Xenia, OH Train-Automobile Wreck, Mar 1959


Courier Journal newspaper, Louisville, KY - Thursday 19 March 1959

8 Girl Scouts, 2 Women Die At Crossing

Station Wagon Collides With Pennsy Freight

By The Associated Press

Xenia, Ohio, March 18 - A Pennsylvania Railroad freight train rammed a car at a crossing near here Wednesday and killed all 10 occupants. The victims were eight Girl Scouts and the mothers of two of them.

An auxiliary fireman, the father of one of the children, poked through the wreckage picking up the dead and dying, unaware that his daughter was one of the victims. Then Kenneth Ward recognized what was left of the car and found her body.

The dead all lived in Beavercreek Township, a suburb midway between Xenia and Dayton.

Six Victims Died Outright

Six victims died outright and three were dead on arrival at Greene Memorial Hospital here. The 10th victim, 11-year-old Anna Wilvert, lived almost 3 hours after the incident.

The other girls, all aged 12, were Ann North, Patricia Lapinski, Sharon White, Cindy Moorman, Connie Laprise, Linda Ward, and Paulnetta Randall.

The two women were Mrs. Lucille White, 44, mother of Sharon and driver of the car, and Mrs. Jeanette Randall, 39, mother of Paulnetta.

All were returning home from the Greene County District Library, where the girls had been studying for the reader merit badges in the Girl Scouts.

State-highway patrolmen said the car was carried 50 feet down the track and Mrs. White's body was 75 feet beyond that. Partolman J. W. Smith said four bodies remained in the vehicle.

W. R. Murray, engineer of the three-disel express freight, was quoted by the railroad as saying he saw the car pause before coming onto the tracks. The car had to come over a rise which made the train hard to see.

Patrolman Smith said his investigation disclosed that the train was traveling between 60 and 70 mph.

The crossing does not have flasher warning signals, only a crossbar railroad sign.

The accident happened about 3 1/2 miles west of Xenia at the edge of the small community of Alpha.

*Find A Grave Memorial #44708858 for Anna Katherine North