gave a driver an excellent view of the flat section no matter if it was approached from the north or the south.

On the sunny summer day of the accident two school chums were walking north on the west side of the road. A golf course was situated to the west of the road and the boys were searching for golf ball that fell in the wide ditch that lay between the golf course and the highway.

As usual their search was successful and they each had two or three golf balls in their pockets. Their search led them in a zig zag pattern along the flat wide ditch. At the time the accident occurred they had moved up onto the gravel shoulder of the highway. As boys do, they were pushing a shoving each other as they walked along what was normally a very deserted highway with very little traffic.

The boy closest to the pavement shoved his classmate towards the ditch. When his friend tried to shove him back, he took a step backwards onto the pavement at the exact moment a car was passing by at highway speed.
The car struck the boy and killed him instantly. The two boys were with in arms reach of each other when the accident occurred.

The driver of the car had his wife and two children in the car with him. He was returning home from a trip to Winnipeg. None of them were injured. I arrived at the scene the day following the accident and interviewed the surviving school boy and then the driver of the car.

The scene of the accident was unusual as it was a flat and level stretch of highway in a very rural area with nothing but cow pastures on one side and a golf course on the other. When traveling south, the view from the north hill allowed one to have an excellent view of the mile of highway that lay ahead. It would have been possible to see the two boys on the side of the road from at least a half mile away.

When I interviewed the surviving boy in the presence of his mother he was still in a shocked condition. He had a tendency to stare off into the distance while talking, as if he was reliving the accident, over and over again. He had a clear memory of what occurred and obviously felt responsible for the accident as his friend had jumped backwards, while trying to avoid getting shoved by him. They had been walking for over an hour and no other vehicle had passed them. They failed to see the approaching car because they were searching for golf balls and were distracted.

The worst part of the experience for the surviving boy was not only seeing his school chum hit by the car but the force of the impact was so sever the boys spleen was torn from his side. The dead boy was sent flying down the road ahead of the car and left a bloody trail as he bounced two or three time on the pavement before coming to a halt. He was killed instantly. The witness ended up in shock and almost paralyzed by fear as he stood frozen to the spot.

The investigation determined that the driver had a perfect view of the highway and boys ahead of him and failed to slow down or even move onto the opposite side of the road. It is important to note that visibility was unobstructed between the two hills so the driver could see no other traffic was approaching or following him.

While it was confirmed the boy had stepped backwards into the path of the car, it was also determined that the accident could have been avoided had the driver simply slowed down and or moved over. He was never charged but realized he could have avoided the accident had he been more alert.