The Story of [the late] Dorothy Balmain – Part 2

Last time, we learned about the varied and diverse players in our story. Let’s see if we can figure out what actually happened that fateful Thursday evening.

The Story of [the late] Dorothy Balmain - Part 2HIT RUN VICTIM SEMI-CONSCIOUS

Funeral Services Today for Girl Killed

Evelyn Kelly, 1112 Edgewater Avenue, Ridgefield, one of the three youngsters hit Thursday night by a hit and run driver, still lies on a cot in the Englewood Hospital in a semi-conscious condition. She suffered a scalp injury and doctors have as yet been unable to determine whether it is a fracture or contusion.

Occasionally she gains consciousness but this lasts for only a few moments and then she lapses again into a coma.  Her general condition is said to be good and she is resting comfortably.

Gertrude Pugh, another victim is nursing a broken leg and lacerations of the body and is also reported to be resting easy at the Holy Name Hospital.

This afternoon at 2 o’clock funeral services will be held for 14-year-old Dorothy Balmaine  [sic]who was killed almost instantly by the hit-and-run driver.  Services will be conducted at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Williamson, 946 Edgewater Avenue, Ridgefield, with the Canon W. J. White, pastor of the St. James Episcopal Church, of which the Balmaine girl was a member, officiating.

The badly twisted and blood spattered car in which Harvey Lyons, 358 Undercliff Avenue, Edgewater, was found shortly after the killing, has been placed in a local garage for close scrutiny of investigators handling the case.  Lyons is out on bail on a charge of manslaughter while Robert Perry, 91 Edgewater Place, Edgewater, has also been released on bail as a material witness.

The death of one girl and the injury of the other two occurred on Edgewater Avenue, Ridgefield, within a few feet of the Kelly youngster’s home.


So we know how the girls are doing.  Let’s see what else is going on in the case:


6 - 1930+ Threats to Witness Lead to Warrant in Fatal AccidentThreats to Witness Lead to Warrant in Fatal Auto Accident

Former Prohibition Agent, Now Speakeasy Owner, to be Arrested as Result of Charges Made in Connection with Girl’s Death

Warrants were issued today by the Bergen County prosecutor for the arrest of Ridgely Armstrong, former prohibition agent and proprietor of the Ridgefield Inn on Bergen turnpike, and his bartender, John Mannion, on charges of threatening to kill Harry Eicholz of 417 Lafayette avenue, Grantwood, operator of a lunch stand at Hendricks’ causeway, Ridgefield.

The charges are the outcome of the fatal accident in Ridgefield on August 25 when Dorothy Balmain, 14, was killed and Gertrude Pugh and Evelyn Kelly of Ridgefield were severely injured.  Harvey Lyons of 358 Undercliff avenue, Edgewater, was arrested a mile from the scene in his car and charged with manslaughter.  He had been drinking, it was stated, but a physician held that he was able to operate a car.

Eicholz made a statement to the Ridgefield Park police in which he told what he knew about a drinking party at Armstrong’s restaurant on the day and night of the fatal accident, and at the Prosecutor’s office today he made a further statement, in which he asserted that Armstrong and Mannion had approached him on the morning after the accident and threatened to kill him if he told anybody what he had seen or heard.

Lieutenant John Gaudetti of the prosecutor’s office left the Court House shortly before noon today and said that he would arrest Armstrong and Mannion on the threatening to kill charge on the strength of Eicholz’s latest statement.

In his statement to the Ridgefield police, Eicholz said that at 1:30 p. m. on August 25, Lyons, another man and two women arrived at Armstrong’s tavern.  At 3 o’clock another man arrived and joined the group and they remained drinking until 5 p. m.  Armstrong then left the place, leaving Mannion in charge, and half an hour later Lyons and the other man and two women left, apparently drunk.

“The party returned the same evening at 7 o’clock,” Eicholz continued in his statement, “and Mannion told me they paid $28.45 for drinks, Lyons giving a check for that amount made out to ‘cash.'”

“At 10 a. m. on August 26 Armstrong gave the check to Murray Penn of Jersey City.  I saw him pass the check to Penn, who left and upon his return later said that Mayor Wissel (former mayor of Edgewater) said there were no funds with which to pay it and it could not be cashed.  Penn gave the check to Mannion in my presence and the latter said he could hide it.

“At 3:30 that same day Armstrong’s friend, I do not know his name but his car license was B39882, (this car is listed as owned by Joseph Elias of 333 Hamilton place, Hackensack) arrived and told Mannion and myself to warn Armstrong that the police did not hold or question him at the scene of the accident but that Lyons was so drunk that he had to hold onto him when he left the place.

“Mannion told me that Armstrong was in the car that ran down the three girls and that he returned to the place with the women after the accident.”


Well, this is an interesting turn of events.  Stay tuned for even more twists and turns!