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$67. 55 69. 95

stored in lockers in said hangar, which articles were destroyed in the fire in question,

The Navy Department is of the opinion that provision should be made for the payment of these claims as the claimants were occupying the building under orders of the Navy Department and the loss of, and damage to, their property occurred without fault or negligence on their part.

The claims were examined by the Navy Department claims board, which board has found the value of the property lost and damaged to be $780. The claimants and the amounts of their claims are as follows: Claimant

Amount 1. Lt. Edward Arthur Arnold, Jr., U. S. Naval Reserve.. 2. Ensign Garwood A. Braun, U.S. Naval Reserve. 3. Lt. Robert Wilson Baxter, U. S. Naval Reserve.

126. 90 4. Ensign John Carroll Dixon, U. S. Naval Reserve.. 5. Ensign Thomas Ray Evans, U. S. Naval Reserve.. 6. Ensign John Hunt, U. S. Naval Reserve.. 7. Ensign Alton Monroe Klinger, U. S. Naval Reserve.. 8. Lt. Ernest Delos Lest, U. S. Naval Reserve. 9. Lt. (Jr. Gr.) William P. McFarland. 10. Carl Edward Schlee, yeoman, second class, U. S. Naval Reserve.--11. San Edward Prettymon, aviation chief metalsmith, U. S. Navy-12. Duane Wilber Thorin, aviation chief pilot, U. S. Navy13. Kenneth Edward Clemensen, parachute rigger, third class, U. S. Navy. 54.00 14. Lt. Comdr. William Richard Leonard, Jr., U. S. Navy-

Total... There is no authority of law by virtue of which the claims may be adjusted.

The additional cost to the Government should this bill be enacted would not exceed $780.

A similar bill passed the Senate of the Seventy-eighth Congress on December 14, 1944.

The bill was introduced at the request of the Navy Department, and has been cleared by the Bureau of the Budget.

O

150. 05 23. 75 61. 60 68. 25

4. 80 33. 50 14. 25 14. 75 4. 00

86. 65

780.00

STEVE HLASS

FEBRUARY 20, 1945.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and

ordered to be printed

Mr. Ramey, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 205)

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 205) for the relief of Steve Hlass, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill, as amended, do pass.

The amendment is as follows:

Page 1, line 6, strike out the figures “$5,000” and insert in lieu thereof the figures “$1,000”.

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to pay the sum of $1,000 to Steve Hlass, of Russellville, Ark., in full settlement of all claims against the United States as compensation for the death of his son, Robert Hlass, who was killed near the Prairie Grove School, on Highway (United States) No. 64, Russellville, Ark., on October 14, 1940.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

a

It appears that a Civilian Conservation Corps truck was proceeding in a westerly direction on Highway No. 64, approaching Prairie Grove School, just east of Russellville, Ark., at a speed of 25 or 30 miles per hour. The weather was clear, and the road was dry and paved with concrete. About the time the truck reached the school Robert Hlass and another boy ran out into the highway and was struck by the oncoming truck.

The War Department is opposed to this legislation, as shown in its report of September 10, 1941. It states that the investigation officer found that the accident was unavoidable and that the Government driver was in no way responsible for the accident. Your committee disagrees with this report, as the record shows that there were school signs near this school, also signs marked “Slow," and this driver beyond any reasonable doubt was driving at a speed of from 25 to 35 miles per hour through this school zone. Sworn statements which are included in this report show that this driver was going as fast as 35 miles per hour and that after striking the boy he was unable to stop for a distance of 75 feet. The driver of the Government truck stated that he was going about 25 miles per hour. Two affidavits in this report state that he was heard to remark that he was going 35 miles

per hour.

In affidavit signed by Steve Hlass, the father of the boy, he states that the boy was a strong, healthy boy; that be helped on the farm.

It is the opinion of your committee that the Government driver was negligent and did not use any degree of caution in proceeding through a school zone, and that Mr. Élass should be compensated for the death of his son in some degree, and recommend that the sum of $1,000 be awarded him.

Appended hereto is a report from the War Department, together with other pertinent evidence.

per hour.

When the

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, September 10, 1941. Hon. Dan R. McGEHEE, Chairman, Committee on Claims,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. McGENEE: The War Department is opposed to the enactment of H. R. 4253, Seventy-seventh Congress, which would pay to Steve Hlass, of Russellville, Ark., the sum of $5,000, in full settlement of all claims against the United States for the death of his minor son, Robert Hlass, when struck by a Civilian Conservation Corps truck near Russellville, Ark., on October 14, 1940.

