White v. Vandevelde, 47.

Citation279 N.W. 899,284 Mich. 669
Decision Date06 June 1938
Docket NumberNo. 47.,47.
CourtSupreme Court of Michigan


Action by Vernon White against John Vandevelde, also known as John King, for damages resulting from a collision between plaintiff's motorcycle and defendant's automobile. From a judgment for plaintiff, defendant appeals.

Affirmed.Appeal from Circuit Court, Delta County; Frank A. Bell, judge.

Argued before the Entire Bench.

G. R. Empson, of Gladstone (Edward A. Smith, of Detroit, and George Carr, of Escanaba, of counsel), for appellant.

Glenn W. Jackson, of Gladstone, for appellee.

POTTER, Justice.

Plaintiff sued defendant to recover damages resulting from a collision between plaintiff's motorcycle and defendant's automobile. From a judgment for plaintiff, defendant appeals.

About 4:30 p.m., September 24, 1933, plaintiff was driving south through Kipling on US-2. The weather was clear and the pavement, 20 feet wide, was rough and dry. Plaintiff and defendant differ as to what happened.

Plaintiff claims he had just finished reconditioning the motorcycle engine and because of the roughness of the road was driving the vehicle south at 15 to 20 miles an hour; that north of Kipling a Chevrolet motor car passed him and he followed it in to Kipling; that he saw defendant's automobile on the righthand side of the highway 500 or 600 feet away, headed in the same direction he was traveling, moving when he first saw it but overtaken and passed by the Chevrolet motor car that passed him; that defendant's automobile came up to the center of the highway and stopped, facing southeast, when plaintiff was about 200 feet away. Plaintiff claims he blew his horn when he was 100 feet from defendant's automobile but the driver of defendant's automobile gave no signal to apprise him of what she proposed to do; that he pulled over to the left side of the highway because there was no room to pass on the right side, it being occupied by defendant's automobile, there being no shoulder to the highway but a ditch alongside; that he attempted to pass defendant's automobile as the Chevrolet automobile had, on the left side, believing the driver was waiting for him to pass; that he reduced his speed to between 15 and 18 miles an hour; that the driver of defendant's automobile, when plaintiff was 10 or 15 feet away, caused it to move forward in a series of jerks; that the front of defendant's automobile was up to the middle line of the pavement when it began to jerk forward. Plaintiff testified he tried to avoid collision by applying his brakes harder than before and threw the motorcycle over to the left toward the ditch, but it was too close to avoid collision; that the motorcycle struck the left front wheel and fender of defendant's automobile on the east edge of the pavement and plaintiff was thrown about 10 feet ahead of defendant's car and close to a woodpile. The record shows plaintiff's leg came in contact with defendant's automobile. He suffered a double compound comminuted fracture of the right leg between the knee and ankle, and other injuries. He was kept under opiates for six weeks due to pain and removed from the hospital at the end of three months to his home where he was under a doctor's care for two or three months. At the time of the trial his injured leg was crooked and was about 2 1/2 inches shorter than the other. Plaintiff testified he was paying close attention and only one car passed him and was between him and defendant's automobile just before the accident; that the driver of defendant's automobile was endeavoring to turn into a private driveway a few feet south of the Cleveland Cliffs road.

The driver of defendant's automobile testified:

‘As we approached Kipling I noticed there were quite a number of cars behind me. My sister lives right on the corner on the east side of the road that runs into the furnace. I was taking her home. I had to turn easterly to get across the highway. Before I stopped to make my turn I looked around. There was a number of cars coming. Before I got to make my turn there was some that went by, all but two, and as I made that turn there was one behind me and one ahead of me that I let go by. I stopped my car by the side of the road. After I started out I looked again. I did not see any car or motorcycle ahead of me or behind me. There was one car that was behind me that didn't pass. It was standing still.

‘When I made the turn I made a sign signifying I was going to turn. I put out my hand and looked. After I put out my hand I seen it was clear and I started out. I did not see any automobile except the one that was standing still, nor did I see a motorcycle in the road. When I made that turn I was going in an easterly direction, to my sister's house. My car did not stop in the middle of the road. I was going real slow. I had it in low.

‘Q. When did you first see White and his motorcycle? A. When he came right on me.

‘Q. What do you mean by ‘come right on you’? A. When he hit me as I was making that turn.

‘At the time the motorcycle hit me I was facing east toward my sister's house. The front wheels were practically off the paved portion of the road. There wasn't much left, just a little on the back wheels. I was almost off the road. * * *

‘On the west side there was plenty of room for me to park while cars went by. There was no ditch.

‘I have driven a car ten or twelve years. I should judge he was coming fast. * * *

‘I was turning into that furnace road. My sister did not have a private driveway into her road. That is the road where she lived. * * *

‘There was a car that remained behind and did not pass before the accident. That car was not standing there as the accident occurred. It went by just as I made the turn. It went by in back of my car, just as I turned out into the road. I am sure of that.’

Mrs. Cole, the driver of defendant's automobile, said she looked north and saw no motorcycle as she was crossing the road until about the time it struck her automobile, that there was nothing to obstruct her vision; she did not blow her horn, jerk the car, or put the brakes on that she knew of.

There were other witnesses who gave testimony supporting the claims of the respective parties.

Plaintiff in his declaration placed defendant's automobile facing ‘southerly’ when it stopped on the west side of the highway just before crossing,...

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6 cases
  • Alley v. Klotz
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • April 5, 1948
    ...clear distance ahead. Pavela v. Tryloff, 251 Mich. 110, 230 N.W. 912;Pearce v. Rodell, 283 Mich. 19, 276 N.W. 883;White v. Vandevelde, 284 Mich. 669, 279 N.W. 899. This brings us to a consideration of the question whether, as a matter of law, plaintiff's proofs failed to show that he was fr......
  • Wallace v. Kramer, 22.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • March 11, 1941
    ...and the curb. The court left it to the jury to determine whether it was a business or residential district or either. White v. Vandevelde, 284 Mich. 669, 279 N.W. 899. We hold that this was proper due to the fact that plaintiff testified it was a business district and the testimony to the c......
  • Devries v. Owens, 52.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • December 10, 1940
    ...use for business.’ There was no proof of the frontage occupied by houses or business buildings on the highway. In White v. Vandevelde, 284 Mich. 669, 675, 279 N.W. 899, 902, in a similar instance this court said: ‘There was testimony plaintiff was driving more than 20 miles an hour. 1 Comp.......
  • Resolute Ins. Co. v. Marshall, 92
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • November 26, 1957
    ...if a district is a residential district becomes a question of fact to be determined by the trier of the facts. See White v. Vandevelde, 284 Mich. 669, 279 N.W. 899; DeVries v. Owens, 295 Mich. 522, 295 N.W. 249; Wallace v. Kramer, 296 Mich. 680, 296 N.W. In the case at bar it is conceded th......
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