Four Killed Car Over 40ft bank Island Bay Tragedy

Exploring the stories behind the adjacent plots of Olga BARDEBES, age 19, & Ernest DICKSON, age 22, in the Catholic section, reveals a tragic tale. They were two passengers in a 7-seater sedan that crashed over a 40-ft drop onto Derwent Street, Island Bay, on the night of 1 April 1933. Olga has an intact angel watching over her. Ernest, on the other hand is in a very plain low-profile plot.The other couple – Mr & Mrs Wood – who died in the same accident are buried in an unmarked plot in the Anglican section elsewhere in the cemetery. The lengthy report from the Evening Post is worth reproducing in full:

FOUR KILLEDCAR OVER 40FT BANK ISLAND BAY TRAGEDY . A MIDNIGHT CRASHOne of the most tragic motor accidents that have occurred in Wellington for several years took place at midnight on Saturday, when a heavy touring car returning from the Crow’s Nest Club at Island Bay plunged from Milne Terrace on to Derwent Street—a sheer drop of forty-two feet. Three of the six occupants were killed instantly, and a fourth died in hospital at 2.30 a.m. yesterday. Another, Miss Marjorie Morris, aged 19, of 25 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, is lying in hospital suffering from a broken collarbone and broken ribs. The driver of the car, Frederick Hooker, aged 22, a salesman employed by E. Hannah and Co., Ltd., suffered severely from shock,and although he was removed to hospital he was able to return to his lodgings at the Waverley Hotel yesterday. The names of the dead are as follows:James Henry Wood, aged 33, who was killed instantly. The late Mr.Wood, who was a traveller by occupation, had been a resident of Wellington for many years, and, with his wife, had been managing “The Ferns,” a block of flats at 22 Aurora Terrace. It is understood that Mr. Wood was to have taken up an appointment this week in the radio department of Messrs. Chas. Begg and Co., Ltd. Marjorie Wood, aged 32, wife of Mr. J. H. Wood. Mrs. Wood, who was originally a resident of the West’ Coast, received injuries to her head which resulted in instant death. Mr. and Mrs. Wood leave one child, Errol, aged ll, who is well known as a juvenile dancer.Olga Beryl Bardebes, aged 18, a hairdresser, who lived with her parents – Mr. and Mrs. Spiro Bardebes, at 27 Nairn Street; Miss Bardebes received injuries to her head and was also killed instantly. Ernest Joseph. Dickson, aged 22, a storeman employed by the New Zealand Paper Mills. The late Mr. Dickson also received head injuries and was in an unconscious condition when assistance arrived. He was removed to hospital as quickly as possible by the Free Ambulance, but died two hours after admission without regaining consciousness. The late Mr. Dickson was a son of Mr. John Dickson, formerly of Christchurch, and lived with his mother, who is the proprietress of the Waverley Hotel,’ Marion Street. He was educated at St. Mary’s High School, Christchurch, where he had played football for Marist. In Wellington he was known as an enthusiastic amateur wrestler. AT A HAIRPIN BEND. The accident was caused through the failure of the car to negotiate a hairpin bend in Milne Terrace. Crashing; through two post-and-rail fences, the car ran over a bank and fell into Derwent Street, almost directly below. All the occupants were pinned beneath the car, and were extricated by a resident living nearby who heard the crash. The car was smashed beyond repair. Assistance was quickly forthcoming after the accident. Several parties returning from the Crow’s Nest Club stopped and did what they could. Constable F. A. Baker, who is in charge of the Island Bay police station, heard the crash when he was on duty near the tram terminus, and arrived on the scene about two minutes later. A doctor was immediately called, but on arrival found that Mr. and Mrs. Wood and Miss Bardebes were dead. The others were given first aid and rushed to hospital by the Free Ambulance. The ill-fated party left the club at 11.55 p.m. The car in which they were travelling was an old model seven-seater and was fitted with a left-hand drive. Mr. Hooker was badly shaken, but was quite conscious when assistance arrived. After giving an account of the accident to Constable Baker he was taken to hospital. The damaged car was towed into town yesterday morning. IN A SERIOUS CONDITION. The hospital authorities report this afternoon that the condition of Miss Morris is serious. There has been no change in her condition since her admission.

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