RYAN Elizabeth Ellen (Betty)

Female 1919 - 1935  (16 years)

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  • Name RYAN Elizabeth Ellen (Betty) 
    Born 12 Apr 1919  Kentucky, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 29 Jun 1935  Uralla, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried 1 Jul 1935  Uralla, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I1681  The Tree of Him
    Last Modified 4 May 2013 

    Father RYAN William,   b. 28 Jun 1883, Uralla, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 May 1955, Armidale, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Mother HOGBIN Gertrude Ethel,   b. 1893,   d. 2 Dec 1975  (Age 82 years) 
    Married 29 Aug 1917  Glen Innes, NSW, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Family ID F417  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 12 Apr 1919 - Kentucky, NSW, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 29 Jun 1935 - Uralla, NSW, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 1 Jul 1935 - Uralla, NSW, Australia Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Notes 
    • Tragic Car Smash Death of Betty Ryan
      A terrible tragedy occurred on the main highway at a point four miles south of Uralla on Saturday night last, when Elizabeth Ellen Ryan, 16 years, popularly known as Betty, twin daughter of Mr and Mrs William Ryan, of Maister’s Swamp, Kentucky, lost her life as the result of a collision between two cars.
      The tragedy occurred at about 6:30 p.m. Mr Ryan was returning homewards from Uralla. Accompanying him were his two daughters, Betty and Mary, who were seated on the front seat of the car with their father, and William Rooney, whom Mr Ryan picked up on the road and was giving a lift. Just when breasting the second rise of Cherry Tree Hill, opposite Mr C Nelson’s residence, Mr Ryan said he saw a vehicle approaching with one light, which he took to be that of a motor cycle, but it proved to be that of a T model Ford utility driven by Alfred Hughes, of Tamworth. Mr Ryan was travelling at a fast pace and the next moment there was a crash, the off side front wheel of each vehicle coming together. Both wheels appear to have instantly collapsed under the impact. Ryan’s car, in its crippled condition, proceeded along the road for about 33 yards, where it left the road on the right and appears to have either skidded on its three wheels or turned over and was still impelled along for 30 yards, where it struck a log. Hughes’ truck slewed around on to the centre of the road and travelled a distance of 20 ft.
      All the occupants of Ryan’s car were thrown out. Mr Ryan said his recollection was that he and his daughter Mary were on their feet. Betty was lying prone and appeared to be badly hurt, while Rooney was also lying prone. Alfred Hughes said his first recollection after the collision was that he was on his feet.
      A few minutes later, Val. Cox, of Watson’s Creek, drove on the scene. Betty Ryan was placed in his car and was brought to St Elmo Hospital, but was apparently dead upon arrival there.
      The story of the tragic circumstances will be found in the report of the inquiry conducted by the District Coroner (Mr H W Vincent) on Tuesday last.
      Betty Ryan was a fine type of young Australian, of a bright disposition and friendly nature, and had a large number of friends among the young people. The news of her death, under such distressing conditions, cast quite a gloom over the community. Betty was a pupil of St Joseph’s for music, and she often gave of her talents to the concerts arranged by the Sisters.
      The burial took place in the Catholic cemetery on Monday afternoon, when, despite the damp weather conditions, a very large number of citizens of the town and district, and particularly Kentucky, attended. The funeral moved off from St Joseph’s, following a service conducted by REv Father Condon, and proved to be almost half a mile in length. The hearse was headed by the Altar boys, and the children of St Joseph’s were in attendance. Many beautiful wreaths were laid on the casket, and many a silent tear was shed for a bright life so tragically ended.
      Floral tributes were received from the following:
      Mrs Legge and Mona; Mr and Mrs Walter Haynes and family; Mr and Mrs S E Ward and family; Mr and Mrs P M Monnox; Misses Flo, Rita and Alma Wallace; Mr and Mrs Bert Sweeney and family; Mr and Mrs H Freak; Mr and Mrs A Freak; Mr and Mrs Jack and Bobbie; Misses Ellen and Mary Ryan; Mr and Mrs Hook and family; Mr and Mrs G Murray and family; Mr and Mrs H Fletcher; Mr and Mrs W A Cameron; Mr and Mrs F W Burley; Teachers and pupils of Kentucky school; Mr and Mrs D Wallace, Mrs Prendergast, Frances Nay, Alma Trimmer, Coleen Smith and Cecil Ryan; Kentucky Parents and Citizens Association; Kentucky railway staff; Mr and Mrs Manning; Mr and Mrs and Laurie Little; brothers and sisters and grandmother; Mr and Mrs C H Smith; mum and dad; Sister Kitty; Messrs C Nelson, T Ryan and J Blanch Uralla Times 4th July 1935.

