Lebanon, IN Two Car Collision Kills Seven, July 1960
CRASH KILLS SEVEN.
Lebanon, Ind. (AP) - LECILE BRYANT, 31, Rt. 5, Anderson, one of three survivors of a shattering two-car auto accident in which seven were killed, was charged with reckless homicide Monday.
The charge was filed in Lebanon Justice of the Peace Court by Paul Johnson, Boone County prosecutor. Johnson said the charge was placed to hold BRYANT under bond until a grand jury can investigate the crash. BRYANT was reported in fair condition in Lebanon's Witham Hospital.
Included among the dead were a 25-year-old Anderson mother, two of her three children, and four members of a Rossville family.
Dead are: MRS. MILDRED BRYANT, Rt. 5, Anderson; her daughter KATHY, 8; and son RICKY DALE, 4; EUGENE R. and MARY BAILEY, ages 54 and 51; and their sons, JAMES, 19, and PHILLIP, 9.
MRS. BRYANT'S husband, CECIL, 31, who was driving their automobile, and a son, GARY, 7, and JOHN BAILEY, one of the BAILEY couple's sons who is 14, survived but were hospitalized in Lebanon. All were reported in fair condition yesterday.
A witness to the accident told state police at the scene, "One minute there was nothing, and then there was confusion. Cars were rolling and bodies were flying through the air."
Eight of the 10 persons involved in the two-car smash were thrown from the vehicles.
State police said the BRYANT, driving east on Rt. 47, failed to stop for a stop sign and drove into the path of BAILEY'S car. Witnesses estimated BRYANT'S speed at the time of the wreck at about 60 miles per hour.
BAILEY'S auto flipped over, skidded several feel on its top, and the roof was crushed to within inches of the seat backrests.
The impact sent the BRYANT car flipping over several times, finally coming to rest on its wheels against the side of a grocery at the intersection.
MRS. BAILEY and sons JAMES and PHILLIP were thrown from their car. MRS. BRYANT was catapulted from her spinning car and hurled head first against a house beside the grocery. MRS. BRYANT died instantly of a crushed skull and other injuries.
BRYANT and his daughter were also thrown to the pavement, and the little girl died of a broken neck, Boone County Coroner Jack Lenox said. All the deaths except KATHY'S were due to skull and compound body fractures, Lenox said.
Ivan Bailey, owner of the grocery store but no relation to the crash victims, told police, "I've been trying to get authorities to replace that stop sign with a flasher signal for years, but they ignore me."
State Police Superintendent Harold Zeis who went to the crash scene, said he believed most, if not all the deaths might have been prevented had the cars been equipped with safety seat belts.
BRYANT and his family resided on the Alvah Heath farm near Leach School northwest of Anderson, and Kathy and Gary attended school there. Bryant, a Heath farm employee, his wife and three children had left Sunday morning to attend a family get-together and reunion at Crawfordsville.
Madison County Commissioner Harold Foust, an acquaintance of the Bryant family, said Mr. Bryant had worked with a hay-bailing crew on the Heath farm Saturday. Bryant is a native of Tompkinsville, Ky., but had brought his family here from Boone County about five years ago.
The bodies of Mrs. Bryant and the two children were taken to the Myers Funeral Home in Lebanon but were removed to Tompkinsville, Ky., for burial.
The Anderson Herald Indiana 1960-07-19