Olanta, SC Two Auto Collision, Nov 1964


Olanta, S. C. (AP) - Seven members of a New York family and a Florida man died Thanksgiving morning when a car and a station wagon collided on a lonely stretch of U.S. 301 highway two miles north of Olanta. There were no survivors.
The accident occurred about 1:15 a.m. the New York family was riding in the station wagon and the Florida man, DEMETRIO JULIO CRUZ, 20, of Orlando, was driving the car. CRUZ was alone.
MR. and MRS. FRANK T. CURRAN of Bablyon, N.Y., their four children, and MRS. CURRAN'S mother, MRS. GENEVIEVE JACOBSON of the Bronx, N.Y., had left their homes Nov. 15 for a vacation in Miami. Apparently they were returning home when the accident occurred.
The four CURRAN children were identified by the Floyd Funeral Home in Olanta as FRANK, JR., 9; CHRISTOPHER, 7; JEAN MARIE, 5; and SCOTT, 1 1/2.
CURRAN was employed in New York as a bakery truck driver.
The pre-dawn wreck was the worst highway accident reported in the nation in the early hours of the Thanksgiving holiday.
H. S. Myers, a Florence County deputy sheriff, said the CRUZ car was southbound on the busy north-south highway. He said the CRUZ car apparently strayed into the part of the CURRAN station wagon, which was headed north.
Officers said six persons were dead when they arrived at the wreck scene. An adult and a child, neither identified, died a short while later at the McLeod Infirmary in Florence 25 miles north of Olanta.
Olanta is in Florence County in northeastern South Carolina, 70 miles east of Columbia.
Souvenirs and toys from the CURRAN family's Florida vacation were found strewn among the wreckage.

The Times Shreveport Louisiana 1964-11-27