On October 14, 1940, at about 3:40 p. m., a Government truck, operated in connection with the Civilian Conservation Corps, on official business, was proceeding in a westerly

direction on Highway No. 64, approaching Prairie Grove School, 14 miles east of Russellville, Ark., åt a speed of about 25 miles The weather was clear, and the road was dry and paved with concrete. truck was opposite the school, Robert Hlass and another boy ran out into the highway in front of the oncoming truck. In spite of the efforts of the Government driver to avoid an accident, the truck struck Robert Hlass, killing him instantly. The driver of the Government vehicle, a Civilian Conservation Corps en rollee

, testified, at the time of the investigation of

the accident, that as be approached Prairie Grove School, which was located on the south side of the road on which he was proceeding westerly, he reduced his speed from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour; that a school bus was parked on the south side of the road in front of the school; that

when he got within about 20 feet from the front of the school bus, two boys ran out, northwardly, in the road, apparently from in front of the school bus; that he applied his brakes as soon as he saw the boys and swerved to the right in an effort to miss them; that one boy stopped when he reached the center line, but the other (Robert Hlass) continued on in a diagonally westward direction, looking over his shoulder at the former boy and, apparently, not seeing the oncom ing vehicle; that when he, the driver, saw that his truck was not going to stop in sufficient time, he attempted to go between the two boys;

that the right front of the Government truck struck Robert Hlass when the vehicle was about 2 feet from the north edge of the concrete paving; that the body was carried by the bumper of the vehicle for about 20 feet; thaťthe brakes of the truck

were in good shape at the time of the accident; and that a governor on the vehicle limited its peed to 30 miles per hour.

The driver of a civilian passenger car, which was immediately behind the Government truck at the time of the accident, offered testimony to the effect that the truck's speed had been reduced to about 25 miles per hour at the time the two boys darted out into the road; that one boy appeared to be chasing the other; his brakes, and turned to the right in an apparent effort to avoid an accident; that the driver of the Civilian Conservation Corps vehicle blew his horn, applied truck; that the boy who was not hit stopped right in front of the left fender of the dent was unavoidable on the driver's part. vehicle and threw hinself back out of the way; and that, in his opinion, the acci

Another eyewitness, who was immediately across the street at the time of the accident, testified that "I don't see how the driver kept from killing both of the boys, and it was nearly impossible for him to miss this boy”; that had the Government driver turned to the left instead of the right, he would have struck the other boy and the school bus loaded with children; that he (the witness) rushed out immediately after the accident and picked up the boy who had been struck; and that the boy died immediately in his arms.

Bobby Russell, age 10, in a signed statement before the investigating officer, stated that at about 3:45 p. m., on October 15, 1940, he was playing tag with Bobby Hlass in the schoolyard of Prairie Grové School; that Bobby Hlass had hit him and then had run straight across the highway; and that he had followed Bobby Hlass but had stopped at the middle of the highway when he saw the Civilian Conservation Corps truck coming from the east; that he had looked back, after returning to the schoolyard, and saw that Bobby Hlass had been hit.

The Civilian Conservation Corps subaltern, who was later called to the scene of the accident, gave testimony that he drove the Government truck back to camp after the accident; that the brakes and steering mechanism were in good condition; and that the governor on the vehicle consistently cut out the power at 30 miles per hour.

The investigating officer found that the accident was unavoidable and that the Government driver was in no way responsible for the accident.

At the time of his death Robert Hlass was 10 years of age. No information is of record in the War Department as to whether any persons were wholly or partly dependent upon the deceased for support, but when such information is obtained it will be furnished to the committee.

No claim has been filed with the War Department growing out of this accident.

After a careful consideration of the evidence adduced in this case, it is the view of the War Department that the preponderance thereof tends to indicate that the proximate cause of the accident was negligence upon the part of Robert Hlass in heedlessly running into the highway before oncoming traffic. While deeply regretting the accident, the Department is constrained to recommend that the proposed legislation be not approved.

Copy of the proceedings of the investigating officer in this case is enclosed for the information of the committee. Sincerely yours,

HENRY L. STIMSON,

Secretary of 'War.

