Fiend Incarnate


Clifford Lomsdal, 8 years old, and Elsie Moe, 14 years old, are dead, the victims of a collision yesterday afternoon in Hitterdal, Minn., between an airplane and a school bus. Several others are injured, two of them seriously, Ruth Melby and Clarence Solomonson, both about 14 years of age.

The Lomsdal boy was killed instantly, his neck being broken. The girl lived until nearly 9 o'clock last night. The accident happened about 4 p.m. All four are children of prominent farmers near here and were on their way home from the local consolidated school when the accident happened. There were about 15 children in the large open sleigh which was being used in the place of the bus, at the time.

The plane belongs to Lieutenant Ed Axberg of Enderlin, N.D. He was giving exhibition flights here yesterday afternoon, taking up passengers who desired to fly. He was just landing between some buildings on the outskirts of the town and right into the path of the landing plane.

Seeing that a collision was inevitable. Lieutenant Axberg turned the plane suddenly upward but it was too late. The tail caught the sleigh full of children, turning it over, and instantly killing one and injuring most of the others. Axberg and the plane were not damaged.

The team of horses ran away, and in his attempt ta {sp} stop them, the driver was dragged for some distance before he let go. He was unconscious when picked up, but soon revived. He is not badly hurt.

In the mean time, the injured children were brought to homes here and given first aid as there is no local physician, Dr. Heimark of Hawley and Dr. Meighen of Ulen were sent for and were soon on the scene.

Among the crowd of spectators wha {sp} saw the accident, opinions differ as to the cause of the accident. Lieutenant Axberg declared that he could not turn aside from the sleigh because he feared he could crash into the crowd which lined the landing field. His only chance, he says, was to try to ascend, but space wastoo {sp} limited.

This is the second fatal accident in which Lieutenant Axberg has figured in the past three months. Late in August he lost control of his machine and darted to earth near Jamestown. His passenger, a son of Alex Karr of Jamestown, met death then.

An inquest will be held today at Hitterdal to place the responsibility for the accident, according to County Attorney Garfield H. Rustad. Mr. Rustad, Coroner E. G. Melander, and Sheriff Dan W. McDonald will leave Moorhead for Hitterdal this morning, where a jury will probably be impanelled to take testimony and fix the responsibility for the collision.

Valley City Times-Record, 11/6/1919

Live Wire

Posted 10/28/2014