Livingston, MT Auto Plunges Into River, Nov 1957



Livingston, Mont. (AP) - A mother and her four children apparently drowned about noon Thursday when their car plunged into icy Yellowstone River waters while they were en route to a Thanksgiving Day dinner.
Sheriff Fred White, Jr. identified those in the car as MRS. CHARLES WOODS, 26, and BETTY, 6, BRUCE, 4, and identical twins, JAMES and JOHN, 3. They resided at Big Timber.
It was first believed the husband and father, Charles Woods, 28, was also in the vehicle. However, Woods telephoned the Livingston sheriff's office about 9:30 p.m. Thursday and notified authorities he was not riding in the car which plunged into the river.
Woods telephoned authorities from Luther, Mont. Deputy Sheriff Wally O'Hair said he was told Woods was looking for a job and did not make the trip from Big Timber to the L. W. Swanson ranch south of here for Thanksgiving dinner.
The car apparently went out of control on an icy section of U.S. Highway 10 on the eastern edge of Livingston and plunged into the river, White said.
White said the car and the bodies of one of the twins and Bruce were recovered. Sub-freezing weather forced a searching party of 35 persons operating from shore and in boats to abandon efforts to recover the remaining bodies late Thursday night. The search will be resumed Friday morning, White said.
Visibility in the Livingston area was reduced to near zero about the time of the accident by strong winds mixed with snow.
Mrs. Swanson, an aunt, said the 3-year-old boys were identical twins.
There was no report of the accident until a woman passenger on a Northern Pacific passenger train told authorities at the Livingston depot that she saw a car submerged in the river. That was at 12:30 p.m.
Sheriff White said the car plunged into the river near a highway bridge not far from a railway bridge across the river.
Mrs. Woods was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Patterson of Billings.

Montana Standard Butte 1957-11-29