Fort Madison, IA Auto Crashes Into Bridge, May 1959

FIVE KILLED WHEN AUTO HITS BRIDGE.

Fort Madison, Iowa (AP) - Five young people were killed when their car smashed into a bridge on Highway 61 south of here early today.
It was Iowa's worst traffic accident of the year.
Dead are:
LEONARD MARVIN HONEYCUTT, 18;
EDWARD E. BILLINGS, 16;
and PATRICIA ANN JONES, 17, all of Keokuk;
and ROBERT BRANCH, 22;
and NORINE CORNS, 18, both of Fort Madison.
They apparently were driving north toward Fort Madison from Keokuk when the car struck the one-way bridge five miles south of here, Deputy Sheriff Ralph Einstanjer said.
It was not immediately determined who was driving the car, a 1954 Ford, which was registered to Mrs. Violet Beatrice Branch, mother of Robert Branch, he said.
Four of the persons were killed outright. BILLINGS, who was thrown from the car and landed in Devils Creek, died at a Fort Madison hospital about an hour later.
MISS JONES and HONEYCUTT were pinned in the wreckage. BRANCH and MISS CORNS also were thrown out.
HONEYCUTT and BRANCH were servicemen home on leave. HONEYCUTT was stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C., and BRANCH at Ft. Hood, Tex.
A watch worn by one of the girls had stopped at 2:02. The force of the impact when the car smashed into the bridge knocked the motor from the auto.
In 1957, George Branch, father of one of the victims, was killed when his car struck a utility pole three miles south of today's accident.

The Times Record Troy New York 1959-05-26