The following transcripts is taken from the 'PORTADOWN TIMES' for Friday 25th November 1960.
PASSING DRIVER FINDS HIS BROTHER CRASH VICTIM
WHEN JOHN GORDON WALKER, of 35 Ridgeway Park North, Portadown, was motoring on the main Portadown-Lurgan road on Friday, November 11, he saw two people lying on the road near Hoy's corner, in the townland of Balteagh.
STOPPING HIS CAR, HE SAW THAT ONE OF THE MEN INVOLVED IN THE ACCIDENT WAS HIS 18-YEAR-OLD BROTHER, ALBERT GIFFIN WALKER. HE QUICKLY CONVEYED HIM TO A DOCTOR, BUT FOUR DAYS LATER, ALBERT DIED IN HOSPITAL.
This story was told at an inquest in Lurgan on Thursday, when an open verdict was returned.
Constable Samuel Ross Penny said he visited the scene of the accident at Clanrolla South, on the Lurgan-Portadown road, arriving there at 8.45 p.m.
The accident involved a motor cycle, owned and ridden by 20-year-old John George Mervyn Hawthorne, Deramore Drive, Portadown, and a scooter owned and ridden by Giffin Walker.
Both machines were on the grass verge but the drivers were not at the scene.
Constable Penny said the accident occurred on a straight part of the road. He found a score mark 53 feet long. This started opposite to the centre of a road leading right, when going towards Lurgan.
The view from the cross-roads was approximately 200 yards in each direction, said witness. There was no road signs indicating the presence of a road junction. There was a broken white line on the centre of the road.
Dr Ronald Armstrong, anaesthetic registrar at Lurgan and Portadown Hospital said that when Walker was admitted to the hospital he was unconscious.
After a few hours observation his condition deteriorated. After treatment, slow improvement was maintained for four days, but on November 19 the youth's condition became grave and he died. Walker never really gained consciousness following the accident, the doctor added.
Open Verdict on Youth Fatally Injured in Crash
Constable Stephen Doyle gave evidence of examining the motor cycle and scooter. After describing the damage to the motor cycle, he said the steering was in perfect order and the lights were all working - except the braking light. The brakes were in good working order, but the horn was not working. The motor cycle had the appearance of having been well looked after.
After describing the damage to the scooter witness said that as the lighting system on these scooters was by direct drive he was unable to start the engine and could not test the lights. For the same reason he was unable to test the horn. Brakes were in effective working order. The scooter also had the appearance of Having been well looked after.
Constable Doyle said that in his opinion both vehicles had been road-worthy prior to the accident.
Isaac Stanley Cousins, 13 Orient Circle, Lurgan, said that he was travelling from Portadown to Lurgan in his car. As he was passing Foster's garage a motor cycle passed him. Both driver and pillion passenger were wearing crash helmets.
Witness said he was travelling at about 35 miles an hour when the motor cycle passed him. It passed him about 40 miles an hour.
When passing Twinem Terrace he saw, about 200 yards ahead of him, two tail-lights of motor-cycles. They both appeared to be about the centre of the road. There was no other traffic on the road.
He then saw a lot of sparks flying. He was first on the scene and stopped a car and told the driver to inform the police and get an ambulance.
Norman Walker, nurseryman, father of the dead youth, said that at 7.30 p.m. on November 11, before he left his home, his son was in the house. Albert did not seem to be in his usual good form for about three days prior to that. He had asked him if he was not well and the only answer he gave him was that he did not like his job in the nursery business. Apart from him not being in his usual good form he seemed to be in good health, said Mr. Walker.
Dale L. R. Myles, 13 Princess Gardens, Portadown, said that on November 11 he had arranged to go to a social in Lurgan with Mervyn Hawthorne of Deramore Drive. Just before 8.15 p.m. Hawthorne called for him and they set off for Lurgan. He was riding ore the pillion, and they both had crash helmets.
It was dark and cold at the time but the road was dry, continued witness. He was sitting crouched behind Hawthorne and did not have a clear view ahead as he was shielding himself from the cold.
As near as he could estimate, the speed of the motor-cycle was 40 to 45 m.p.h. About Foster's garage they passed a car which was also going in the direction of Lurgan. He looked to see why Hawthorne had swerved the motor-cycle to the right. He crouched down again as they returned to the left side of the road again.
