|Wrecks of J.B. Lanier
By Lyn Lanier
Joseph Bryant Lanier (J. B.) as many called him, was traveling late in to evening to were I am not sure. He may have had a early morning appointment with a customer For he was a traveling sales man for Richmond Oil Equipment Company Incorporated. They specialized in oil equipment use with transports and storage of oil and gas from pipelines to the transports to service stations or bulk plants, The transports (tank parts) Meters, hoses, measuring sticks nozzles that type of stuff. In this day and time service stations for cars included areas for working on cars, they supplied gas and oil not always in bottles or cans. They sold batteries and tires too. There was not a convent store with gas pumps. You did not have a metal box which you feed coins in to to get air out for inflation of tires many place there was free air. Someone wipe off you windshield and pumped your gas free as a service.
Well back to the story of the wreck, as I was told about it he was traveling west on route 60. As he varied off left to US 24 going to Appomattox Virginia there set in the “V” of the road, was a ruin down small house, were a black man lived. There were in the yard of the house several tall pine trees. It was at this time that steering rode of the car broke. J. B. lost control of the Car and it rolled to land against one of the pine trees
Hearing the noise the Black man came out the house to were father standing looking at the car was. He carried a oil filled lantern. The man ask it my father was ok, JB replied he was fine. Then the Blackman , in alarm ask there no women with you are they for all he wore was a pair of boxers.
Never heard more so do not now if law was called or just a wrecker but again this a wreck that JB, had and survived.
Another time he was in the mountains not sure of the location when again a tie rod broke this time It sent him off the road down the side of the mountain to land on all four wheels on a old grown up meadow. He got out and had to scramble back up the mountain side to the road. Were he, standing side of the road waited for someone to come along to give a ride to the next town. A farmer happen along going to town to sell eggs. By the time they arrived it was late afternoon and he went to the sheriff’s to make a report of the accident. But being late and light fading they were to go to accident scene the next morning to have the car towed and have it fixed. Next morning my father, sheriff, and tow-truck headed to accident scene. As tow truck driver started down to hook up the car my father told him to be careful as the were biers down there witch had screeched my father pretty good.. When the car was were the tow truck could hook it up on the road, the driver told my father you know those briers, we two strands of barbed wire.
Survival of another bad wreck, it was said by J.B.'s boss “ if Lanier calls and said”s He been in a accident “ask if he “ok!”, because the car will have to be replaced.”
This happened on US 360, east near Waverly,Virginia. That the time the road had the old road at one level with outer lane at a slightly lower level so if you changed lanes you feel a seam.
It was raining which mad the road slick, he went to change lanes, the tire hitting the seam causing, lost of control of car.
At that spot the road is side of the elevated railroad bed, height is about 30 feet higher than highway. From were the car left the road to a concrete drainage culvet was distance of maybe 20 feet. Their were also utility poles along edge of road.
When the front right wheel stuck the beginning of the railroad bed, it caused the car to start a clock wise spiral as it climbed the hight of railroad bed. The car came to rest on it top and slide down to the road from the top of the raised railroad bed.
JB, was laying half out the back window, he was so shaken up that he went back in the car to come out the front door of the car.
This all happen in span of two utility poles. The front and back glass of car was on the road in one piece.
This was witnessed by a Virginia State trooper following my father by about half mile.