      DEATH OF BETTY RYAN Story at Coroner’s Inquest
      The District Coroner held an inquiry at the Court House on Tuesday, touching the death of Elizabeth Ellen Ryan, when a verdict was returned that death was due to the effect of injuries accidentally received when thrown from a car, then being driven by her father, William Ryan, turning over after the collision with a T model Ford truck, then being driven by Alfred Edward Hughes.
      Before announcing the verdict, the Coroner referred to the sad circumstances of the case, adding that it was his duty to remind motorists in general of the grave risks they run by not fully, at all times, observing the rules of the road and the traffic regulations. There was a point at which excessive speed became sheer negligence, but he did not think the circumstances in this case came within that purview. Mr Ryan was undoubtedly misled by the appearance of a single light just as his car breasted a rise in the road. He also thought he was driving well within his portion of the road and was giving the oncoming vehicle plenty of room to pass. The mistake he made was that he drove at a high speed, a speed that did not afford him the time to adequately measure up the immediate position. In all cases, motorists, when driving at night time, should be prepared to decrease speed considerable when passing a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction. To pass such a vehicle at a speed of 40 miles an hour was pregnant with the greatest danger to all parties, and this was always aggravated on a tar-surfaced road such as the main highway, which dampened out a good deal of the car’s lighting. The question of Mr Hughes travelling with but one light had been considered, but that may happen to any motorist and go unnoticed. The gravest aspect of the whole tragic circumstances was the speed at which Mr Ryan was travelling. However, it appears to have been purely an error in judgment on his part.
      The Coroner said he deeply sympathised with Mr and Mrs Ryan and the family in their troubles.
      Sergeant Willard, who conducted the examination of witnesses, also conveyed his sympathy to the bereaved, Mr Ryan briefly responding.
      The following evidence was taken: -
      Alfred Edward Hughes, of Tamworth, stated: On Saturday, 29th, I left Tamworth at a little after 2 p.m. driving a truck to Armidale. When within four miles of Uralla I saw some lights coming over the hill and then they came over the brow of the hill. I might have been doing 20 mph or a little over. I had a light showing on the truck, I did not know that I had only one light on until MR Ryan showed me. I was driving on the left hand side of the road. The other vehicle seemed to be on the right side of the road. I continued straight on the road. I heard the crash. The two front mudguards hit together. I head a lady sing out in the car. I don’t remember any more until I was 60 or 70 yards away from the scene of the crash. I was ten walking back to the other car. I was about 10 to 12 feet away then. I could not say how far the other car travelled after the collision, I am not a judge of distance. I did not travel very far. My lorry was in good order when I left Tamworth. The lights were in good order. I put the bulbs in the lorry about 4 or 5 weeks ago. I had not been using the care of a night since. I could not very well swear that the bulb was in when I left Tamworth. The glass was in teh lamp on the left hand side when I left. There was not any in the right had side light. It has been out for some time. After the accident I did not see any sign of a bulb on the road. I could not tell the pace the other car was travelling. it possibly was doing about 4 to 5 miles ore than I was. I was perfectly sober on that day. I had no drink at all. The driver of the other car was sober. It might have been three or four minutes before any other car came along. That car moved the girl to the hospital. I came to town with them and reported the matter to the doctor and the police. I could not tell the distance I first saw the oncoming light. It was fairly close when I came over the hill. I would not see the light come over the first rise in the hill, that is, the rise farthest away from me. There was sufficient room for two cars to pass. I thought the two cars would pass safely.
      Dr leo Harrison stated: At about ten minutes to seven on 29th June, Mr Hughes called at my surgery and told me that there had been a motor accident in which a young girl had been seriously injured and that I was urgently required at St Elmo Private Hospital. I was just leaving the surgery when the matron rang me up and told me that she thought the girl was dead. I hurried over and a brief examination proved that this was so. I examined the girl and found a deep contused and lacerated wound commencing about the middle of the right groin and extending from there to the inside of the right thigh and also extending into the vulva. The wound was about 7 to 8 inches long and about 3 inches wide at the widest point. It separated all the superficial tissues of the groin and side and exposed the deep fascia of the thigh. There was considerable haemorrhage from the numerous vessels divided by the wound. Death in my opinion was due to the shock occasioned by such a wound as described by police. the wound that I described cold be caused by a motor accident. I think it was caused through being hurled by great force against a fairly blunt object.
