The Shelbyville Republican
Mrs. Mabel Bobbitt, Shelby County public
health nurse, narrowly escaped injury or possible death by drowning yesterday
afternoon when her small coupe was swept by the flooding waters of Little Blue
river from the ford which at normal water level connects the east end of
Franklin St. with the Kennedy park grounds.
Wednesday April 18, 1945
Page 1 column 4
MRS. BOBBITT ESCAPES INJURY
Nurse's Car Swept From Ford of Little Blue
A rescue was effected
through the quick work of a 16-year old youth, Billy Hewitt, who lives
near the scene of the accident, the boy's uncle, Virgil Neeb, of 326
north Vine St., and several other men.
Mrs. Bobbitt, who has
regularly crossed the stream recently by way of the ford, said that since the
runway was not blocked, she believed that it would be safe to cross.
Apparently, she had not noticed how the river had risen in the last day.
She started driving across from the park side toward east Franklin St., but when
her auto reached a point midway between the river banks, the powerful current
swept the machine off the raised fording place and partly over the dam, where it
lodged at an angle on the brink of the dam on the downstream side.
Perched at a precarious
slant, the automobile swayed gently as the rushing water roared against
it. The Hewitt youth made his way to the car with a rope secured about his
waist and held by several men on the bank. His uncle, Mr. Neeb, then made
his way to the car. After several efforts, Mr. Bobbitt was helped from the
car and then carried by Neeb to safety. Her most serious injuries were a
pair of wet feet.
Two others who went into
the river to aid in the rescue were a school boy, Lewis Williams, of 524
east Broadway, and Wilburn Aulby, of R.R. 4, Shelbyville, an employee of
the city street department.
Two wrecker trucks were
brought to the scene by William "Jack" Robinson in
getting the auto out of the river. It was necessary to stretch a steel
cable from one bank to the other so that another cable could be attached to the
vehicle. Hobart Dunn, colored, who had witnessed the rescue and
subsequent efforts to retrieve the auto, finally waded out along the cable and
connected chains to the second cable in order to pull the Bobbitt machine to the
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming