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Balch, Cyrus A. 1900-1936

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Mary S Taylor

Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 28023
Location: Fresno, CA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:08 am    Post subject: Balch, Cyrus A. 1900-1936 Reply with quote

Monterey Peninsula Herald, CA May 18, 1936
Motorist Dies in Wharf Plunge
C.A. Balch Carried To Death AS Motor Car Dives Into Bay
Diver Recovers Body of Victim Trapped Within Car Submerged 35 Feet Beneath Bay’s Sruface
Cause of Tragedy Remains Mystery
Car “Had No Brakes,” Is Statement of Brother
High Speed Indicated at Moment of Plunge

Catapulted from the extreme end of Monterey’s new municipal wharf, a heavy sedan carried C.A. Balch of Monterey to his death in the murky waters of Monterey bay shortly after 2 o’clock this morning. Balch, 31 year old automobile mechanic, was well known and his tragic death shocked scores of friends and acquaintances. For the past year he had been employed by Lorin D. Lacey, Monterey motor car dealer. Cause is Mystery. Aside from the statement by the man’s brother, Ernest Balch, that the car “had no brakes,” cause of the tragedy was unexplained. It was pointed out by police who investigated, however, that the machine had followed a perfect course the length of the wharf and was moving at high speed when it hurtled form the end into the water. The heavy timber coping at the edge of the wharf was shattered by the force of the impact, and the marks were clearly imprinted on the wood. Oil coming to the surface showed that the car had come to rest at a point approximately 40 feet beyond the end of the pier. An acquaintance who saw Balch in a downtown restaurant a short time before the accident stated the man was reading a newspaper and was apparently in good spirits and perfectly normal in all respects. Witnessed by Fishermen. Four Monterey fishermen who were starting out in a small skiff to fish for squid reported the car narrowly missed their craft as it shot off the wharf, turned end over end and crashed into the water. The men, Joe Russo, Joe, John and Vincent Crivello, also said a burst of flame enveloped the front of the car as it struck the stringer across the end of the wharf, indicating the fuel line had been broken and the escaping gasoline ignited by the impact. They said lights of the car continued to gleam up through the 30 feet of water for several minutes. They were helpless to render any aid to the car’s occupant, but returned ashore at once and reported the accident. Police officer Frank Marinello responded at once and notified Andy Sheet and Eddie Bushnell, local diving firm, but they were unable to do anything until daylight. As soon as authorization was obtained from Deputy Coroner J.E. Freeman, however, Bushnell went down and recovered the body. Balch was alone in the car. His identity was not definitely known until the registration card was detached from the steering wheel to Bushnell and brought to the surface. Freeman took charge of the body and summoned Coroner J.A. Cornett who made a preliminary investigation later in the morning. Balch was a native of Missouri and had resided here for the last 12 years. He was unmarried. His mother, Mrs. C.E. Balch; two brothers, Bryan and Ernest, and a sister, Gladys, all reside in Monterey. Inquiry into the death was held shortly after noon today by County Coroner J.A. Cornett at the Freeman Undertaking parlors. The verdict rendered was “drowning, probably accidental.’ Present were his brother, M.B. Balch, and other members of his family including his mother and another brother. (buried in El Carmelo Cemetery_

Copyright (c) 2017 The Monterey County Herald

Balch, Cyrus A, age 30, died in Monterey County on 5-18-1936, #30936
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