Four Died in this Traffic Tragedy—One of Them by a Gun|
By Charles A Caldwell
Press-Simitar Staff Writer
It was a cold, rainy night, just before Christmas.
Johnny Massey was driving his Mercury back from Bells, TN to his home at 785 Poplar. With his wife, Lorraine, and their 4-month-old baby, Johnny Jr., he had gone to Bells to visit his family—and to take his younger brother a bicycle for a Christmas present. Along a rain-swept stretch of Highway 70, three miles west of Arlington, an eastbound car approached.
Johnny stepped down hard on the brakes—his car swerved across the road—there was a rending crash then silence and pain in the drenched darkness that Saturday night, Dec. 17, 1949.
And Johnny Massey was alone in his car, for Lorraine and his baby boy had died in the wreck.
The wife of the driver of the other car died later in a Memphis hospital. Johnny himself, and four others, received severe injuries.
As the days and weeks and months slipped by, Johnny Massey couldn't get that fatal crash out of his mind.
Several times he talked to neighbors of "going to meet Lorraine…"
Last May he tried to wipe the memory out of his mind. He married again. His new wife, Ernestine, tried to help Johnny back out of his depths. It was too much of a job for Ernestine, and for his friends and neighbors.
Last night, about 9, Johnny walked into the darkened room of R. T, Barlow and his wife, whose apartment the Masseys shared.
"I want you to write a note for me," he told the sleepy Barlows. "Just say, 'I'm going to meet Lorraine…'"
The rest, said Mrs. Barlow, was lost in his low murmuring. Still half asleep, she had hardly time to realize what Johnny was talking about, when a shot rang out thru the apartment.
As the echoes of the 12-gauge shotgun blast died away in the apartment, Johnny Massey left to meet Lorraine and their 4-month-old baby boy who died that December night in the rain on Highway 70.
Born in Alamo, Tenn., Mr. Massey had lived in Memphis for five years, was a mechanic at Corbitt Motor Co. His body waited today at John Gaston Hospital for Ronks Funeral Home of Alamo, which will be in charge.
He leaves his wife of Memphis, two brothers, Calvin Massey of Alamo, Harry Massey of the Navy; three sisters, Mrs. Arthur Goode, Memphis; Miss Dorothy Massey, Alamo; and Mrs. Margie Mae Biles, Fort Bragg, N. C.
NOTE: There is no date on this article. Johnny Massey, Sr. died Sept. 15, 1950. I assume this article was published Sept. 16, 1950.