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Subject: Archive: Donald Gene Turnupseed, July, 1995

He crashed into James Dean
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Date Posted: Sunday, July 26, 12:17:43pm

American Folk Figure. He was the driver of the 1950 Ford Tudor that collided with a 1956 Porsche Spyder driven by the famed actor James Dean on September 30, 1955.

Turnupseed was a 23 year old college student at Cal Poly State University when driving eastbound on Route 466 (later renamed Route 46) when attempting to make a left turn onto Route 41, when he collided with Dean's Porsche traveling in the opposite direction, killing him instantly.

There was never an official finding of fault in the crash, however standard driving procedure would indicate that Turnupseed was at fault since he made the left in front of Dean. Dean was traveling at a moderate speed estimated to be around 55-60 mph on this isolated road, with the sun in his eyes. Turnupseed kept a low profile after the accident.

He lived almost 40 years after this accident, and gave only one interview, and that was a day after the accident, and that to his local paper. His family also helped shield him from reporters.

He ran a very successful electrical contracting business for most of the time since the accident before dying of lung cancer in 1995.

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Subject Author Date
James Dean's last words- "That guy's got to stop!" (NT).Monday, July 27, 04:43:21pm

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