      William Ryan stated: The deceased Elizabeth Ellen Ryan was by daughter. She was 16 years of age on 12th April last. She was born at Kentucky. On Saturday last, 29th I left Kentucky driving in my Whippet car. My daughters Mary Lillian and the deceased were with me. I left Kentucky about 1 p.m. I stayed in Uralla until about 15 minutes past 6 when I left. I left there about that time and the deceased was with me. When I got to the top of the hill I met Mr Rooney and picked him up and gave him a lift home. Everything went well until I got to Cherry Tree Hill. When I got there I let the car run. When I got over the second decline I saw a light coming in the opposite direction. I said “A motor bike.” It would not be more than 100 yards. Just there, there is a slight curve and my lights were thrown off the road. I really thought it was a motor bike until I came fight on it. I was almost on top of it before I realised it was a car. I heard the crash and the car left the road and turned over. At the time of the crash I was travelling at about 40. I may not have been travelling that fast. The car was in gear. i was not accelerating and I was on the left hand side. There appeared to be plenty of room. My car travelled the best part of 100 yards. I did not know that at the time, but found out later. I remember trying to bring the handle back. i did not have my hand on the hand brake. i cannot say whether I put my foot on the brake. It would be possible for me to put my foot on the accelerator in the excitement. My car was very much damaged. I remember it going over, but think it went over only once. The hood was completely torn off. After the accident i jumped up and sang out “Where are you, children?” Mary Lillian said, “Here, dad.” I said, “Where is Betty?” She said, “She is here.” I got down and had a look at Betty and could see that she was badly hurt. I said, “Molly, I will have to go for help.” I said “Which way did we come.” Molly said, “I don’t know.” I started to run along the road, thinking I was going to Blanch’s, and I noticed that I was going up hill, which I should not have been. I then ran back to the scene of the accident, and when we got there the body of the deceased was gone. I returned to Uralla with Mr Pascoe to the hospital. I saw the body at the hospital and identified is as Elizabeth Ellen.
      The lights on my car were perfect. I had them done up on the 24th. They were showing a good light ahead. There was only one light on the lorry. It was like a lantern light. It was very dull. I said, “What the hell are you doing driving with one light. What is your name?” He said, “I am a stranger here.” I then went straight on. That is the man, Alfred Edward Hughes. That day I was perfectly sober. I had some drink that day. I had five drinks at Wales hotel. I had two wines and three porter gaffs. I had those drinks during the afternoon. I was perfectly sober when I left Uralla. My eye sight is good, good long distance. I wear glasses for reading only, nothing else. The road is an asphalt road. I don’t know the distance. the next morning I was at the scene of the accident. I there met the police. I saw the tracks of the lorry and the car. From the tracks of the lorry and the road, they seemed to be about the centre of the road. They were quite plainly to be seen. I saw the police measuring the distance between these. I usually drive up to 50 miles per hour on a good open road. i do not drive so fast in the night time. When passing another vehicle, I usually keep up the same pace. If there is a good open road, I drive past at the same pace. On this particular night I did not ease up at all to pass the lorry. I think that the pace that I was passing the other vehicle was a safe one. If the other car had two lights it would have been safe. It was a black night and a black road, and the other part of the vehicle was not showing. i see the plan of the locality produced. I saw the tracks the following morning. On looking at the tracks and from memory I was more on the left hand side of the road that the right. The mark on the road would be caused by the marks of the other man’s wheels. After the cars hit, the mark of my car was carried to the other side. I was on my right side when the cars hit.
      Mary Lillian Ryan, daughter of William Ryan, stated: I am fourteen years of age, and reside with my parents at Kentucky. On 29th instant, I left home in the company of my father and sister, the deceased, and came to Uralla. We were travelling in a Whippet car, the property of my father and he was driving. We stayed in Uralla until shortly after six when we left to go home. My father was driving and I was sitting next to him and my sister was sitting next to me. On my way out of Uralla we picked up Mr Rooney. He looked to be drunk. Everything went allright (sic) until we got to Cherry Tree Hill. We saw a light coming along about 100 yards away. We only saw the one light. We got within a couple of yards and noticed it was a car. At first I thought it was a motor bike. The road was dark. The light was on the left hand side. There was a crash. The car swerved and dad tried to bring the car back to the road with the steering wheel. I did not remember anything more until I got up off the ground. I cannot remember if the car overturned. My sister was still lying there. My father got up. I did not hear my father speak. I spoke to her. She did not answer me. My father then went away to Blanch’s for help. Whilst he was away, a man Mr Cox came along in his car and took Betty to the hospital. I did not know the pace the car was travelling. I did not look at the speedometer. I estimated the pace at the usually one of 40 to 45 miles per hour. I did not notice my father ease up to pass the vehicle. He was on the left hand side of the road. I though there was room to pass the other vehicle, until I heard the crash. The light on the other vehicle was not very plain. It was not a really bright light.
