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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Fri., Dec. 14, 2012, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

A large hearse careened off Sunset Boulevard (the Sunset Highway), skidded down an embankment and toppled over, injuring several members of the funeral party.

The most startling sight of all? The coffin, containing a deceased Reardan rancher, was thrown from the hearse and left “standing upright.”

The top of the hearse, described as a “big automobile bus,” was wedged against the coffin, which held it upright. Four of the people in the funeral party suffered bruises, scratches and more serious internal injuries.

However, the family of the deceased escaped unhurt.

Mrs. A.D. Hopper, who lived at the curve, said it was the fourth vehicle to have gone over the embankment at that spot: It was “poorly graded.” The hearse driver said he was only doing 10 miles per hour.

However, Mrs. Hopper was mighty surprised to look out her window to see an entire “funeral party in her backyard.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1911: Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his team became the first men to reach the South Pole, beating out a British expedition led by Robert F. Scott. … 1981: Israel annexed the Golan Heights, which it had seized from Syria in 1967.

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