Phoenix, AZ Train And Auto Collision, Dec 1956
12 DIE IN CAR-TRAIN TRAGEDY.
Phoenix, Ariz., Dec. 17 - (INS) - The death toll in the collision of a speeding Southern Pacific railroad train with a jalopy loaded with 13 persons at a Phoenix grade crossing rose to 12 today when police found the body of a two-year-old boy in the bushes along the tracks.
Only survivor of the tragic accident - the worst in Arizona history - was an 18-month-old infant who is in critical condition at Maricopa County Hospital.
Investigating officers said the bodies of three other children, five men and three women were found strewn along a gulch beside the tracks. Two bodies have been identified as JUAN ALIRES and LEROY JOHNSON. The completely demolished automobile bore California license plates.
Officers continued attempts to identify the other bodies at the county morgue this morning.
A Southern Pacific investigator, A. C. Burns, said the train - the Golden State Limited bound from Los Angeles to Chicago - was traveling about 75 miles per hour when it struck the car. None of the passengers aboard the train was injured nor did trainmen realize there had been an accident until the streamliner reached Union Station in Downtown Phoenix.
Burns told police a piece of a car fender and bits of flesh were found on the train's undercarriage.
The crossing, at 35th Avenue just inside the city limits, is marked only by a wooden criss-cross railroad sign without a flashing red light.
Police theorized the occupants of the 1935 Chevrolet were returning from a nearby drive-in movie when the accident occurred.
Corsicana Daily Sun Texas 1956-12-17
List Of Casualties:
JUAN ALIRES, SR., 59.
JUAN ALIRES, JR., 21, and VICTOR ALIRES, 28, his two sons.
CLARA ALIRES, JR., 21, Juan Jr.'s wife.
SOPHIE ALIRES, 28, Victor's wife.
MICHAEL ALIRES, 8 months old, Victor's son.
STEPHEN and DAVID ALIRES, ages 11 and 7, sons of Juan, Sr.'s daughter, Cecilia, who was not in the death car.
BOBBY ALIRES, 3, son of Juan, Jr.
LEE ROY JOHNSON, 36.
JOHNNY MASSEY, 36.
ELVIRA MARY CLINE, 36.
CRUCITA ALIRES, 18-months-old girl, in critical condition with a skull fracture.