Obituary Details

Donald "Donnie" Ray Haberman

(07/07/1936 - 01/21/1955)
Courtesy of Lusk Free Lance, 01/27/1955

Two Meet Death in Auto-Train Accident near Phoenix; Haberman Services are Held Here Tuesday

Death claimed the lives of Donald R. Haberman, 18, only son of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Haberman of Riverton, Wyo., and for many years residents of Lance Creek, Wyo., and his small cousin, Billy Van Horn, three-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Don Van Horn, well-known ranchers who reside 12 miles out of Phoenix, Ariz., in a train-auto collision that occurred Friday morning, January 21st, at the Lateral 19 crossing of the Southern Pacific Railroad company.

According to accounts received here, young Haberman and his small cousin, Billy, were on a family errand - returning some chairs that had been used at a birthday celebration the preceding (Thursday) evening. The sedan, belonging to the driver victim's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Haberman, and a speeding freight train met at the Lateral 19 crossing that is within a mile of the Van Horn ranch.

Haberman, who was driving north, apparently was preoccupied at the time and evidently did not hear the locomotive whistling. The 50-car Southern Pacific freight was said to have been traveling 50 to 55 m.p.h. towards Yuma, Ariz., according to Engineer H. M. Flarz, who finally stopped the locomotive nearly a half-mile beyond the crossing.

All windows of the new sedan apparently were rolled up tight. The car skidded 42 feet into the front of the locomotive, and was then hurled and rolled 82 feet down the track and part way down an embankment where it snapped a power pole as it stopped. First persons to reach the scene found the two youngsters dead in the front seat of the demolished vehicle.

The accident was investigated by Sheriff's Traffic Investigator Ed Alcorn who said he "wouldn't call the view obstructed." A haystack and small farm buildings are just south of the tracks, approximately a half-block from the crossing.

Word of the accident was received by Mrs. Haberman, who answered the telephone at the Van Horn home. She, with Mrs. Van Horn rushed to the scene and from there were taken into a small town, Tolleson, Ariz., where the fathers of the two boys had gone to purchase plumbing supplies for the Van Horn ranch. The van horn car was flagged down just as it started to leave Tolleson, and the two men were told of the tragedy.

Coroner Arthur Webster of Tolleson set an inquest for 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 25th. Funeral services for tiny Billy Van Horn were held at Tolleson, and last rites were held in Lusk for the late Donald Haberman at 2:00 o'clock Tuesday afternoon from the chapel of the Peet mortuary that overflowed with relatives and friends who gathered to pay their final respects to the youthful victim.

Rev. F. C. Doctor, pastor of St. Paul's Evangelical Church of Lusk, officiated at the rites, that were enriched with the signing of "Asleep in Jesus" by Mesdames Emerson Bonner and Ab DeCastro. Miss Audrey Bostrom presided at the chapel organ.

Interment was made in the Lusk cemetery with Don Hoffman, Delmas Chipps, Bill Blackburn, James McKibben, Bill Seymour and Dick Seymour, all of Lance Creek, Wyo., serving as casketbearers.

Donald Ray Haberman, the only child of Jacob and Florence Haberman was born in Lusk, Wyo., July 7, 1936 and baptized in the Lutheran faith on December 20, 1950

Donald attended the public school in Lance Creek and high school in Lusk and Riverton, Wyoming. During the past year he had been a student at the Junior College in Casper.

He accompanied his parents to Phoenix, Ariz., and while driving the family car on an errand died in a collision with a freight train, together with a three-year-old cousin, on January 21, 1955.

He had attained the age of 18 years, six months and 14 days. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Haberman; his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John Hinrichsen of Manville, Wyo., and Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Haberman of Rifle, Colo.

The Lusk Herald
January 27, 1955
Donald Haberman Killed in Car-Train Crash Friday

Donald Ray Haberman, 18, grandson of Mr. and Mrs. John Hinrichsen of Manville, was instantly killed Friday, Jan. 21, when the car he was driving near Phoenix, Ariz., was struck by a freight train. A three year old cousin who was with him was also killed.

The son of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Haberman of Phoenix, and formerly of Niobrara County, he was born in Manville July 7, 1936. He attended the grade schools in Lance Creek and high school in Lusk and Riverton. During the past year he had been a student at Casper Junior College. He accompanied his parents to Phoenix and while doing a family errand met with the fatal accident.

He is survived by his parents, by his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Haberman, Sr., of Rifle, Colo., and Mr. and Mrs. Hinrichsen.

Funeral services were held at the Peet Chapel Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock with Rev. F. C. Doctor officiating. Mrs. Emerson Bonner and Mrs. A. F. DeCastro sang "Asleep In Jesus" accompanied by Miss Audrey Bostrom, organist.

Pallbearers were : Don Hoffman, Delmas Chipps, Bill Blackburn, Jim McKibben, Bill Seymour and Dick Seymour. Interment was in the Lusk cemetery with the Peet Mortuary in charge.

The Lusk Herald
January 27, 1955
Lance Creek Section
Don Haberman Is Killed in Accident

This community was shocked and saddened Friday evening when word was received of the death of Donnie Haberman in a train and car accident at Phoenix, Ariz. Donnie, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jake Haberman, was born and raised in this community as his father was employed by the Continental Oil Co. This past year Mr. Haberman was transferred to the Circle Ridge oilfield and after finishing high school Don entered the Caper Junior College. After the first of the year Donnie went to Phoenix, Ariz., where his father was recuperating from an operation on his heart performed at Mayo Brothers clinic at Rochester, Minn. a short time ago. Funeral services were held Tuesday at Lusk and he will be buried in the Lusk Cemetery.

Images & Attachments

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

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