      Sergeant Willard stated: On 29th June last, Alfred Edward Hughes came to the Police Station and informed me that there had been a motor accident on the Great Northern road about 4 miles south of Uralla, then he was driving a Ford utility truck and another man was driving a motor car when there was a collision between the lorry and the car and that a girl, an occupant of the car, had been taken to the hospital. Accompanied by Constable McDonald and Hughes I visited the scene of the accident and there saw a number of people and a Ford utility truck standing across the road facing to the right hand side. The off front wheel of the lorry was smashed, both tyres torn off on the off side and blown out. The right mud guard and running board were torn off and the wind screen smashed into fragments. Hughes said that he was the driver of the lorry and was travelling along and that he left Tamworth about 2 p.m. that day. I also saw a Whippet motor car standing on its wheels near the fence on the right hand side of the road facing south. William Ryan was present and said that car No 71176 was his, and that he had been driving it from Uralla accompanied by his two daughters, Elizabeth Ellen and Mary Lillian, and that when coming down the hill they met the Ford Truck coming in the opposite direction with one head light, the near side one, and that the car and lorry met head on. The car was considerably damaged. The hood was smashed to pieces and torn off, the left front wheel buckled, the tyres blown out, the radiator buckled, the right front wheel smashed, tyre blown, front mudguard buckled and bent towards engine bent, body bent on near side over back wheel, left side front door half torn off. I saw tracks of where the off side front wheel of the lorry and the off side of the front wheel of the car hit the asphalt road, and the tracks from where the car continued to where it was standing. Next morning in company with Constable McDonald, I measured the tracks of the lorry and the car. The tracks of where the off side front wheel of the lorry hit the road was 6 feet 6 inches from the left hand side of correct side. The track of where the offside front wheel of the car hit the road, was 12 feet south from the lorry track and 11 feet from the left hand or correct side. The track of the car continued on, veering to the wrong side of a distance of 33 yards and then left the road and travelled for a further 30 years to where it hit a log ten feet long by one foot in diameter. From the appearance of the tracks and the damage to the car, I would say it definitely turned over once and probably more than once. I produce a sketch of the road showing the marks and distances. I later saw the body at St Elmo Private Hospital, Uralla, which I recognised as that of Elizabeth Ellen Ryan. I saw a deep incised wound on the thigh. I also saw William Rooney at the hospital. He was in bed but appeared to bed alright. The matron said he was there for observation. I asked him “What has happened?” He aid that he did not know, that he had been brought there yesterday evening. I said, “What happened in the car accident?” He said, “I don’t know what happened. I don’t remember anything about it.” He appeared to be recovering from drink. I visited the hospital again next day, and again interviewed Willliam Rooney, and asked him if he could remember anything of the motor accident. He said he could not. I said “Do you remember getting in teh car?” He said, “No.” I said, “Do you remember seeing Mr Ryan?” He said, “No.” I said “Do you remember being thrown out of the car and the car turning over?” He said, “No.” When I examined the lorry on the 29th the offside lamp was missing and there was no lens in that lamp. I examined it again the next morning and made a search of the road and I could not see any signs of the lamp being broken nor could I find any remainder of it at the scene of the accident. From the tracks of the car and the distance he travelled I would say that it must have been travelling at a great pace to continue that distance, although down hill it appeared as if the car had been turning over and dragged sideways unless the driver had his foot on the accelerator and accelerated after the accident. There were three tracks to the road from where the car was standing, a distance of about 30 years. They appeared as if the car had been travelling sideways. The tyres were torn off on that side of the car as if it had been dragged that way. By Coroner: From the position of the tracks, the lorry would be on its correct side and well over. The tracks of the car were eleven feet from the left hand side of the road that is from the off side front wheel.The road at that particular spot is asphalt and is 18 feet wide. The brow of the hill is about 100 yards away and there is then a slight depression of the hill again. I would say that the car of Mr Ryan’s was not on its correct side. It would be about three feet on its incorrect side. I do not consider a pace of 40 miles per hour a reasonable speed at which to pass another vehicle at that hour of the night. There is a slight turn in the road, and that would throw the light of a car travelling south off the road. By Police: The asphalt is smooth. It is a good surface. Uralla Times 4th July 1935

      Inquest held £30 cash or property. 2 July 1935
      Injuries accidentally received through being thrown from a motor car. [4]

  • Sources 
    1. [S6] NSW BDM’S, 1935 13988.

    2. [S32] Uralla Times.

    3. [S6] NSW BDM’S, 1917 7781.

    4. [S95] NSW, Australia, REgisters of Coroners’ Inquests, 1796-1942.