Shreve, OH School Bus And Train Crash, Jan 1930
7 BOYS KILLED IN BUS-TRAIN CRASH.
ALL MEMBERS OF BASKETBALL TEAM OF BURBANK HIGH.
EIGHT OTHER BOYS AND GIRLS INJURED AS TRAIN WRECKS BUS NEAR SHREVE.
TEAM AND ROOTERS JUBILANT OVER VICTORY CAUGHT IN CRASH AT GRADE CROSSING.
Wooster, Jan. 4. (AP) - Happiness of 16 high school boys and girls and of their coach over a basketball victory was believed today to have been the cause of the railroad crossing accident that last night resulted in the death of seven of the boys and made screaming victims of their companions.
Shouts and songs of the jubilant youngsters drowned out the warning scream of a speeding locomotive from the ears of the man who drove the bus in which they were riding and a moment later came the crash, investigators said.
Shreve Scene of Crash.
The tragedy occurred at Shreve, 10 miles south of here, when the bus load of boys and girls from the high school of Burbank, drove onto the tracks in the path of a plunging Pennsylvania Railroad mail and express train. All of the dead boys were between 14 and 18 years old and were members of their school's basketball team, returning with the happiness of having just defeated old rivals at Big Prairie, another nearby village.
The dead are:
WILBUR and FOREST GRUBE, brothers.
The most seriously injured were EDITH REPP, who suffered fractures of both legs and may die, and LOIS TALLEY, sister of the dead boy, who received a broken leg. The other injured, most of whom suffered nothing more serious than cuts and bruises are CHARLES PACKARD, DONALD LEHMAN, ALICE WEST, ELLEN COWHICK, GRACE FLORY, MAURICE LENZ, coach of the boys' teams, and JOSEPH BAKER, 59, driver of the bus.
Bus Carried 100 Feet.
The crumpled bus was carried down the track 100 feet and bodies were strewn four times that distance as the banter and gaiety of the youngsters was changed to shrieks. Ambulances were called from Wooster and raced periously over the ice-covered highway to take the injured to Wooster's two hospitals.
The bus driver, was overcome and unable to give any coherent explanation of what happened. He could not remember whether he stopped before climbing the incline to the crossing. The crossing at the hour of the accident - after 10 o'clock - is protected only by a bell and flash signal. Coach LENZ and those of the injured who were able to talk likewise did not know what occurred before the rushing train was upon them. Pennsylvania Railroad officials said BAKER apparently had not seen the train coming through the storm and started across directly in front of it.
Warning Bell at Crossing.
The investigators today said there was no signal light seen at the crossing but they were positive that the warning bell was ringing there and that the speeding train's whistle was sounded loudly as it approached the highway.
Although there have been but few other accidents at the crossing which is in the business section of the village, the crossing has been known to be dangerous. It has two tracks and the street crosses them on an incline. In addition the view of any approaching trains is somewhat obstructed by buildings.
The train that hit the bus was running westward about 45 miles per hour. Engineer F. F. Zick, of Crestline, was at the throttle.
Town In Mourning.
The tragedy hit hard at Burbank, a town of only 500 people. Everyone know the boys and girls on the basketball team and many had journeyed to Big Prairie to root for them. The rooters started home ahead of the players, who had to have time to change clothes, eager to tell how the boys' team had defeated their old enemies, although the girls lost.
Word of the accident traveled rapidly, however, and soon the hospitals and undertaking establishments here were filled with the better part of Burbank's residents, mothers and fathers rushing anxiously from place to place to find their sons and daughters. The rooters who had turned back were joined by many others who hastily started for Wooster when instead of accounts of the games they received the messages of death.
Three eye witnesses told Coroner Patterson that the bus slowed down as it approached the crossing but did not stop.
The Evening Independent Massillon Ohio 1930-01-04