Saluda, SC Car Crashes Into Bridge, July 1956


Saluda - A Walhalla couple and two of their young daughters were instantly killed near here early today in the crash of their car against the corner of a bridge over Moore's Creek. A third daughter was critically injured.
Those killed were WILLIAM M. BRANHAM, 43; his wife, VIOLA, 39; their daughters THERESA, 6, and ALICE FAYE, 2. The baby still had a bottle in her mouth when she died.
The other daughter EVANGELINE, 11, was taken to a Columbia Hospital.
State Highway Patrolman J. R. McGukin said apparently MRS. BRANHAM was driving the 1950 two door Dodge sedan. He said markings indicated two wheels of the car were off the highway on the shoulder for 135 feet. The car smashed into a corner of the bridge.
The accident occurred on highway 178, 11.5 miles below Saluda about 5:30 a.m. A resident nearby heard the crash and summoned the highway patrol.
The BRANHAM car was believed to be one of two en route from Walhalla on a vacation trip to Charleston. Harold Branham, another child, was reported in the front car driven by Ed Harden. The highway patrol and local officers en route were attempting to intercept this car and inform the occupants of the accident.
Saluda Coroner J. H. Jennings impaneled a jury to view the bodies but has not set a date for an inquest.

The Index-Journal Greenwood South Carolina 1956-07-21