Yale University

In Memoriam

Gary Martin, Elon Peterson, Vincent Taus

Gary Martin
1964 Class Book

Elon Peterson
1964 Class Book

Vincent Taus
1964 Class Book

Three Timothy Dwight Seniors Killed Saturday; Car Smashes Into Milford Bridge Abutment

Martin, Peterson, Taus Die When Automobile Swerves Off Road

Yale Daily News
Dec. 9, 1963

Three Yale seniors were killed when their car slammed into a bridge abutment on the Connecticut Turnpike near Milford early Saturday morning.

Gary W. Martin, Elon W. Peterson, and Vincent V. Taus Jr., all residents of Timothy Dwight College, were pronounced dead on arrival at Milford Hospital.

A state police official said the Yale students probably died instantly when their white Impala convertible hit the supporting pillar of the Quarry Road overpass.

There were no skid marks, and the eastbound car had apparently traveled 100 feet on the median divider, police said.


This evidence led state police to believe that driver Martin had fallen asleep at the wheel.

The three seniors, close friends for four years, were returning from New York where they had been celebrating Peterson's twenty-first birthday.

The accident occurred shortly before 7 Saturday morning.

Policemen at the scene observed that the car's engine was pushed forward into the front seat and the steering wheel driven up into the windshield. In addition, the car's license numbers had been impressed on the pillar by the impact.

According to the New Haven Register, the car was loaded with food, clothing, records, dishes, and two card tables. A cake was found splattered against another pillar 20 feet away.

The death of the three seniors marked the fourth Yale traffic fatality in a week. Last Monday, an accident in St. Hyacinth, Quebec, claimed the life of Louis Tunick, 1964.

‘Fine Students'

Thomas G. Bergin, master of Timothy Dwight College, said that the students were "among the finest young men we have at the college."

Peterson, of Hopkins, Minn., was a philosophy major and planned to study for the Lutheran ministry. He was in charge of printing in Timothy Dwight College and was an editor of the college paper, the Town Crier.

Peterson was well known for his interest in poetry. Last spring, he gave a reading of his works at the Timothy Dwight Arts Festival. Peterson attended Hopkins, Minn. High School.

Taus, an English major, spent much of his time at Yale establishing tutoring programs for Negro youths. He founded such a program at the Community Baptist church, where 36 Negro boys are now being tutored. Taus lived in Salem, Ohio, and attended Salem High School.

The Rev. William B. Philpot, pastor of the Community Baptist Church, announced that a memorial scholarship will be established as a testimony to the contributions Taus made to the church and to the Negro community.

Memorial services were held for Taus at the Community Baptist Church yesterday afternoon.

Martin, of Plandome, N.Y., was an anthropology major. He demonstrated his proficiency in this subject by passing the anthropology comprehensive examinations in his junior year. He spent last summer in Mexico with an anthropological expedition.

Martin was also a member of the French Choir. According to his friends in Timothy Dwight, Martin had a wide range of interests and was contemplating graduate work in English. He attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill.

Funeral services will be held in the students' home towns. A memorial service is planned at Yale later in the week.

It has been suggested that students wishing to pay their respects to the families of the three students contribute to a fund designed to help meet the special needs of two of the families. Contributions should be sent to the Timothy Dwight Master's Office.