Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Hartje Dies

Ninth Member Of Team Dies At Seattle
Seattle, June 27 - A ninth member of the Spokane baseball squad died last night of injuries suffered in Monday night's crash of a specially chartered bus, while six teams of the Western International League were resuming the schedule which had been suspended a night because of the tragedy.
Christian Hartje, 30-year-old catcher from San Francisco, died in a Seattle hospital after a series of plasma transfusions for two days and nights. He was burned terribly in the flaming bus.
Meanwhile, the state patrol sought an automobile which survivors said forced the bus through the mountainside guard rail on Snoqualmie Pass Highway.
- June 27, 1946

Driver Tells About Crash
SEATTLE — Glen C. Berg, 24-year-old driver of the bus which plunged off Snoqualmie Pass and killed or fatally injured nine Spokane baseball players Monday night told Coroner John P. Brill Jr. Thursday the accident was caused by another automobile, which forced the bus off the highway.
The state patrol continued its search for the mystery car.
Berg's injuries had prevented officers from interviewing him previously. He now is recovering.
The toll of dead reached nine Wednesday night when Christian Hartje, 30, catcher on the Western International league team, died in a Seattle hospital.
Berg said the bus had brake and engine trouble en route to Seattle from Spokane and had stopped at Ellensburg for repairs, "which didn't seem to do any good."
He said that just before the accident he exchanged headlight blinks with a passing truck, the truck's signal indicating the road ahead was clear. However, Berg said he met an automobile coming on the wrong side of the road a moment later.
Berg said he did not apply the brakes "because I was afraid this would make the bus skid and throw us into the guard rail. I stepped on the gas to 'goose' it so we would have a better chance of getting by."
"It seemed like the car hit us as I felt a jar at the left front end," Berg continued. "We then struck the guard rail and began taking out the posts one by one and I lost control." He estimated his speed at the time as about 28 miles an hour.
- Thursday, June 27, 1946

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