Monroe, MI Motorhome Crash Into Bridge, Jul 1975


Monroe, Mich. (AP) - A federal investigating team was scheduled today to begin probing into an accident Tuesday in which seven persons were killed and three injured.
The tragedy occurred when their motorhome slammed into a bridge abutment over Interstate 75 at Monroe and burst into flames Tuesday morning.
The victims were members of two families - one from Detroit and the other from Chicago - who had just started on a vacation trip to Florida, Monroe County sheriff's deputies said.
Killed were ESTHER WASHINGTON, 35, of Chicago, her two sons, LAWRENCE, JR., 13, and BRADLEY, 10, her daughter, LAURA, 7; and DOROTHY C. DURHAM, 52, of Detroit, and her two sons, BRIAN J., 14, and CRAIG T., 12.
The investigating team was assigned to look into the causes of the crash by the National Transportation and Safety Board.
The three survivors of the accident were the driver, LAWRENCE P. WASHINGTON, SR., 37, who was described in serious condition at a Monroe hospital; ROBERT DURHAM, 8, in critical condition at an Ann Arbor hospital; and KEITH DURHAM, 17, who was treated and released from a Monroe hospital.
Deputies said the motor home was burned down to the ground. The three survivors were thrown from the vehicle upon impact, deputies said.
Witnesses told officers the southbound motorhome began to weave back and forth, clipped the center guardrail and slammed into the bridge overpass abutment.
Traffic on the major northbound expressway was snarled for several hours by the accident, officers said.

Herald-Palladium Saint Joseph Michigan 1975-07-02