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HANCOCK v. MOORE (06/02/61)

June 2, 1961

HANCOCK
v.
MOORE, APPELLANT.



Appeals, Nos. 124 and 125, Jan. T., 1961, from orders of Court of Common Pleas of Huntingdon County, Feb. T., 1956, No. 15, and Sept. T., 1956, No. 53, in cases of Nancy Hancock, a minor by her guardian, Charles R. Hancock et al. v. William H. Moore, Jr. et al., and Alexander G. Popa, a minor by Helen Popa, his mother and guardian, et al. v. Same. Orders affirmed.

COUNSEL

A. Lynn Corcelius, with him Henry & Corcelius, for appellant.

Morris M. Terrizzi, for appellant.

John Idomir, with him Warren R. Yocum, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Eagen, JJ.

Author: Bok

[ 404 Pa. Page 49]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BOK.

The appellants are the defendant drivers of two automobiles. The appellees are two minor passengers in the car of defendant Moore. The jury found for defendants, and the court below granted a new trial. There is no question of contributory negligence, and the only question has to do with whether or not the drivers, one or both, were negligent and hence whether the court erred in granting a second trial.

The scene is the Hill Valley bridge in Shirley Township, Huntingdon County. Defendant Price was approaching the bridge from the north: defendant Moore was approaching it from the south. As if magnetized by it, both cars reached it at about the same time.

The bridge was nineteen feet long, with side walls sixteen feet apart, and a paved roadbed fourteen feet wide. At least 225 feet from it on both sides were signs warning of the narrow bridge. Both drivers were familiar with the road. There was some degree of hill sloping towards the bridge from both north and south, and there was a moderate right-going uphill curve coming from the south. The road was straight for 150 to 200 feet to the south of the bridge and for 400 to 500 feet to the north of it, and the bridge was visible for about 500 feet from both directions.

Price saw Moore's car when he, Price, was 400 to 500 feet north of the bridge and Moore was about the same distance south of it. Both cars were approaching the bridge at about the same speed, 30 to 35 miles per hour. One of the plaintiff passengers in Moore's car saw Price's car at about the same distance that Price saw theirs, and she warned Moore, who said that he

[ 404 Pa. Page 50]

    could make it. Moore did not see Price's car until he, Moore, was ten feet from the bridge and Price was about twenty feet from him. By then Moore said that he had slowed to about five miles per hour, but as he reached the bridge Price was already on it and Moore, skidding three or four feet, chose to hit the side wall of the bridge rather than the other car. Price continued on to the bridge at 30 to 35 miles per hour. There was no contact between the cars, and Price stopped on the south side of the bridge ...


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