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Mrs. Marietta Cherry, 75, of Ruthven, Iowa, while crossing U.S. Rt. 54 in Lake Fork, Ill., shortly after 3:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 5, 1952, was fatally injured when struck by a truck driven by Claude Litterly of Mount Pulaski vicinity. She apparently died instantly.
Mrs. Cherry had arrived in Mount Pulaski by bus during the noon hour Friday, and had tried to find somebody who was driving to Lake Fork, to take her there for a visit with relatives and friends. Not being successful, she boarded the Greyhound bus at 3:20 p.m. for Lake Fork. After her arrival there she first went to a grocery store and then started for the highway, expecting to cross it on her way to the homes of friends.
Mr. Litterly reported to officers who investigated the accident, that after seeing the woman attempting to cross Route 54, he swung his truck completely off the pavement to avoid hitting her. He stated he applied his brakes and the machine skidded around, the rear of the truck striking Mrs. Cherry. The only injury was on her head. She was removed in the Schahl ambulance to the Schahl funeral home and was pronounced dead upon arrival there. Coroner Donald G. Holland reported that the only visible marks on the woman's body was a skinned place on her head.
Mr. Litterly was not injured, nor was John Riedle, Jr., who was riding with him. Coroner Holland announced that he would hold an inquest this Thursday. Marietta Mileham was born on Aug. 18, 1877, in Elkhart township, Logan county, Illinois, in the vicinity of Lake Fork, a daughter of James and Nancy Ridgeway Mileham. She married George Cherry. They lived in the Lake Fork community for several years before moving to Iowa, where she had since resided. Her husband preceded her in death.
Decedent is survived by two sons, Orville Cherry, living in Idaho, and Roscoe Cherry of Estherville, Iowa; and three daughters, Mrs. Ada Hersom, Ruthven, Iowa; Mrs. Nena Raper, of Neef, Iowa, and Mrs. Opal Graham of Mason City, Iowa.
The remains were removed from the Schahl funeral home late Saturday afternoon by the Joyce funeral home of Emmettsburg, Iowa, to the home of her daughter in Ruthven. Funeral services were held in Ruthven, Monday afternoon, Dec. 8, and burial was made in the Ruthven cemetery.
A coroner's jury investigating the death of Mrs. Marietta Cherry of Ruthven, Iowa, meeting at the Schahl funeral home in Mount Pulaski Thursday night Dec. 11, found that she came to her death from a sudden heart attack brought on by being accidentally frightened by an oncoming truck, according to Donald Holland, coroner.
The accident occurred on the afternoon of Saturday, Dec. 5, on U. S. Route 54, in Lake Fork, a short time after Mrs. Cherry had arrived by bus from Iowa. At the time it was believed she had been struck by the truck.
From the testimony of the driver of the truck, Claude Litterly of Mount Pulaski; John Riedle, Jr., passenger in the truck and Jack McCurry of Cornland and Paul Moore of Mount Pulaski, the jury found that Mrs. Cherry had only been frightened by the truck as she started across the highway.
A statement from Dr. Chester Davis, who made the post mortem, revealed the aorta apparently exploded from excitement.
The jury was composed of Elmer Laughery, Ed Dittus, Harold Hargrave, Carl Opperman, Lawrence Hergert and William Jenner.