Safford, AZ Two Car Crash Kills Seven, May 1961


Safford, Ariz. (AP) - A splintering two-car crash on a desert highway killed seven persons and injured one Thursday night - including six teenagers going to a high school graduation dance.
The tragedy stunned this southeastern Arizona town of about 4,500.
A crowd of about 200 gathered at the Safford Hospital - where the injured and dying were brought - and later at funeral homes.
The Arizona Highway Patrol said the youngsters - seven in a car - pulled out from a dirt road onto U.S. Highway 666 about 10:30 p.m., and were hit by WAYNE WAMSLEY, 33, Pima, Ariz. WAMSLEY, a farm equipment operator, was killed.

Driving 70 M.P.H.
Highway patrolman Everett Hall estimated WAMSLEY'S car was traveling at about 70 m.p.h., the other car was going at low speed. He said he could not determine whether the youngsters' car had stopped before turning onto the highway.
The youngsters had just attended the Safford High School graduation of schoolmate JERRY GOODMAN, 17, son of Graham County assessor Bob Goodman.
They were driving to an Elks' Club dance in Jerry's sedan when they collided with WAMSLEY'S car.
The other dead were WADE WEST; IVAN BRYCE ALLEN; JOAN ROBINSON; BERTA BIGLER and KAY FYFIE. All were 17 - but JERRY GOODMAN was the only graduate in the group.
The only survivor in the teenagers car, JOHNNY JOHNS, 17, was hospitalized with minor injuries.

Gettysburg Times Pennsylvania 1961-05-26