Willis Neal McWhorter 

April 17, 1927  -  November 6, 1959 at age 32  

     

Born :  in Madisonville, Texas                     
Entered Fire Department :
June 1, 1953
Duty :
Fire Fighter  at Station #30  
Buried :
Resthaven Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 72, Plot 72, Space 1 

McWhorter and Jedlicka were both fire fighters assigned to Station 30. The day of the accident they were both riding Engine 30. These two men were killed when a transport truck carrying steel struck Engine 30 broadside at the intersection of Berry and Fulton. Engine 30 was responding to a house fire at 7320 Airline Drive when it reached a red light at the intersection. When the driver checked the intersection, the traffic on the left had stopped, but to the right was a blind spot. An oncoming truck loaded with heavy steel was approaching from the right. The driver of the truck saw the fire apparatus but was unable to stop because of the weight of the steel. Both vehicles entered the intersection at the same time with the transport truck striking the side of the fire apparatus and breaking it into several pieces. Willis McWhorter was killed instantly. Charles Jedlicka, the Captain, and the Chauffeur were all seriously hurt, but of the three. Because of his serious injuries, Charles was flown to Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas in a plane owned by a local oil company. On November 17, 1959, Charles Jedlicka lost the long, hard battle for his life.

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