Flagstaff, AZ Bus And Auto Collision, Apr 1951


Flagstaff, April 11 (AP) - Seven persons were killed and one critically injured 35 miles east of here on U.S. Highway 66 today in the head-on collision of an automobile and a converted bus.
Six of the dead were mangled in the passenger car. All were believed from Oklahoma.
The bus driver, JOSEPH WILLIAM WEST, of Larned, Kan., was critically hurt. A woman passenger, tentatively identified as his wife, was killed.
State highway patrolman Don Welker of Winslow said the driver of the car, identified as JOE CHERRY of Comanche, Okla., apparently went to sleep at the wheel.
Also killed in the car were his wife, BONNIE RHEE, 24, a woman believed to be her sister, MRS. FRED PECK, JR., of Lawton, Okla., and three children.
In Comanche, friends said MR. and MRS. CHERRY and family left two weeks ago on a trip to California. They were scheduled to return about this time.
Sheriff J. Perry Francis said the crash was one of the worst highway accidents he'd investigated. The WESTS were driving in a school bus which had been converted into a house-car. Patrolman Welker said the vehicle had been in its correct lane, but the passenger car had swung over.

San Bernardino County Sun California 1951-04-12