Oak Park, IL Train - Auto Wreck, Dec 1928

Two Families Wiped Out as Train Strikes Auto

Driver at Oak Park Crossing Blinded By Driving Rain, Doesn’t See Train

(By United Press)
Chicago, Dec. 27.-Down from the north sped a Soo Line passenger train. The bell at the Oak Park grade crossing clanged a warning that the gates were about to descend.

Suddenly onto the tracks through a blinding rain storm shot an automobile loaded with seven persons. There was a crash as the cowcatcher of the locomotive struck the car amidships.

A hundred yards ahead its brakes grinding sparks from the wheels, the train came to a halt. Joseph Baherty, the crossing watchman, hastened down the tracks.

Boy May Die

In the wrecked tonneau of the automobile and along the right of way of the Chicago Great Western railroad tracks, lay the bodies of two mothers, two fathers and two children. A four-year old boy was still alive and was taken to Oak Park hospital where he probably will die. The others were taken to a morgue.

There the dead were identified as Mr. and Mrs. HALVER OLSON; Mr. and Mrs. HENRY OLSON, the latter’s seven years old son, and the former’s 11 years old daughter.

En Route Home

The four years old boy was said to be ROBERT, another son of HENRY OLSON.

The families were enroute back to their homes after attending a three day Christmas celebration with relatives.

Police took the crossing watchman into custody for questioning. He said he believed HENRY OLSON’S attention had been diverted by another motorist who raced across the tracks just in time to miss the train.

Decatur Evening Herald, Decatur, IL 27 Dec 1928