Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Ghost Car of West Chester Pike

In the 1950s Newton Square, Pennsylvania was a sleepy farming community.

On December in the mid 1950s the local paper reported a particularly bad traffic accident. A local family driving home from Christmas services on West Chester Pike shortly after midnight were struck by another car. The entire family—a mother, father, and their teenage son were killed instantly.

Opening of New West Chester Pike — 1956
It was found that a young male driver who was drunk and driving recklessly caused the accident. He and his one male passenger survived the accident virtually unscathed.

The young man’s family was well connected politically and he avoided persecution. It was stated he felt no remorse for what he had done. In fact, he joked about the accident and the deaths he had caused several times.
An early Christmas morning, a year later, the man with the same friend in the car were out driving drunk and reckless—again on West Chester Pike. The 1938 Plymouth hot rod the young man drove overturned on the trolley tracks that went along the highway.

It was very near the spot were they had hit and killed the family twelve months before. Both men were killed.

Red Arrow cars on West Chester Pike before end of rail service in June 1954.
That part of West Chester Pike is patrolled by Pennsylvania State Police and municipal police from Newtown Township. Reports soon appeared of a recklessly driven '38 Plymouth that they couldn't manage to bring down. The chase always happened in the early morning albeit it was not dependent on the season. Roadblocks would be set but the quarry would never arrive.

Once an officer did manage to pull alongside the Plymouth and see the occupants. He wrote that they were "two young men in strangely out-of-style slicked back duck-tail haircuts, with expressions of absolute and abject terror and pain, as though they were seeing Hell and knew they could never escape".

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