Liberal, KS Moving Van And Two Auto Crash, Aug 1968


Liberal, Kan. (AP) - Seven persons were killed and two others were injured Saturday as a big moving van skidded sideways into two oncoming cars on rain-slick U.S. 54 northeast of Liberal.
The crash killed all five members of the RALPH W. TATE family as they were returning to their Oklahoma home from a vacation in Missouri.
Also killed were an Army officer and his infant son, and his wife was critically injured.
The officer was stationed at Ft. Bliss, Tex. His name was withheld.
The truck driver, FRED K. CARTER, 48, of Seffner, Fla., suffered cuts and bruises. He was driving for the North American Van Lines, Fort Wayne, Ind.
The TATES' 10-year-old station wagon slammed clear through the empty moving van, emerging on the other side. The left side of the station wagon was sheared off, and the right side of the Army man's car was torn off.
The truck tractor came unhitched, went into a ditch, overturned and stopped on its wheels.
TATE, 41, was a driver for the C. & M. Trucking Co., of Liberal. His home was three miles south of Liberal, just over the line in Oklahoma.
Their car was driven by MRS. FLORENCE F. TATE, 39, whose body was pinned in the wreckage until two tow trucks pulled the car apart. Others in the family were JERRY W. MULLER, 15, son of Mrs. Tate by a previous marriage; CHARLES E. TATE, 3, a son, and EDITH M. TATE, 6, a daughter.
Trooper Vernon Schlegel of the highway patrol said CARTER told him he lost control of the truck on the wet pavement and it skidded sideways into the two cars, which were both traveling southwest.
The accident occurred just west of the bridge over the Cimarron River.

The Sedalia Democrat Missouri 1968-08-11