Eureka, SD Head-On Collision Kills Nine, Jan 1958



Eureka, S.D. (UP) - Nine persons, including six members of one family, are dead as the result of a two-car head-on collision three miles west of Eureka just before midnight Wednesday.
Two other members of the family are hospitalized.
Dead are:
MR. and MRS. WALTER BECK, rural Eureka, aged 45 and 42 respectively;
their daughters, RUBY, 11, PRISCILLA, 4, and DORIS, 2;
and their son, HAROLD, 18;
also killed were MARVIN NEUHARTH, 18, of Eureka, who was one of the drivers, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ruben Neuharth;
CLYDE KREIN, 16, Eureka, son of Mrs. David Krein;
and LARRY WEIDMEYER, 15, Eureka.H
Hospitalized at Eureka with injuries believed not serious were WILBERT BECK, 16, a son of the dead couple, and MARY BECK, 6, a daughter.
The Beck family was in one car and Neuharth, Krein and Weidmeyer in the other.
It was a tie for the worst traffic accident in South Dakota history. Nine persons were killed in a two-car crash near Wall on Aug. 24, 1956. Eight persons died in a two-car, semi-trailer crash near Watertown, Sept. 24, 1940.
McPherson County Sheriff Irvin Mutachier said: "It
was the worst I've ever seen." He said eight persons probably died instantly. Weidmeyer died in a Eureka hospital about 7:30 this morning.
The accident happened about 10 minutes before midnight on a level, straight stretch of road on U.S. 10.
The Neuharth car was going west, the Beck's east.
The two cars apparently piled into each on the south lane of the road and the wreckage was strewn off the road.
Most of the bodies were found in a bloody mess in the wreckage, and only that of MRS. BECK was thrown out.
The Becks likely were en route home to their farm about nine miles south of Eureka. Identification of the Beck children was not immediately obtainable because every member of the family was involved in the accident.

Lead Daily Call South Dakota 1958-01-02