Columbia, MO Head On Auto Crash, Aug 1959


Columbia, Mo. (AP) - Two cars smashed head-on last night in a rending crash that killed 11 persons, a record toll for an automobile accident in Missouri.
Eight others were injured in the two cars. Six of the dead were adults and five were children.
Three other persons were shaken up. They were in a third car that skidded into the wreckage eight miles east of Columbia on U.S. Highway 40.
One wrecked car was owned by G. W. EDDY of White Hall, Ill., and the other by LEROY THOMPSON, 31, of Richmond, Mo.
Officers struggled through the night trying to identify the victims. Bodies and personal belongings were so tangled and scattered it was impossible to tell how many and who were in each car.
The injured in Boone County Hospital were either hurt too badly or were too young to help with identifications.
Slowly, by contacting relatives at Richmond and in Illinois, the highway patrol began writing the casualty list.

Identified Dead.
Tentatively identified as dead:
BILL EDDY, JR., 27, White Hall, Ill.;
MR. and MRS. GUS EDDY, his parents;
The highway patrol said the dead also included THOMPSON'S mother and six THOMPSON girls, all cousins. (Names not available).
The tentative list of injured:
JUDY EDDY, 17, White Hall, critical;
Unidentified Girl;
Four boys, all with last names of THOMPSON - RUSTY, about 5, WAYNE, about 8, ROGER, about 6, and VERNON, about 7.

Fourteen In Car.
The patrol said information it pieced together indicated there were 14 persons in the THOMPSON car and five in the EDDY automobile.
The injured at the Boone County Hospital included THOMPSON, a woman and six children.
At Richmond, friends said THOMPSON, his wife, JESSIE, 33, and eight of their children had started to St. Louis on vacation.
The crash occurred on a flat, straight section of road in clear weather.
The highway patrol quoted a witness as saying one car went off the shoulder, swerved back across the pavement and hit the other one head-on.
Motors of both cars were driven back into the front seats. The EDDY car stopped on the shoulder and the THOMPSON car halted on the pavement.
The third car, occupied by Jerome J. Gautner, 50, Pilot Grove, Mo., his wife and their daughter, bumped into the wreckage. The Gautners were not hospitalized.

The Times Record Troy New York 1959-08-17