Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, No. 2238 of 1965, in case of Joseph S. McCay and Jean O. McCay, his wife v. Philadelphia Electric Company.
Malcolm B. Petrikin, with him Leo A. Hackett and Fronefield, deFuria and Petrikin, for appellants.
J. H. Ward Hinkson, with him Hinkson & Cantlin, for appellee.
Jones, C. J., Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Manderino, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Nix.
Between two and two-thirty in the afternoon of August 22, 1963, the appellant, Jean O. McCay, was operating an automobile owned by her employer, Community Nursing Service, on MacDade Boulevard in Folsom, Delaware County. It was raining at the time, and the road surface was wet.
Several blocks west of where the accident occurred, Mrs. McCay had turned right onto MacDade Boulevard, which was two lanes for travel in each direction, and had then driven eastwardly in the lane nearest the curb. She remained in that lane until she passed the Swarthmore Avenue intersection when she turned on
her left-turn signal and moved from the outside to the inside eastbound traffic lane of MacDade Boulevard. Her left-turn signal remained on continuously as she proceeded through the next intersection, Folsom Avenue, and throughout the length of the next block and halfway into the Rutledge Avenue intersection. At this time, after having traveled approximately 450-500 feet with her left-turn signal on, Mrs. McCay brought her car to a complete stop in the middle of the Rutledge Avenue intersection.
From Swarthmore Avenue to Rutledge Avenue a Philadelphia Electric Company automobile had been following Mrs. McCay at a distance of approximately 25 to 30 feet. A Freihofer delivery truck, in turn, was following the Philadelphia Electric Company car at a distance of 35 to 40 feet. All three vehicles were maintaining the same speed of approximately 25 miles per hour.
When Mrs. McCay stopped in the intersection she was hit from the rear by the Philadelphia Electric automobile. The Freihofer truck then struck the rear of the Philadelphia Electric vehicle, but not with such impact as to cause a second collision with Mrs. McCay's car. Although there was no testimony by the driver of the Philadelphia Electric automobile, since he had died from causes unrelated to the accident prior to the trial, the truck driver testified that Mrs. McCay's stop was sudden. Mrs. McCay stated that she gradually slowed down before coming to a complete stop.
At no time had appellant noticed the Philadelphia Electric automobile following her. She admitted that she had never looked into the rear-view mirror as she was about to stop; that she never made any check of any kind of the traffic following her; and that had she looked and seen the Philadelphia Electric automobile closely ...