Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Harley Duane Simmons – Obituary

Contributed by Bonnie Ryan
Evening Review-June 29, 1943

Newell Victim Electrocuted; 3 companions shocked.

Climax to a severe electrical storm that broke an extended heat wave, a Newell boy was electrocuted, a companion was burned severely and two others were shocked by a high tension wire that was knocked down by lightning late Monday afternoon an a hillside above Hague Ave. at Jethro in West End. The storm, which struck about 8 p.m. damaged trees and signs here and in Wellsville, while in Salem a farmer died as the result of a stroke traced to hot weather. Victim of 22,000 volt wire was Harley D. Simmons, 17, son of Mrs. Lillie Simmons, a widow, of 314 Grant St., Newell. Severely burned and in poor condition today at City Hospital is Willard Delong, 15, also of Newell, while his brother, Frederick DeLong, 17, and the fourth boy, Guy DeLong, 17, were treated for shock.. Frederick was released from the hospital. According to Coroner Arnold Devon of East Liverpool, the boys were watching the storm yesterday afternoon from near their homes when they saw a brilliant blue flash on the hillside above East Liverpool. They had heard the roar of an airplane a few minutes before and concluded the plane had crashed. They hurried across the bridge and started up the hillside to investigate. In some manner, the Simmons boy came in contact with the fallen wire and was instantly killed. The coroner said the boy’s body was seared extensively and parts of his limbs were consumed by the powerful current. Judging from the condition of the hand of the boy, he may have grabbed the wire, according to the coroner. Frederick told his father, Clem DeLong of Grant Street, Newell, that all were knocked down and stunned by the flame of the current. The boy, who took first aid while attending Wells High School, where he will be a junior next fall, attempted to revive his brother and the DeLong boy, who were unconscious. Neither revived and Frederick called to residents in the vicinity who summoned police. Patrolmen Robert Borger and John Richards said that when they arrived they found the Simmons boy dead, and Willard and Guy still unconscious. The four were removed to the hospital. The Simmons boy, who attended Wells High School, was employed as a laborer at plant 5 of the Homer Laughlin China Co, while Guy, who roomed at 202 Jefferson St., came to Newell from St. Marys, WV., and works for the New Castle Refactories. Willard DeLong will be a freshman in Wells High School next term. The high tension cable carries current from the Wellsville substation to East Liverpool. Ohio Power Co. spokesmen said there was no interruption in service as another circuit switched on automatically when the wire parted. The coroner said the current burned a swath of about 100 feet through the underbrush at the point. The wire still was smoking when Ohio Power repairmen arrived about 5:15. Young Simmons was a member of the National Brotherhood of Operative Potters and served as a civilian defense messenger for Newell. He was affiliated with the Newell Church of the Nazarene. He is survived by his mother, four sisters, Mrs. Opal Sadler and Mrs. Garnet Wilson of Los Angeles, Mrs. Marie Bowen of Newell and Mrs. Audrey Springer of Chester, and four brothers, Lonnie Simmons, Harry Simmons and Ray Simmons of Newell and Pvt. Hughie Simmons of Camp Forrest, Tenn. The body was removed to the Arner Funeral Home. Services are indefinite pending word from out of town relatives. Friends may call anytime at the late residence.

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