Here is another great example. I found this brief news story from the early 1920's during my usual genealogy researching at the local historical library. It was very powerful and had the elements needed for Dave to live through.
Wayne County Democrat
MAN KILLED IN ACCIDENT NEAR DOWNING, MO.
Car goes over Embankment in dark—Drowns before help arrives—Brother Saved
Last Sunday night at eleven P. M. the car driven by two brothers went over an embankment near Downing, Mo.
From what we can gather it appears that the men had some car trouble and were on their way to Downing, when they saw the lights of another car, which stopped to let them pass at a bad place in the road. The lights of the car they were approaching were very bright and in trying to get past the other car they approached too close to the embankment and went over into the ditch—some twenty feet below.
Both men were caught under the overturned car in such a way that they were pinned down in the mud and water; one face downward, and the other on his back and in such a manner that neither could get out nor render any assistance to the other. The other car, driven by two girls, at once drove away to get help, leaving the man, who was with them to render what aid he could. However, no help arrived for forty-five minutes and by that time one man was dead.
And here is a portion of Dave's time travel where I used elements of the story and it became part of a longer chapter. The chapter also described other time travel's Dave endured, based loosely on real events.
Into the Future Chapter 29
I was sitting in the passenger seat of an old Ford sedan. The man driving the car, from what I could see of him was average build and that was about all I could tell in the dark. We were driving on gravel and he was trying to avoid the large ruts that stretched out before us on the dark rural road. It was obviously late evening because the moon was high in the night sky.
We both had our side windows down and the driver leaned out to adjust a spotlight mounted outside the window just to the left of the windshield. He angled it so that the beam hit closer to the front of the car. It appeared that we were driving without headlights; perhaps something was wrong with them; I had no idea but I could see that coming down the narrow road from the opposite direction was another vehicle and its headlights were very bright. They nearly blinded me.
“Damn it,” the man barked, “Marv, lean out there and check my clearance.”
I could see we were coming up on an embankment and what looked to be a small bridge and a creek running below. I did as he asked and leaned out my window to try and find the edge of the road as the other car approached.
“You’re too close!” I shouted. “Move to the left.”
He tried to do as I instructed but the right front wheel caught in a rut at the edge of the road. With no curb or shoulder it was a matter of seconds and the car went over into the ditch and then it was just nothing but a whirl of tumbling until we splashed to a jarring rest in the creek. I could see the headlights of the other car on the road up above us but as the moments ticked by no one seemed to be coming to our rescue.
The frigid water was numbing and I guessed it was probably forty degrees or less. I could feel the weight of the car on my legs and pelvis pressing me into the muddy soft bottom of the creek bed. I was pinned under the roof of the car; facing upwards and barely keeping my upper torso above water while I held onto the passenger side window frame. The driver of the car had tumbled out my same side of the car and was trapped beside me face down. I was situated in such a way that I was unable to get to him and I helplessly watched his arms flail as he frantically struggled to lift his head out of the water.
“Help him!” I shouted out but the effort of trying to get air into my lungs and make a sound caused me to lose my hold on the edge of the window frame and I went under and got a nose and mouthful of water before I was able to fight my way back to the surface and shout again. “Help him!”
The man was just a couple feet away from me but I couldn’t reach him without going under water myself. I lifted up and turned my head to get another look at him and in just those few moments time, his struggles had stopped and his arms were floating limply on the surface of the water. It was just then that a young man made his way down to us where we rest a good twenty feet below the roadway.
“I’m here. Go on!” he shouted and I could see the headlights of the other vehicle moving off.
The guy, who wasn’t more than a teenager, I decided, struggled to lift the car without any success and then quickly grabbed the driver by his hair trying to lift his head up at least to get his face out of the water but it was no use. He couldn’t lift him enough to get him above the water line.
He turned his attention to me and fell to his knees, bracing himself behind me and lifting my torso to keep me out of the water. My strength was all but sapped from the effects of the near freezing temperature and I was pretty sure I had a broken left arm. I relaxed and held onto the frame with just my right hand and let the boy hold me up to keep me from sinking into the water deeper as the car settled. I allowed my fractured left arm to float in the chill water and could feel my fingers growing numb.