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« Updates to Marchbanks history | Main | My interview with Tommy Trader »

Details of 1957 death at Marchbanks

The Reno Evening Gazette published this short item on Cornelson's death on May 30, 1957.I know I'm behind on making updates to the main Marchbanks history, and will make those in the coming days.

But I wanted to add this quick note about a third death at Marchbanks Stadium/Hanford Motor Speedway.

You may recall in my interview with Gary Marchbanks that he mentioned a third death at the track, of which I had no knowledge. I previously had uncovered details about the deaths of Arlen Smith in 1956 and James "Red" Stainton in 1969.

Gary's recollection got me digging and on I found recently posted details of the death of Ernie Cornelson during a race on May 29. 1957.

According to the site, the 29-year-old from Los Angeles was Ernie Cornelson's gravestone at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier (Photo courtesy of Louis Mata)."killed instantly when his hardtop car crashed during the 330-lap "Little Indy" at Marchbanks Stadium."

The former Bakersfield resident rolled several times "after his car went out of control, slammed into a retaining wall and burst into flames. It was during the 148th lap of the race. The race was held up for an hour and 20 minutes." 

RELATED STORIES: Read more about Marchbanks Speedway and Hanford Motor Speedway in my Marchbanks section, including the regularly updated "History of Marchbanks Speedway, aka Hanford Motor Speedway."

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