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Hall v. Wallace

Supreme Court of Arizona

October 26, 1942

J. H. HALL, RAYMOND HALL, PRODUCERS MINES, INC., and EDDIE PYEATT, Appellants,
v.
LOUIS L. WALLACE, JR., as Administrator of the Estate of HARRY E. TEETER, Deceased, Appellee

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Mohave. J. W. Faulkner, Judge. Judgment reversed.

Messrs. Struckmeyer & Struckmeyer and Mr. E. Elmo Bollinger, for Appellants.

Mr. Louis L. Wallace, of Kingman, Arizona, and Mr. Alfred T. Cluff, of Los Angeles, California, for Appellee.

OPINION

[59 Ariz. 504] LOCKWOOD, C.J.

Harry E. Teeter, Vena V. Teeter, John H. Teeter and Myrtle Weidman were killed as the result of a collision between a Ford automobile, in which they were traveling, and a truck driven by one Eddie Pyeatt. Four suits were brought by the proper parties, alleging that each and all of these deaths were caused by the negligence of Pyeatt. J. H. Hall, Raymond Hall, Producers Mines, Inc., and Pyeatt were named

Page 37

as defendants. By agreement of counsel, the cases were consolidated and tried as one in the lower court, but separate verdicts and judgments were rendered, and separate appeals were taken. It was [59 Ariz. 505] agreed, however, that the appeals might be heard on one record. For the purposes of this appeal the deceased in the separate cases will be referred to jointly as plaintiffs.

There is little, if any, conflict in regard to the facts upon which the cases must be determined, and they may be stated as follows: On the morning of May 18, 1939, Eddie Pyeatt, one of the defendants herein, was driving an empty ore truck in an easterly direction upon the public highway from Producers Mines, Inc., in Mohave County, towards Chloride. This road intersected with U.S. Highway No. 93, which runs practically in a northerly and southerly direction. About fifty-five feet west of the center of Highway No. 93 is a stop sign. When the truck was in the intersection of these two highways, the Ford car, in which plaintiffs were traveling, ran head on into the right side of the truck near the driver's cab. As a result of the collision all of the plaintiffs were killed and Pyeatt was seriously injured. It is alleged that the accident was caused by the negligence of Pyeatt.

The only eyewitness as to how the collision, which admittedly caused the death of plaintiffs, happened was Pyeatt, and he testified on this point, so far as material to the determination of the appeals, as follows:

"A. Well I pulled up to the stop sign, which is a ways back from the road, stopped and looked in both directions; looked to the right and to the left I think, and there were no cars in sight for, I would say, three quarters of a mile; then shifted into low gear and started across, and when I got about the center of the highway I noticed a car coming several hundred feet and the next thing I knew it was only a few feet from the truck and had hit me. After that I didn't know much about the accident....

"Q. Are you able to state the speed of that car as it came towards you? A. Well I couldn't say exactly, [59 Ariz. 506] but it was going at a terrific speed, probably as fast as a Ford would go in my estimation....

"Q. As you came down to the highway you had a perfectly clear view for a distance of a half mile back on the Producers road of the highway to the south; that is true isn't it? A. Yes sir....

"Q. When you reached the stop sign, did you stop even with the sign or did you continue up to the edge of the pavement? A. With the ...


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