Back in the Day: June 7, 1955


POSTED: Sunday, June 07, 2009

”;Back in the Day,”; appearing every Sunday, takes a look at articles that ran on this date in history in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Hawaii's oldest continuously published daily newspaper. The items appear verbatim, so don't blame us today for yesteryear's bad grammar.

Twice-toppled crash victim hopes against a third time

Tumbling down a cliffside while confined in the steel innards of a car is not an entirely new experience for Joseph McCabe, Jr.

He did it yesterday afternoon—toppling 110 feet down an embankment after the driver fell out of the car.

And back in 1949, he and two friends went through the ordeal when their auto flipped down a 50-foot gully off Kokokahi Road.

They got out all right.

“;I sure hope there is not a third time,”; McCabe said today from his bed in St. Francis Hospital, where he's being treated for gashes on his legs as the result of his latest plunge.

“;My luck may run out the next time.”;

McCabe, who lives at 46-180 Kamehameha Highway, Heeiakea, and his friend John J. Silva of 1330-H Liliha Street were returning to Honolulu yesterday afternoon in a borrowed car after visiting in Kaneohe.

Silva was driving while McCabe slept on the back seat of the 1949 sedan.

As Silva made a right turn from Kamehameha Highway onto the new Pali Road at Castle Junction, his door suddenly opened and he was almost thrown out.

“;I heard him calling me and when I opened my eyes,”; McCabe recalled, “;John was still hanging on to the door.

“;He yelled for me to grab the wheel. I didn't see him again until he was helping me get out of the wreck.”;

Police said after Silva dropped to the pavement, the driverless sedan continued 200 feet along the highway, veered in over the 44-foot shoulder and then plunged down the 110-foot embankment.

It came to rest on its top.

Silva, uninjured, scrambled down into the gully and got McCabe out of the wreck.