Wall, SD Head On Crash Kills Nine, Aug 1956


Wall, S.D. - (U.P.) - Two weddings will be performed as scheduled Sunday, despite a pall of sadness thrown over the ceremonies by deaths of nine members of the wedding parties killed in a head-on collision near here Friday night.
The accident, worst in South Dakota highway history, snuffed out the lives of five members of one family traveling to Murdo, S.D., for one wedding and of four University of South Dakota students and graduates traveling to Rapid City for another.
Families of the principals in the two weddings said both would go on, but that the ceremonies would be quieted by the tragedy.

Only One Survivor.
The only survivor of the accident was ROSE MARIE CONGER, 7, Custer, S.D., whose parents, brother and two sisters died in the wreckage of their car. They were en route to Murdo to attend the wedding of Conger's niece, Sarah Wood, to Alfred Buxcel of Stamford, S.D.
All four occupants of the other automobile, traveling to Rapid City for the wedding of Mrs. Cleo Reed and Merle Karst, Miller, S.D., were killed. All were fraternity brothers of Karst and one, WALTER F. BARTLETT, was to have been an usher at the wedding.
Besides BARTLETT, victims in the westbound automobile were DAVID L. DAHL, Sioux Falls, S.D.; FLOYD FREDERICK FORBORD, Edgemont, S.D.; and DARYL WATTSON, Chamberlain, S.D. Wattson was 23 and the other three were 25.

In Another Accident.
The United Press learned Saturday WATTSON was the driver of a car involved in another fatal accident five months to the day before his own death. RICHARD REPPY, Le Mars, Iowa, was killed in that collision on a viaduct near Vermillion, S.D., March 24.
BARTLETT was believed driving the car Friday night. He recently had purchased the vehicle from Charles Mussler, Sioux Falls, who at first was tentatively listed as one of the victims.
Mussler said Saturday he spent a sleepless night after being called from a funeral parlor about the accident. He also was a former University of South Dakota student and a friend of the four victims.
Killed in the other car were MR. and MRS. THERON CONGER, Custer, S.D.; and their children, CHERYL, 9; DARRELL LEE, 6; and MARY JEAN, 4.
Members of the family said the surviving daughter, ROSE MARIE would be raised by her grandmother, Mrs. Laura Conger, Sanator, S.D. The girl was in serious condition at a Rapid City Hospital, but was expected to recover.

The Pantagraph Bloomington, Illinois 1956-08-26