Fayetteville, TN Auto Crash Into Abutment, July 1962


Fayetteville, Tenn. (UPI) - Tragedy ended the vacation of an Alabama family Saturday when their car slammed into a bridge abutment near here, killing four adults and three children.
The Tennessee highway patrol said an automobile registered to one of the victims, DONALD LEE RUSSELL, 23, of Albertsville, Ala., hit the bridge "at a high rate of speed" on U.S. 431, seven miles north of here. The bridge is on a straight stretch of the highway, and the weather was ideal for driving according to the patrol.
The others killed were identified as RUSSELL'S wife, MERVIL RUSSELL; his mother, MILDRED L. RUSSELL; his sister, FRANCES OGLE, 27, and three children.
The children were tentatively identified as RUSSELL'S son and daughter and the son of FRANCES OGLE.
The family was returning home from a vacation to Chicago, and the highway patrol theorized the driver of the car, a woman, was lulled to sleep by the sun. The tragedy took place at 9:10 a.m. and officers believed the family had been on the road all night.
The crash was heard by a boy living nearby who said he did not witness it. Six persons died instantly, and the seventh died a few minutes after she was brought to a hospital here.
Investigators said there appeared to be no mechanical defects in the car prior to the accident and the tires were good.

Kingsport Times-News Tennessee 1962-07-15