C. G. WILHITE KILLED WHEN STRUCK BY CAR
Leading Contractor Twentieth Victim Here In Year
Courtland Grant Wilhite, 70, of 112 E. St. Vrain St., for 38 years a prominent building contractor of Colorado Springs, was killed Saturday night when struck by a light delivery truck at the intersection of St. Vrain and Weber streets. The truck, owned by C. G. Cove, proprietor of the United Delivery Service, 16 E. Bijou St., was driven by F. M. Campbell, 21, of 420 W. Yampa St. He was driving north, delivering Christmas packages at the time.
Mr. Wilhite was walking down to the Cady L. Daniels, Inc., garage to get his automobile which had been undergoing repairs at the time of the accident. Officer Cecil McKissick investigated for the police department and Dr. J. Thomas Coghlan, county coroner, announced that he had not decided whether to hold an inquest until he had investigated further.
In his report, McKissick told Inspector I. B. Bruce that the accident occurred at 6 p. m, held the most dangerous hour in the month of December on account of the poor light at that hour of the day. The intersection, he reported, is none too well lighted from the standpoint of the motorist.
Mr. Wilhite was dressed in dark clothes and had apparently crossed Weber street to the east driving lane directly in the path of the delivery truck. Young Campbell told McKissick that he did not see the pedestrian until he was almost on him.
"This was borne out by the skid marks on the pavement," McKissick reported. "The skid marks, caused by the braking of the truck, started 14 feet before intersection. They continued for 48 feet, 2 inches and Mr. Wilhite was carried 49 feet, 6 inches. An examination revealed that he suffered fractures of both legs and internal injuries.
Campbell was cited into court by McKissick on reckless driving charges until the investigation can be completed and is to appear in police court Wednesday at
The death of Mr. Wilhite marked the 20th this year from automobile accidents. The body was removed to the Law mortuary and funeral arrangements will be announced later.
Dr. Fred Johnson, 222 E. Uintah St., driving home at the time of the accident, was following the truck, which, based on his own speed, he estimated was traveling at about 25 miles an hour.
"I saw saw Mr. Wilhite crossing the intersection," said Dr. Johnson after the accident. "It occurred to me that unless the driver in front of me saw him at the same time, an accident was unavoidable. The chances were good that he might not see him on account of the corner post of his windshield obstructing a portion of his view. The light is poor at the intersection. I glanced in my rear vision mirror to see if anyone was following me if it were necessary for me to apply my brakes.
"I saw the impact and heard the crash and thought the body would never stop rolling. It appeared that it finally spun out from between the front and rear wheels of the car. Mr. Wilhite was lying on his back when we reached him. The driver of the truck jumped out and immediately sought aid. We hailed a passerby and had him summon the Ambulance Service company which arrived within four minutes of the call. Mr. Wilhite's life was ebbing fast and he died en route to Beth-El hospital."
Christmas eve was marked by a number of minor accidents also that resulted in property damage but no injuries to motorists involved. Cecil Caldwell, police sergeant, said seven such accidents were reported and investigated in the three hours beginning at 5:30 p. m., and blamed "the excitement of Christmas eve" which caused drivers to become careless.
Mr. Wilhite was born March 11, 1868, in Hutsonville, Ill., and after obtaining his education in the schools there prepared himself for the vocation he was to follow the rest of his life. He was a fine cabinet-maker and had for years engaged in the carpenter trade and building contracting business in Terre Haute, Ind.
In 1900 Mr. Wilhite came to Colorado Springs and, except for two years spent in California, was active in the building contracting business here. He constructed many of the fine homes of this city and the Pikes peak region, examples of his art being found in the exclusive residential section of the Broadmoor suburb, in the north end and in later years in the eastern section, entire blocks on E. Platte Ave., having been built and sold by Mr. Wilhite. He built the beautiful Pauline chapel in Broadmoor, a model of small chapel construction.
The accident occurred a block and a half from Mr. Wilhite's home and while the remainder of the family was proceeding with preparations for Christmas eve and the following day.
Mr. Wilhite is survived by his widow, Mrs. Juliet F. Wilhite, prominent worker in the First Congregational church; a son, James S. Wilhite of this city; Mrs. Irene Strawn of Hermosa Beach, Calif., a daughter by a former marriage; a sister, Mrs. Mary Wright of Los Angeles, Calif., who only recently had returned home after a visit here, and one grandchild, Mrs. Janet Robinson of Las Animas, Colo.
Published in the Colorado Springs GAZETTE, Sunday, December 25, 1938, p.1.
Note: Buried: 12/28/1938; Source: City of Colorado Springs cemetery data 3/20/09.