DENNY KOFFEL IS KILLED IN CYCLE-AUTOMOBILE CRASH
A corner’s jury late Wednesday afternoon brought in a verdict that Elmer Koffel had not come to his death “by criminal action” after hearing evidence, examining the scene of the crash and looking over the two vehicles. Virgil Allbee, driver of the car that turned across the highway in front of the motorcycle, did not testify, but the two youths riding with him told their story. Allbee was still in the hospital.
When his motorcycle crashed into a car driven by Virgil Albee Saturday afternoon, Elmer (Denny) Koffel, 19, of Kootenai was instantly killed. The motorcycle, which was traveling east from Sandpoint on highway 10A struck the Chrysler coupe with such force that the right front fender was wrecked. It is understood that Albee, proceeding west toward Sandpoint, was making a right hand turn across the lane of oncoming traffic into Ponderay at the Pend Oreille gardens corner, according to official reports on the fatal accident.
The force of the impact tore Koffel’s shoes from his feet. The youth lay in a crumpled heap where he had fallen near the car. Albee was seriously injured, suffering head injuries, major lacerations and shock. He was hospitalized and continued in a semi-conscious condition through Sunday. An inquest is pending Albee’s recover, coroner L. G. Moon said Monday.
Pat Murphy and Frank Mitchell, Kootenai, teenage passengers in Albee’s car, wee less seriously hurt, sustaining bruises and cuts.
Two motorists told investigating sheriff Robert Ellersick the motorcycle passed them when they were going east about 45 miles an hour. Sheriff Ellersick said C. E. Moody, who was working on the Spokane International railroad tracks near the highway, was an eye witness.
Koffel, a graduate of Sandpoint high school, has been attending Gonzaga University for two years majoring in law. Besides his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Koffel of Kootenai, he is survived by five brothers and two sisters. Funeral services will be held Thursday afternoon at 2 o’clock in the Moon chapel.
Sandpoint News Bulletin June 1951