People v. Allen, No. 24057.

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtWILSON
Citation368 Ill. 368,14 N.E.2d 397
Docket NumberNo. 24057.
Decision Date20 April 1938
PartiesPEOPLE v. ALLEN.

368 Ill. 368
14 N.E.2d 397

PEOPLE
v.
ALLEN.

No. 24057.

Supreme Court of Illinois.

Oct. 22, 1937.
As Modified on Denial of Rehearing April 20, 1938.


Error to Criminal Court, Cook County; Donald S. McKinlay, Judge.

John C. Allen was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, and he brings error.

Affirmed.

SHAW and STONE, JJ., dissenting.

[14 N.E.2d 399]

Hopkins, Starr & Godman, of Chicago (James A. Sprowl, Charles M. McDonnell, and George E. McMurray, all of Chicago, of counsel), for plaintiff in error.

Otto Kerner, Atty. Gen., Thomas J. Courtney, State's Atty., of Chicago, and A. B. Dennis, of Danville (Edward E. Wilson, John T. Gallagher, Melvin S. Rembe, and Blair Varnes, all of Chicago, of counsel), for the People.


WILSON, Justice.

The defendant, John C. Allen, was indicted in the criminal court of Cook county for the involuntary manslaughter of Charles B. Klafter with an automobile. A jury found him guilty. Following denials of motions for a new trial, in arrest of judgment, and for probation, the defendant was sentenced to imprisonment in the penitentiary for an indeterminate period of from one to fourteen years. He prosecutes this writ of error.

On the evening of Saturday, February 16, 1935, at about 9:15, defendant was driving his automobile, a 1933 Ford V–8 sedan, north on Dearborn street, in Chicago. Accompanying him was Betty Spence, an unemployed waitress whom he had met at the home of mutual friends where they were both dinner guests. Before dinner defendant and the young woman had two small highballs mixed by their host. They departed about 9:00 p. m., and at her request defendant drove to the ‘Loop’ but did not stop, and proceeded north on Dearborn street. His automobile appears to have been in good mechanical condition and equipped with efficient brakes which he said he applied on the way down town to demonstrate their effectiveness. Approaching the intersection of Dearborn and Erie streets defendant's car was preceded by another automobile, a Chrysler coupé, traveling in the same direction, ahead of and immediately to the right. Homer Anderson was driving this car, and his wife, Betty Anderson, was with him. As these two cars approached the south crosswalk of Dearborn and Erie streets, three men, Ray Duran, Charles B. Klafter, and Hollis Mather were walking abreast across Dearborn street from east to west. Anderson slowed his car down when he saw them. The men passed his car into the path of defendant's automobile, and all three were struck by it. Their bodies were carried north by defendant's car, one man being found a little north of the middle of the intersection, the second at the north crosswalk, and the third, eight or ten feet farther north. Duran and Klafter died as the result of the collision and Mather sustained serious injuries. After the crash defendant's car swerved slightly. He did not stop his automobile, but continued north for three blocks to Chicago avenue, and turned east on that street. Anderson pursued defendant's car to the point where it was brought to a stop on Chicago avenue between Dearborn street and State street, the next north and south street. Mrs. Anderson summoned the police, who, upon arrival fifteen to twenty minutes later, placed defendant under arrest.

At the point where the collision occurred Dearborn street is a wide thoroughfare sixty feet wide from curb line to curb line. Erie street, the intersecting east and west street, is forty feet wide. A distinctive black line ran through the center of Dearborn street dividing the north and south lanes of traffic. The street was adequately lighted and on the night of February 16, 1935, dry and in good condition. Cars parked along both the east and west curbs of Dearborn street partly obstructed the view.

