Oakland, CA Bus Crashes, Oct 1951


Oakland, Oct. 29. -- (UP) -- Seven persons were killed and 22 others injured yesterday when a Greyhound bus struck a dislodged piece of concrete, plowed through a guard railing and plunged 50 feet off a ramp on the Oakland approach to the San Francisco bay bridge.
East bay official agencies today began a formal probe into the mass tragedy.

S. M. Family Loses Kin.
One of the dead, MRS. MARGARET YOUNG, 37, of Silver City, Nev., was en route with her son, BILLY YOUNG, 14, to visit her brother-in-law, JACK A. YOUNG, of 30 Thirty-eighth avenue, San Mateo.
Witnesses said the bus was traveling between 50 and 60 miles an hour when it hit the chunk of concrete which had been knocked loose only three minutes before in an automobile accident.
The bus driver, VANE EDWARD ELSHIRE, 37, of Sacramento, immediately lost control of the speeding vehicle and it roared ahead, swaying and skidding as he fought to regain control.

Lands On Top.
The bus smashed through the heavy guard railing, rolled in a lazy half-turn in the air and landed on its roof on a concrete railroad ramp.
The impact ruptured a gasoline tank and fuel trickled out onto the concrete.
"Cut the motor ! Cut the motor !" a woman screamed.
"Do something; why doesn't somebody do something !" another shouted.
A crowd of 1000 persons gathered as police and firemen worked to remove the dead and injured.
Eleven ambulances rushed to the scene and removed the injured to four east bay hospitals.
During the rescue work, a Catholic priest intoned the last sacraments over the dead and critically injured.
Two heavy trucks were brought in and worked with jacks and a crane to lift the wreckage in order that victims could be removed.
The crash occurred at 5:22 a.m. (EST) yesterday. Police said a car driven by Boatswain's Mate ORVILLE RUSSELL, JR., 25, of Richmond, Calif., struck the abutment and knocked the chunk of concrete loose.
He was hospitalized in serious condition and his wife, LaVADA, said he had suffered a fractured skull while on navy duty in Japan and since then "his vision has been impaired and he has suffered blackout spells."
One of those who helped with the rescue work was S. Q. BRYANT, 22.
He said he heard a child crying and muttering, "It hurts so bad."
"I don't know when I've seen anything so bad," BRYANT said. "I helped four or five people including one lady who was lying on top of her son. She couldn't move and her son was crying, 'Mamma, I can't breathe.'"
GRANT HARSHBARGER, 14, Reno, Nev., was a passenger aboard the bus.
"The whole thing was just rocking, then the bus went up in the air and over backwards," he said.
The crash occurred only 30 minutes short of the bus' destination at San Francisco. The trip started at Salt Lake City, Utah.

Oakland, Oct. 29. -- (UP) -- Attendants at the Alameda county coroner's office and four Oakland hospitals -- Highland, Permanente, Herrick Memorial and Oak Knoll naval -- today released the names of the seven dead and 22 injured in yesterday's bay bridge bus crash.

The Dead
VANE EDWARD ELSHIRE, 37, the bus driver, of Sacramento.
VERNON H. SOMMERS, 21, of Nashville, Tenn., a navy airman stationed at the Alameda naval air station.
JOHN A. MAGNUSON, 67, of Vallejo.
MRS. EVELYN M. GREENASIEL, about 60, of San Francisco.
MRS. AGNES BAILEY, 56, of San Jose.
MRS. MARGARET L. YOUNG, 37, of Silver City, Nev.
MRS. AGNES MARY MAIN, about 60, of Bishop.
The Injured
VANCE ROBINSON, U.S. navy, of Puerto Rico, stationed at Treasure Island.
JERRY McCARTY, 21, U.S. navy, of Doyle, Calif., on leave from the USS Henderson.
TOM PERKINS, 45, of Richmond.
DONALD GROSS, 22, U.S. navy, of Oakland, crew member of the USS General Breckenridge.
BILLY YOUNG, 14, of Silver City, Nev.
AURELIO V. ANTONIO, 23, U.S. navy, of Conjus Cobanja, the Philippines, based at Pensacola, Fla.
GEORGE M. ROBINSON, 55, of Los Angeles.
FRANK E. ROBBINS, 35, of San Francisco.
GRIFFITHS GOHEEN, 48, of Oakland.
DON PRESLEY, 22, of Fair Oaks.
ARTHUR BAILEY, 56, of San Jose.
MINNIE E. TURNER, 56, of Berkeley.
HELEN GREENASTEL, about 30, San Francisco.
LEE E. WILLIAMS, 26, of Oakland.
FRED O. BRIDGES, 21, U.S. navy, of Sanford, Fla., en route to base at Coronado.
Second Lt. JOHN R. HABER, 24, U.S. air force, of Camp Stoneman.
HELEN G. SMITH, 30, of Vallejo.
ROBERT ARMSTRONG, 27, of Alameda.
HARRY BERGER, 65, of San Francisco.
THEODORE SAVVA, 45, of San Leandro.

San Mateo Times California 1951-10-29