Holtville, CA Two Auto Collision, Dec 1968


Holtville (AP) - Eight persons, most of them teen-agers, were killed in a predawn auto collision on a stretch of highway near the Mexican border Wednesday. Two others were injured, one critically.
The toll included three men and three women from Mexicali, a Mexican community just south of the border. They apparently were laborers on the way to work in California Imperial Valley farmlands.
Two dead in the other car were from Fremont.
The highway patrol at El Centro said a southbound auto with three Fremont youths crossed the white divider line on Highway 115, slamming head on into the northbound auto from Mexicali. The accident occurred at 6:24, about 20 minutes before sunrise, two miles north of Highway 80 near Holtville in Imperial County.
All of the victims were pinned in the two vehicles and had to be extricated by rescue workers, police said.
Killed in the Fremont vehicle were RALPH DWAINE DANIEL, 18, and THEODORE WILLIAM RICE, 17. Police said DANIEL apparently was the driver.
VERNON SCHAFFER, 19, of Fremont, was in fair condition at Pioneer's Hospital in Brawley.
The lone survivor from the Mexicali car was JUAN MANUEL ABRIL-VASQUEZ, 19, in critical condition at the same hospital.
The dead were MIGUEL FLORES, 21; CARMEN ROMERO GONZALES, 15; EV PEREZ, 18 and SALVADOR M. LOPEZ and SAMUEL OZUNA, for whom no ages were available.
A third young woman was unidentified.
Police said FLORES apparently was the driver of the northbound vehicle. They said there was no evidence he took evasive action.

Independent Long Beach California 1968-12-19