Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Don Gonzalo dead after car crash

August 13, 1934

Infante Don Gonzalo, the fourth of son of former King Alfonso XIII, died this morning at 1 a.m., of injuries suffered in a motor accident at 7:30 last night in Austria.  His death was due to hemophilia, which the 19-year-old Infante suffered along with several other members of the former Spanish royal family.

Don Gonzalo was with his sister, Infanta Beatriz, who was driving her own car from Klagenfurt to drive along "the shore of the lake.   Outside the small village of Krumpendorf,  Beatriz overtook a bicyclist who was zig-zagging over the road.    She tried to pass the man  at a "moderate speed" when he "suddenly swerved" in front of the car.

In order to avoid hitting the young man,  the infanta was forced to "swing her car sharply to the right" and hit the walls of Krumpendorf castle.

At first, neither Infanta Beatriz nor her brother were injured.    She drove home, and Don Gonzalo went to bed.  Unaware of anything being wrong, King Alfonso went to the Park Hotel and Casino at Poertschach, about 10 p.m., and was told his son was unwell, and had gone home.

The King then called for a doctor. 

Although Don Gonzalo suffered no external injuries, his condition grew worse, and he died a few hours after the accident, due to an "internal hemorrhage following heart failure and an advanced stage of hemophilia."

King Alfonso issued a statement following his son's death:  "My son was suffering from hemophilia to such a degree the slightest shock was always liable to prove fatal."

The cyclist was Baron Neimans, a well-known German jockey.  He was not arrested, but remains at the "disposal of the police.

Countess Hoyos has confirmed that the Spanish royal family has been staying at her villa, where Don Gonzalo died.  She would provide no further information about his death.    Queen Victoria Eugenia, who is in Davos, Switzerland, has been informed by telegram of her youngest son's death.   She is now on her way to Austria.

The funeral will take place on Wednesday afternoon at Poertschach, where Infante Gonzalo will be buried.

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