Mather resided on Erie street near the scene of the accident. He testified that, after hesitating at the southeast corner of Dearborn and Erie streets, he and his friends proceeded across Dearborn street from east to west about five feet south of the curb line of Erie street, he (the witness) being in the middle, Duran to his left and Klafter to his right; that they were engaged in conversation as they hurried across the street, almost on a run; that he noticed no traffic from the north, but saw a couple coming slowly about one hundred feet to the south; that after passing the center line of the street he saw a second car pull out from behind the couple,

[14 N.E.2d 400]

advancing at a terrific rate of speed; that when he first saw defendant's car it was seventy-five or eighty feet away, and at least five feet west of the center line of Dearborn street; that he and his companions were then directly in front of the second car; that he stopped, put out his hand and touched Duran, who jumped toward the west curb; that when defendant's car struck Duran, the latter was only two feet from the west curb of Dearborn street; that he, himself, was hit instantly and did not know what happened afterwards; that at the time Duran jumped, and when the car struck him (Mather), he was about eight feet from the west curb line of Dearborn street. According to the witness the left portion of the defendant's automobile struck Duran and the right side struck him—the car coming between them.

From Anderson's testimony it appears that just prior to the accident he was traveling at a speed of about thirty-five or forty miles per hour; that thirty or forty feet south of the intersection he observed Mather, Klafter, and Duran, practically at the center of Dearborn street, walking at an ordinary gait; that a roar described as a ‘swish’ or ‘swush’ attracted his attention as defendant's car shot by him and crashed into the three men, who were then five to eight feet west of the center line of Dearborn street; that judging by the ‘terrible roar’ and the way defendant's car rushed by, it must have been going at least sixty miles an hour; that the left-hand side of his own (Anderson's) car was three or four feet east of the center line and at the moment of impact, according to his estimate, from twenty to thirty feet south of the building line on the south side of Erie street; that although he promptly shifted into second gear to accelerate his speed and started sounding his horn as he continued north in pursuit of defendant's car the latter out-distanced him; that at Chicago avenue defendant swerved through a red traffic light to the right, but that he followed through and forced defendant to a stop at an alley around the corner. Anderson added that defendant, in answer to his query as to why he had driven on from the scene of the accident, replied that he was looking for a place to park; that defendant's companion said, ‘Go on, drive on, pay no attention to this punk’; that defendant made no move and said nothing further; that the horn of defendant's car was continually sounding; and that he, the witness, pulled the wire on the horn to silence it.

Betty Anderson corroborated her husband's testimony. In particular, she said the pedestrians, when struck, were just a little to the west of the center of the street, and that she and her husband were in the second lane of north bound traffic as cars were parked in the first lane. Mrs. Anderson testified that after the collision the first man was approximately in the middle of the street intersection, and that one of the others was a little east of the center of Dearborn street.

Charles W. Hardy, a former neighbor of Mather's, together with his wife and sister-in-law, was walking north on the east side of Dearborn street between Kinzie and Illinois streets, four and one-half blocks south of the corner of Dearborn and Erie streets, at about 9:15 on the night of the accident. According to Hardy's testimony it appears that a continuous stream of traffic was driving north; that he noticed a mud-spattered Ford sedan, without a tail light, headed north in the middle of the street at the rate of between fifty and fifty-five miles an hour; that after proceeding about one-half block he heard the impact and hurried to the scene of the collision where he saw the bodies of the men struck by defendant's automobile. Hardy placed the bodies in about the center of Dearborn street, the first in the middle of the thoroughfare about forty feet north of the south curb line of Erie street; the second about forty-eight feet from the south curb line, or six or eight feet north of the first, both of these first two bodies being a little to the west of the center line of Dearborn street, and the third about fifty-two feet from the south curb line, and farther to the east, and that two bodies were nineteen, and one twenty-one, feet east of the west curb, respectively. The witness testified further that he later saw the same mud-spattered car, identified as defendant's automobile, at the Chicago avenue police station.

Irving O. Lintner, a funeral director, testified that he was driving east on Chicago avenue at the time of the crash; that the ‘go’ lights were on for east and west traffic and that as he approached the intersection of Chicago avenue and Dearborn street there was an automobile

[14 N.E.2d 401]

coming north on Dearborn street with a horn blowing; that he had to turn south to avert a collision with defendant's car; that both defendant's and Anderson's cars went through the red light on Dearborn street. On cross-examination he added that defendant's car was traveling twenty-five five or thirty miles an hour. Lintner placed the bodies in approximately the same position as Hardy.

The defendant, a manufacturer of automobile accessories, came to Chicago from Mississippi in 1931. At the time of the trial he was forty-six years of age and unmarried. He testified that just before the collision he was driving at a speed of about twenty-five or thirty miles per hour; that the car in front of him to his right was traveling at about the same speed, although he, defendant, might have been driving a fraction faster than the other...

