Vroman, CO Train And Truck Collision, Jun 1957
TRAIN HITS COLORADO TRUCK OF WORKERS, KILLING 12.
CONTRACTOR WAS TRANSPORTING AREA WORKERS.
Rocky Ford, Colo. (AP) - A Santa Fe Railroad freight train ground into a truck loaded with farm field workers Tuesday, killing at least 12.
Either five or six more were reported injured and taken to a Rocky Ford hospital.
The crash was west of Vroman, a farm settlement near Rocky Ford in southeastern Colorado's Arkansas River Valley. The scene was about six miles from Rocky Ford, center of a melon-growing area.
This was the second major truck-train crash in the United States in less than a week involving farm workers. Twenty persons were killed in an accident near Fayetteville, N.C., June 6.
Driver Among Dead.
One of those killed was the driver, SYLVESTER LIEANO of Rocky Ford, Jack Lee of Radio Station KBNZ at La Junta reported. No other names of victims were immediately available.
"Bodies, arms, legs and heads were strewn for a distance of 350 feet along the railroad right-of-way," Lee said.
The truck was crossing the tracks at the entrance of a farm a quarter-mile west of Vroman when struck.
Lee said he was told that persons in the truck apparently saw the train but either misjudged its speed or thought it was stopped.
Families In Truck.
Men, women and children were passengers in the truck, he said. The train was a 56-car eastbound freight with W. S. Inskeep of Pueblo, Colo., as its engineer.
Lee said it had not been definitely determined whether five or six persons were injured.
He said members of the train crew told him a passerby arriving before policemen picked up
"two or three of the injured" and took them to the hospital.
Meanwhile, the train with some of its crew injured, moved on to La Junta after the accident which occurred at 6:05 a.m.
Lee said the back end of the truck was torn off. The front end was hurled approximately 250 feet down the track. The truck was a three-quarter ton Chevrolet.
All Lived In Rocky Ford Area.
All members of the train crew lived in Pueblo. Lee said all those in the truck lived in the Rocky Ford area.
Lee said a farmer, Carl Nisselhuff, was killed at the same crossing about two years ago when his tractor and a train collided.
Two Slightly Injured.
Two of the injured were treated for bruises and released from the hospital. They are JOE D. LUCERO, 23, and BETTY LICANO, 13, a daughter of the truck driver.
They attributed their survival to the fact that they were the last two to board the truck.
Another daughter of the driver, ERMA LICANO, 17, was in serious condition with severe cuts.
ROSE LUCERO, 20, Joe's wife, also suffered severe cuts.
CHARLES LATHRUM, 14, suffered a broken arm and head injuries.
12 Dead Listed.
Names of the dead, some of which were supplied by LUCERO and BETTY LICANO and some from others, were listed as follows:
MARTIN LUCERO, 63, and his wife DELFINA, 57.
CLARA FLORA MAYNES, 56.
BARBARA MAYNES, 27.
MRS. ELIJIA GALLEGOS, 48.
MRS. MARGUERITA ARAGON, 45.
LEE FLORES, 27.
JENNIE BACA, 28.
FLORENZO LUCERO, 14.
MRS. LENA LOPEZ MADRANO, 50.
SYLVESTER LICANO, 53.
BEATRICE MADRANO, 36.
Greeley Daily Tribune Colorado 1957-06-11