Fackler, AL School Bus And Train Collision, Jan 1960


Fackler, Ala. (AP) -- A freight train knifed through a rural school bus Monday, spilling screaming children alongside the track and killing four of them. Eight others and the bus driver were seriously injured.
"The brakes gave out," said the driver, CHARILE BEAVERS, 50, at a hospital. "I never saw the train but it wouldn't have made any difference if I had."
The train, traveling about 55 m.p.h. on a straight track in clear weather, hit the bus at the mid-section, cut it in two, and dragged the rear part of the wreckage three-quarters of a mile beyond the dirt road crossing.
All of the 12 children and the driver were in the smashed front half of the bus. Some of the children who tumbled out landed in a water-filled ditch.
"I must have been knocked unconscious but I remember hearing the kids holler and I remember getting out of the bus. I started pulling them out of the water," BEAVERS said.
BEAVERS, who has been making this school bus run for farm children the past three years, said the brakes on the 1951 bus failed him several times recently.
E. G. THOMAS, SR., superintendent of Jack County schools, said the bus last was checked about 10 days ago and "was in good condition when it left the shop."
Two of the dead -- LEONARD BEAVERS, 12, and his brother, FOSTER BEAVERS, 16 -- were the driver's nephews.
Others killed were FRANCES CORBITT, 10 and her sister, MARY GRACE CORBITT, 8.

Kingsport News Tennessee 1960-01-19