Sandusky, OH (near) Ohio Turnpike Crash Kills Seven, Nov 1958



Head-on crash of two cars on the Ohio Turnpike, seven miles west of the Sandusky-Norwalk interchange, wiped out an entire Jamestown, N.Y., family of six and took the life of a passenger in the second car involved.
Highway patrolmen said the crash occurred shortly before midnight Friday when a car driven by JOHN M. HINES, JR., 45, Detroit, traveling east in the westbound traffic lane, struck an auto being driven by GEORGE BENTLEY, 32, Jamestown, N.Y.
All occupants of the BENTLEY car were killed. They included MR. BENTLEY, his wife, DELLA, 29, and the couple's four children. The children were identified as LAVERNE, 14; NORMAN, 12; DERRICK, two years old and DARREN, seven months old.
The accident also claimed the life of MRS. CLAUDIA BROOKS, 45, a passenger in the HINES car.
Investigating state highway patrolmen described the accident as the worst in the three-year history of the Ohio Turnpike and one of the most tragic in the annals of Ohio highway crashes.
Three of the victims were pronounced dead on arrival at Fisher-Titus Hospital, Norwalk, while four were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash by Dr. Jack L. Walker, Erie County Coroner.
HINES was admitted to Fisher-Titus Hospital, where he is reported in fair condition. Reports from the Castalia Post of the highway patrol stated that HINES was to be questioned today in an effort to learn details of the tragedy.
Patrolmen said that it was not as yet determined how HINES entered the westbound lane of traffic. Skid marks at the scene of the crash indicated that neither driver was aware of the danger until just before the cars collided, a patrolman reported.
Demolishing of the cars was so complete, that one had to be carried from the scene, rather than towed.
Highway patrolmen reported finding a toll ticket in the HINES car which showed that he had entered the turnpike at the Stoney Ridge interchange at Toledo. This would indicate that he had been proceeding in the eastbound traffic lane when he entered the turnpike. Officers said they were at a loss to explain how the HINES car entered the westbound traffic lane.
The victims were taken to the Kubach-Smith Funeral Home, Norwalk. A report from the funeral home stated that the bodies of the BENTLEY family are to be taken to Falconer, N.Y., for services and burial. Arrangements for MRS. BROOKS have not as yet been announced.

The Sandusky Register Ohio 1958-11-08