Unity, PA (near) Turnpike Collision Kills Five, Sep 1957


Pittsburgh (AP) -- Five persons were killed yesterday in one of the worst traffic crashes in the 17-year history of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
A westbound auto and a tractor-trailer collided head-on on the rain-slicked toll road about four miles west of the Pittsburgh Interchange near Unity, Pa.
Killed were a man, two women and two children. All were occupants of the car, which bore a California license plate.
State police said the car suddenly skidded across the medial strip directly into the path of the oncoming truck. The strip divides the highway's east and west lanes.
It was several hours before identify of all the victims was learned. As listed by state police and relatives, they were:
JOHN M. KELLY, 26, formerly of Gladstone, Ore.
HAZEL, 26, his wife.
SUSAN, their 11-month-old daughter.
KELLY'S sister-in-law, MRS. DONALD M. YOUNG, 22; and her 1 1/2 year-old daughter, PATTY.
Relatives said the KELLYS moved to New York two weeks ago and were to drive with MRS. YOUNG and the children to Cleveland to meet MRS. YOUNG'S husband. A telephone worker at Beaver Creek, Ore., YOUNG recently attended a communications school at Genoa, Ill.
The truck driver, identified as THURMAN D. KORNS, 27, of Stoystown R.D. 3, Pa., was not injured.
Gerrard Gilbert, assistant to the Turnpike commissioners, said in Harrisburg, Pa., he believed five is the greatest number of persons ever killed in a single accident on the superhighway.
Five women were killed in 1953 when a Greyhound bus sideswiped a tractor-trailer seven miles east of the Harrisburg East Interchange. In 1946 five persons also were killed when an auto hit a bridge pier.
Yesterday's tragedy occurred only three miles from the scene of another turnpike fatality earlier in the day. The victim was MRS. MARY MURRAY, 50, of Temple City, Calif.
Wrecking crews worked more than an hour before they were able to pull the wreckage apart with tow hooks and remove the bodies.
Evening rush hour traffice was tied into knots.
KORNS is an employe of Chicago Express Incorporated. He said he was bound from Beaver Falls to Bedford with a general cargo.

The Record-Argus Greenville Pennsylvania 1957-09-21