Kokomo, IN City Bus And Train Collision, Jul 1935
WOMAN KILLED 8 HURT IN BUS CRASH.
CLOVER LEAF FREIGHT AND CITY BUS COLLIDE AT STREET CROSSING.
MRS. BELLE GRAY IS FATALLY INJURED IN TERRIFIC BUS CRASH AT SYCAMORE STREET CROSSING EARLY MONDAY EVENING; TWO OTHERS AMONG EIGHT VICTIMS HURT ARE REPORTED IN CRITICAL CONDITION; DRIVER OF BUS CROWDED WITH PASSENGERS SAID HE HAD NO WARNING OF TRAIN'S APPROACH UNTIL HE WAS ON TRACKS; ENGINEER DENIES TRAIN WAS MOVING AT EXCESSIVE SPEED.
One woman was instantly killed and eight other persons were badly injured in a terrific crash at the Clover Leaf railway crossing in West Sycamore Street shortly after 5 o'clock Monday afternoon when a city bus and a heavy freight train collided in a torrential downpour of rain.
MRS. BELLE GRAY, 53, wife of Dan Gray, 812 North Philips Street, was terribly injured and died within a few minutes after being carried unconscious from the shattered bus. Her left chest was crushed and she received a severe laceration of the head. It was believed that the chest injury was the cause of death.
List Of Injured.
The injured were:
MISS LORRAINE RISHER, 16, of 1311 West Sycamore Street, suffering from a brain concussion and shock. Most seriously injured but expected to recover.
MRS. JULIA RISHER, 1311 West Sycamore Street, mother of LORRAINE, severe head and side injuries.
MISS AGNES LINDLEY, 22, of 1715 West Taylor Street, scalp wound, injured back, lacerations and shock.
MRS. MARTHA FISHER, of 1026 South Webster Street, torn tendons in arm and shock. Her daughter, who was with her, was not hurt as was the street rumor.
FLORENCE CANFIELD, 12, of Fort Wayne, a guest in the FISHER home, severe laceration to head and body, shock.
MRS. ED THOMAS, of 912 North Leeds Street, bruises and lacerations.
MRS. MARK GARRISON, of 1516 West Walnut Street, bruises knees.
LEE BROMLEY, 24, of 311 North Western Avenue, cuts and bruises.
Following the terrific crash, there was a wild screaming and then a scene of indescribable confusion. Passing motorists rushed to the rescue and carried the injured to the small store of Clyde Washington at 1505 West Sycamore Street. Physicians were called and the store became a first aid station where quick emergency treatments were given as the ambulances roared up in the downpour of rain.
Train Was Hour Late.
The train was a heavy freight train, west bound, running about an hour late. It was train No. 43 Clover Leaf, and was in charge of Conductor Mike Rowan of Frankfort and Engineer
"Sandy" Sandlebaugh of Delphos, Ohio.
Engineer Sandlebaugh said he did not see the bus until almost the exact moment of impact. He said the bus whirled into the switch, threw the switch and then his train began bouncing all over the three sets of tracks spreading out of the switch block. The tender leaped the track and a heavy gondola loaded with steel swung sideways across all three tracks. The engineer said that with the heavy train behind him and the cars jumping over the rails he dared not apply emergency brakes or he would have piled up the whole train. He cut his engine free as quickly as possible and the train was stopped 687 feet from the point of impact.
Conductor Rowan, told the coroner, and a Tribune reporter, that the train was running at a rate of speed he estimated at 18 to 20 miles an hour. This statement was contradicted, however, by several witnesses who said that the freight was running at a high speed.
Bus Driver's Statement.
Roscoe Durrer, 29, driver of the bus, said that in spite of the heavy downpour of rain he could see down both sides of the track at least a block when he pulled up to the stop at Sycamore Street, and that he could see no train approaching. The passengers had raised all the windows in the bus to keep out the rain so that the glass was steamed and the view from the windows shut off, but Durrer said he had good visibility from his windshield.
Kokomo Tribune Indiana 1935-07-02