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65 practice notes
  • People v. Albanese, No. 57660
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • October 19, 1984
    ...130 N.E. 459 (1929)), even if the offenses charged are violations of the same statute, committed at the same time (see People v. Allen, 368 Ill. 368, 14 N.E.2d 397 (1937) for an analogous situation)." (Emphasis added.) (Ill.Ann.Stat., ch. 38, par. 3-4, Committee Comments, at 217 (Smith-Hurd......
  • Vitale, In re, No. 49326
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • April 3, 1978
    ...as incorporating a "same transaction" test. People v. Hairston (1970), 46 Ill.2d 348, 358, 263 N.E.2d 840; People v. Allen (1937), 368 Ill. 368, 379, 14 N.E.2d Directly in point is our recent clarification in People v. King (1977), 66 Ill.2d 551, 6 Ill.Dec. 891, 363 N.E.2d 838, of the confu......
  • State v. Kluttz, Nos. 3208
    • United States
    • Appellate Court of Connecticut
    • February 17, 1987
    ...(1948), cert. denied, 336 U.S. 918, 69 S.Ct. 640, 93 L.Ed. 1081 (1949); State v. Lowe, 130 So.2d 288, 289 (Fla.App.1961); People v. Allen, 368 Ill. 368, 379, 14 N.E.2d 397 (1937), appeal dismissed, 308 U.S. 511, 60 S.Ct. 132, 84 L.Ed. 436 (1939); State v. McFadden, 320 N.W.2d 608, 618 (Iowa......
  • Ex parte Rathmell, No. 973-83
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • September 17, 1986
    ...McHugh v. State, 160 Fla. 823, 824, 36 So.2d 786 (1948), cert. denied 336 U.S. 918, 69 S.Ct. 640, 93 L.Ed. 1081 (1949); People v. Allen, 368 Ill. 368, 14 N.E.2d 397 (1938); State v. Cook, 158 N.W.2d 26, 261 Iowa 1341 (1968); Fleming v. Commonwealth, 284 Ky. 209, 144 S.W.2d 220 (1940); State......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
65 cases
  • People v. Albanese, No. 57660
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • October 19, 1984
    ...130 N.E. 459 (1929)), even if the offenses charged are violations of the same statute, committed at the same time (see People v. Allen, 368 Ill. 368, 14 N.E.2d 397 (1937) for an analogous situation)." (Emphasis added.) (Ill.Ann.Stat., ch. 38, par. 3-4, Committee Comments, at 217 (Smith-Hurd......
  • Vitale, In re, No. 49326
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • April 3, 1978
    ...as incorporating a "same transaction" test. People v. Hairston (1970), 46 Ill.2d 348, 358, 263 N.E.2d 840; People v. Allen (1937), 368 Ill. 368, 379, 14 N.E.2d Directly in point is our recent clarification in People v. King (1977), 66 Ill.2d 551, 6 Ill.Dec. 891, 363 N.E.2d 838, of the confu......
  • State v. Kluttz, Nos. 3208
    • United States
    • Appellate Court of Connecticut
    • February 17, 1987
    ...(1948), cert. denied, 336 U.S. 918, 69 S.Ct. 640, 93 L.Ed. 1081 (1949); State v. Lowe, 130 So.2d 288, 289 (Fla.App.1961); People v. Allen, 368 Ill. 368, 379, 14 N.E.2d 397 (1937), appeal dismissed, 308 U.S. 511, 60 S.Ct. 132, 84 L.Ed. 436 (1939); State v. McFadden, 320 N.W.2d 608, 618 (Iowa......
  • Ex parte Rathmell, No. 973-83
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • September 17, 1986
    ...McHugh v. State, 160 Fla. 823, 824, 36 So.2d 786 (1948), cert. denied 336 U.S. 918, 69 S.Ct. 640, 93 L.Ed. 1081 (1949); People v. Allen, 368 Ill. 368, 14 N.E.2d 397 (1938); State v. Cook, 158 N.W.2d 26, 261 Iowa 1341 (1968); Fleming v. Commonwealth, 284 Ky. 209, 144 S.W.2d 220 (1940); State......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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