Yakima, WA Justice Douglas Injured in Fall from Horse, Oct 1949

Justice Douglas Injured In 20-Foot Mountain Fall

YAKIMA, Wash., Oct. 2 (AP).---United States Justice William O. Douglas, seriously injured Sunday high in Washington's Cascade Mountains, had at least thirteen ribs broken and his right lung punctured when his horse rolled over him. Doctors here ordered immediate blood transfusions.

X-ray pictures taken after Douglas was brought here by ambulance showed that eight ribs were fractured on his right side and five on his left. Broken bones pierced his right lung, deflating it.

Doctors Joseph Low and Shuler Ginn said other ribs may be cracked. They immediately went ahead with further examinations to determine if the Justice suffered other internal injuries.

Though blood transfusions were needed, the doctors did not list the 50 year old Justice's condition as critical. They said he had less shock than expected because he was "in excellent physical shape." He was given sedatives en route here by ambulance and after his arrival at the hospital.

Douglas was found to have a comparatively rare blood type, A-Rh negative, but three to four pints were available in the Yakima blood bank. Transfusions were started immediately.

Mrs. Douglas and their daughter, Mildred, left for Yakima at once after being notified. Mrs. Douglas was at Lawrenceville, N. J., where the son, William, Jr., is attending preparatory school. The daughter is a student at Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.

The accident occurred shortly before noon (P.S.T.) as Douglas was riding with a close friend, Elon J. Gilbert of Yakima, on a horseback trip near the Summit of Chinook Pass.

Gilbert said here that Douglas had stopped on the narrow, rocky trail to cinch up his saddle and was remounting his horse when it apparently became frightened and reared.

Douglas was thrown and the plunging animal rolled atop him as they tumbled more that twenty feet down the stony slope to a lower trail.

The injured man lay on the trail for more than an hour before a stretcher could be brought to the scene.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 13 Oct 1949