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Warren Commission Report: Page 52« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER II - THE ASSASSINATION)

I was startled by the sharp report or explosion, but I had no time to speculate as to its origin because Agent Youngblood turned in a flash, immediately after the first explosion, hitting me on the shoulder, and shouted to all of us in the back seat to get down. I was pushed down by Agent Youngblood. Almost in the same moment in which he hit or pushed me, he vaulted over the back seat and sat on me. I was bent over under the weight of Agent Youngblood's body, toward Mrs. Johnson and Senator Yarborough.178


Clifton C. Carter, riding in the Vice President's followup car a short distance behind, reported that Youngblood was in the rear seat using his body to shield the Vice President before the second and third shots were fired.174


Other Secret Service agents assigned to the motorcade remained at their posts during the race to the hospital. None stayed at the scene of the shooting, and none entered the Texas School Book Depository Building at or immediately after the shooting. Secret Service procedure requires that each agent stay with the person being protected and not be diverted unless it is necessary to accomplish the protective assignment.175 Forrest V. Sorrels, special agent in charge of the Dallas office, was the first Secret Service agent to return to the scene of the assassination, approximately 20 or 25 minutes after the shots were fired.176

PARKLAND MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

The Race to the Hospital

In the final instant of the assassination, the Presidential motorcade began a race to Parkland Memorial Hospital, approximately 4 miles from the Texas School Book Depository Building.177 On receipt of the radio message from Kellerman to the lead car that the President had been hit, Chief of Police Curry and police motorcyclists at the head of the motorcade led the way to the hospital.178 Meanwhile, Chief Curry ordered the police base station to notify Parkland Hospital that the wounded President was en route.170 The radio log of the Dallas Police Department shows that at 12:30 p.m. on November 22 Chief Curry radioed, "Go to the hospital--Parkland Hospital. Have them stand by." A moment later Curry added, "Looks like the President has been hit. Have Parkland stand by." The base station replied, "They have been notified." 180 Traveling at speeds estimated at times to be up to 70 or 80 miles per hour down the Stemmons Freeway and Harry Hines
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