Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Turnupseeds in:
 • Tulare Cemetery
 • Tulare
 • Tulare County
 • California
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Donald Gene Turnupseed
Birth: Apr. 18, 1932
Tulare County
California, USA
Death: Jul. 13, 1995
Tulare County
California, USA

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. However Dean's excessive speed (up to 150 MPH) on this isolated road, with the sun in his eyes (the crash happened around sunset time, with Dean driving west and sun sets in the west) are also contributing factors. 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 reporters. He ran a very successful electrical contracting business for most of the time since the accident before dying of lung cancer in 1995. (bio by: Steve-Oh) 
Family links: 
  Harley E. Turnupseed (1903 - 1977)
  Ruth Charlotte Bunch Turnupseed (1906 - 1991)
  Mollie M. Turnupseed (1919 - 2005)
Tulare Cemetery
Tulare County
California, USA
Plot: Section Southeast 2, Grave 582
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Steve-Oh
Record added: May 18, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 10990655
Donald Gene Turnupseed
Added by: Steve-Oh
Donald Gene Turnupseed
Added by: Nikkita Lee
Donald Gene Turnupseed
Added by: Scott Michaels
There is 1 more photo not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- James Stalcup
 Added: Oct. 10, 2015

- Brandon Burns
 Added: Oct. 10, 2015
Sixty years ago today...
 Added: Sep. 30, 2015
There are 191 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (3.4 after 78 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service