1

AFFIDAVIT
STATE OF ARKANSAS,

County of Pope:
Steve Hlass, being duly sworn, states:

My name is Steve Hlass. I am 49 years of age. I live at Russellville, R. F. D. I am the father of Bobby Paul Hlass, who was killed on the 14th day of October 1940. My wife, Mrs. Frances Hlass, is living. She is 45 years of age. We have seven children: Sybil Hlass Wesley, 21 years old, Dardanelle, Ark.; Helen Hlass Phiffer, 21 years old, Dardanelle, "Ark.; Joseph Hlass, 19 years old, Russellville, Ark.; Frank Hlass, 17 years old, now in the Army near Seattle, Wash.; Johnny Hlass, 16 years old, Russellville, Ark.; Steven Hlass, Jr., 11 years old, Russell, Gille, Ark.; and Tommy Hlass, 8 years old, Russellville, Ark. These are all and the only brothers and sisters of Bobby Paul Hlass. Bobby Paul Hlass was born August 12, 1929.

Bobby Paul Hlass was a strong, healthy young boy. He helped me on the farm as well as the other children. He was very attentive, and he was never sick.

I am a poor man and went over to Europe with the first shipload of soldiers during the World War, and I was among the last to come back, and I am not in good health.

Bobby Paul, when he was hit by this car, I am told, only lived a few minutes, and the undertaking bill at Gardner-Pate Funeral Home, Russellville, was $170, and I attach a copy of the same to this affidavit, and marked “Paid in full.” The expenses for the burial lot were $30. I bought this lot from W. P. Ferguson. The monument that I expect to buy for his grave will cost at least $100. I have not been able to buy this yet, because I had to pay the other debts first.

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I don't know what I am entitled to for my son's death. All the money in the world would not pay for him, and I would not ask the Government to pay me at all if I were in good health and able to work. This the 30th day of August 1941.

STEVE Hlass, Affiant. Sworn to before me on this the 30th day of August 1941. (SEAL)

Bob Bailey, Notary Public. My commission expires June 18, 1943.

RUSSELLVILLE, ARK., October 14, 1940. ROBERT PAUL Hlass, Account, Care of Steve Hlass (Father),

Russellville, Ark., Route No. 2. In account with Gardner-Pate Funeral Home: Casket.

$100 Embalming

25 Clothes

25 Services.

20

170

Total.---
Paid October 25, 1940, by Steve Hlass.

GARDNER-Pate FUNERAL HOME,
H. G. GARDNEK, Manager.

AFFIDAVIT STATE OF ARKANSAS,

County of Faulkner: My name is H. H. Traylor. I am 34 years of age, and I live at Conway, Faulkner County, Ark. I am an undertaker by occupation.

On the 14th day of October 1940, I was working for Gardner-Pate Funeral Home, at Russellville, Ark. We received a call that someone had been seriously injured at Prairie Grove Schoolhouse, about 2 miles east of Russellville. A young man by the name of Humphrey and I immediately started to the scene in the ambulance. We found this young boy to be Bobby Paul Hlass. This boy was 11 years of age and was not dead at the time we arrived, which must have been 25 or 30 minutes after the accident We immediately took him to St. Mary's Hospital, where he died soon after we arrived. I judge that he lived about 1 hour from the time of the accident, and he was apparently conscious all this time. He was severely broken up, severe bruises and lacerations all over his body. He was apparently a well-developed, normal boy. I understand that young Humphrey is now in San Diego, Calif. He knows the same about this accident that I do. Further this affiant saith not.

H. H. TRAYLOR, Affiant. Sworn to before me on this the 20th day of October 1941. (SEAL)

W. H. PRINCE, Notary Public. My commission expires May 18, 1943.

AFFIDAVIT
STATE OF ARKANSAS,

County of Pope:
John Minton, being duly sworn, states:

I am 43 years of age and live on Highway No. 64, just east of Russellville corporation limits, on the north side of the road. I own the property there where the Gulf station is. I am a deputy sheriff. On the day that young Robert Hlass was killed near the Prairie Grove School, I was at my place of business. I saw the ambulance go down there and some kids coming west. I asked what the excitement was all about, and they said young Robert Hlass had been hit and they were afraid he had been killed. So I jumped in my car and went down there. I found the blood about 8 feet north of the highway, and I saw signs there as if somebody had laid there. Some of the folks and the boy who drove the truck

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