Columbus, WI Auto And Truck Collision, July 1960


Columbus, Wis. (AP) -- An automobile and a canvass-topped truck carrying 22 migrant farm workers collided on a curve early today, pitching the truck upside down into a ditch. A total of 25 persons was injured, six of them seriously.
"The occupants were scattered all over the highway," said Dodge County Traffic Officer Alfred Gurske, who with Officer Vic Gershrke, were the first to reach the scene.
"The body of the truck fell on some of them," Gurske said. "Some were unconscious, some were in shock but there were those who knew what had happened," the officer said.
As soon as the injured could get up, Gurske said, they walked quietly while waiting for ambulances to take them to a hospital. "Some spoke softly, asking, 'When's the ambulance coming?'"
"There was no panic," Gurske said. He explained that the 22 migrants, from Jamaica, spoke good English and could understand directions.
Injured in addition to the 22 passengers, was the truck driver and two Wausau brothers in the car. The crash occurred just before 7 a.m. about three miles east of here on Highway 16. The auto struck the rear dual wheels of the truck, dumping it into a ditch. The brothers were taken to a hospital by passing motorists.
Four ambulances made two and three trips each to transport the workers to St. Mary's Hospital here. It took about 45 minutes to get them to St. Mary's.
Physicians immediately began to work on the most seriously injured. Others were given first aid and then waited in the halls for a complete examination.
The truck was taking the work-crew to a Van Camp Co. farm near Astico, about three miles
from the crash scene.
Among those listed as seriously injured was LARRY NEWMANN, 18, whose brother, DARYL, 19, was driving the car. DARYL suffered only minor injuries as did the driver of the truck, JOHN HASENFUSS of Columbus.

Stevens Point Daily Journal Wisconsin 1960-08-01