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Incident Name:  Marshville Fire area, fires west and southwest of Eugene, in Coos and Curry Counties, OR
Date: 10/10/1936
Personnel: surname French from Waterbury, Connecticut; probably Herbert French
Age: 18
Agency/Organization:  Civilian Conservation Corps
Position: new CCC firefighter

Summary: A new CCC enrollee from Waterbury, Connecticut known as French (first name not known) died on 10/10/1936 when a truck carrying a new contingent of enrollees from Connecticut to the Marshfield fire area (now Coos Bay) left the highway at the summit of the coast range on the Siuslaw Highway (Highway 36). Thirteen other CCC enrollees were injured, 3 critically.

 

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"The summit of the coast range on the Siuslaw Highway" (Highway 36) in Oregon, between Eugene (west of Eugene) and presumably Florence on the coast. The summit of the highway over the coastal range might be closer to Lane, Deadwood, Swisshome or Mapleton, OR.  Pin is in a sharp curve between Deadwood and Swisshome, however many of these accidents occurred on a curve on a downhill grade. It was probably also smoky since so much of that area was burning summer of 1936. If anyone can make a better guess, please let us know.

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • CCC firefighter killed in crash

    10/11/1936 | The Times

    Portland, Ore., Saturday Oct. 10 - A Civilian Conservation Corps enrollee was killed and thirteen of his companions were injured, three critically, today when a truck plunged from the highway west of Eugene down a hundred-foot embankment.

    The enrollees arrived last night from Connecticut. They were being rushed into the forest fire zone in Coos and Curry Counties.

    The truck failed to make a turn on the narrow mountain road. Officers said the driver was unfamiliar with the road since all CCC drivers are already concentrated for duty in the fire zone.

    Forest rangers reported this afternoon that no towns are in danger.

  • CCC boy killed en route to fires
    CCC Vehicle Accident CCC Vehicle Accident


  • Lessons Learned Center database:

    Date:     10/2/1936

    Location:     Eugene

    State:     Oregon

    Incident:     

    Accident:     Vehicle Accident

    Category:     Vehicle

    Organization:     Federal

    Agency:     CCC

    Number of People:     Not Applicable

    Shelters Available:     Not Applicable

    Shelters Deployed:     Not Applicable

    Fatalities:     1

    Injuries:     Not Applicable

  • Oregon Death Index: probably Herbert French who died at Lane County, Oregon (on the Siuislaw Highway in 1936)
  • 1930 Census, Herbert French, age 12 in 1930, lived with his large family in New Haven CT; air distance to Waterbury -- one travel hub for CCC troops -- is about 20 miles. Herbert French would have been 18 in 1936.

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Media Articles and Reports

Summer of fire along the Oregon Coast and in the Coast Range

Oregon Coastal Mountain Fires Raging Oregon Coastal Mountain Fires Raging
Oregon Coastal Mountain Fires Raging Oregon Coastal Mountain Fires Raging
Oregon Coastal Mountain Fires Raging Oregon Coastal Mountain Fires Raging

 

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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

 

 

 

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Contributors to this article:  Mellie

 

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