A short time later he felt the motor cycle swerve again to the right, and the brakes were applied very suddenly.
He looked over Hawthorne's right shoulder and saw a scooter sitting broadside on the centre of the road and only about five feet directly in front of them.
The next thing he remembered was getting off the road. He went over to Hawthorne and spoke to him but he did not answer him. He then went over to the other chap and recognised him as Walker. He spoke to him but he did not answer either.
TOOK OFF HELMET
Myles said that at this time Walker was sitting against the ditch on the right-hand side of the road. After he spoke to Walker, he went back to Hawthorne, took off his crash helme; and loosened his collar. He went back to Walker and tried to loosen his crasn helmet, but could not do so.
There were a few other people on the scene at this time, said Myles. Walker's brother arrived and took Albert to the doctor. He accompanied Hawthorne to Lurgan Hospital in an ambulance.
Myles said he did not see any other traffic on the road at the time, except the car which they had passed at Foster's garage. After the accident he lifted Hawthorne's motor-cycle which was lying across him. The machine was on the right-hand side of the road front wheel against the kerb. The scooter lay about two yards in front of the motor-cvcle. It was on the right-hand side of the road.
The front wheel of the scooter was resting against the kerb.
Myles estimated that the point of impact was about the centre of the road, but could not say where, in relation to Hoy's corner.
John Gordon Walker, 35 Ridgeway Park North, said he was driving his car on the Lurgan-Portadown road. At Hoy's corner he saw two people lying on the ground. One was on the roadway and the other was on the footpath.
He stopped and saw that it was his brother Albert who was lying on the footpath. He was lying on his back, but was still wearing his crash helmet.
[RFSS Mar 2008]
FUNERAL REPORT[RFSS Dec 2008]
Seventeen years old Albert Giffin Walker, son of Mr. and Mrs. N. Walker, 35 Ridgeway Park North, Portadown, died in Lurgan and Portadown Hospital on Saturday morning from injuries sustained in a road accident on the previous Friday week.
The funeral, which was largely attended, took place to Seagoe Church on Monday.
The services at the home, church and graveside were conducted by the Rev. Canon J. W. Appelbe.
Chief mourners were: Norman father; Gordon, Norman, David, Dynes, brothers; John and Jim Walker, George Giffin, Sinclair Lauder, uncles; Bernard, Dynes Turkington, W. Turkington, Sidney Robinson, W. Best, cousins; Jim and Norman Bann, Harry Anderson, J. Magill, R. W. Abraham, G. F. Corr, Mr. Cardwell, Mr. McCullough, friends.
Wreaths were from - Father, mother, brothers and sister; Norman and Louise; Aunt Emma; Uncle John, Aunt Flossie and Jean; Uncle Jim, Aunt Edna, Ivy, Bernard, Patricia and Graham; Aunt May, Uncle George and family; Uncle Leonard and Aunt Emma, Cousins Elizabeth, May and families; Aunt Min, Annie, Audrey and Sinclair; Ann McCullough; Hawthorne family; Mr. and Mrs. J. Magill and family; Robert, Ida and family; His chums, Jim and Norman Bann and Harry Anderson; Cardwell family; G. F. Corr; Brown family; Matchett family; Alice and family; McNulty family; Neill family; McClelland family; Mr. and Mrs, J. Woods; Mr. and Mrs. Young and family; Girvan family; Master Jim and Janet McCullough; Jim and Norman; T. Coleman; Bob and Edna Gardiner and family; Morrison family; Mr. and Mrs. McCullough, Fay, John and George; Jim, Eileen and Stephen; Staff and Employees of Abraham and Walker Ltd. Packing Department; Directors of James Walsh and Sons Ltd; A. J. Hall and Sons; Noel Templeton's Autos; Sean and Danny; W. J. Russell (Arnott's); The Directors of J. Willis and Son Ltd.; Kernan Football Team; Local 'Spurs Supporters' Club.
At the inquest in Lurgan yesterday an open verdict was returned by an eight-man jury sitting with Mr. H. M. Thompson, coroner.
Headstone of Albert Giffin Walker 1943 - 1960
Seagoe Parish Church, Portadown, Co. Armagh
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