Clinton, WI Head On Collision Kills Five, Jul 1956




Five Rockford residents died instantly in a head-on collision of cars on Highway 15 east of Clinton at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The second worst accident in Rock County's history left six others in Beloit Municipal Hospital, with three listed as in critical condition Monday noon.
Cars of FRANCIS C. LONG, 66, of 722 King St., a Rockford undertaker and FRED TILLER, 27, of 1001 W. State at American Cabinet Hardware Co., collided head-on about 1 1/2 miles east of Clinton and less than 2 miles from the Walworth County line. All of those listed by authorities as "dead on arrival" suffered skull fractures or broken necks.

Few Details Known.
With one of the car owners dead and the other in critical condition, details of how the accident happened are not yet known, and it has been impossible to even establish for certain who the drivers were. Investigation was continuing today, with deputies visiting the injured in Beloit Hospital in an effort to complete their reports.
Killed in the crash were:
MRS. EMMA T. LONG, 66, wife of FRANCIS (FRANK) LONG, broken neck;
FRED TILLER, 26, skull fracture;
MRS. DOROTHY TILLER, 23, employed as a racker in the same plant with her husband, broken neck;
WAYNE TILLER, 4, one of their three sons, skull fracture;
MRS. GEORGIA HEAD, 24, 426 Winona Ave., Rockford, an expectant mother, broken neck.
The list of injured included:
FRANK LONG, fractured pelvis, chest injuries, condition critical;
MRS. JEANNE LONG, 30, 1317 Evelyn St., Rockford, his daughter-in-law, condition critical;
JAMES ROBERT LONG, 31, son of Frank Long and husband of Mrs. Jeanne Long, injuries to knees and elbows, shock, body injuries, condition fair;
FREDDIE TILLER, 3, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Tiller, bump on head, and ROY TILLER, 5, another son, fractured arm, cuts on the body, both in fair condition;
and EVERETT HEAD, 29, husband of Mrs. Georgia Head, critical condition.

Infant Only One Unhurt.
The only passenger in the tow cars to escape was FRANK D. LONG, 20 months old son of Mr. and Mrs. James Long. He was taken to the hospital but released when no injuries other than shock were found.
EVERETT HEAD was reported in the worst condition. He suffered crushing injuries to his head. MR. and MRS. TILLER were pinned in the front seat of their car by the legs, but their bodies were thrown out the sides. Their 5-year-old son was the only one thrown free from either of the cars.
While skid marks and other physical evidence at the scene was being studied and witnesses sought, the impression today was that the LONG car, eastbound, was driven into the west traffic lane and met the TILLER car head-on.

Trying To Pass A Car?
Deputy Coroner Richard McCaul, Beloit, said that he assumed that Long may have been attempting to pass another car, which was not involved in the crash, but that this had not been established. The Long car, a 1956 Chrysler, came to a stop partly across the north side of the highway. The Tiller car, a 1953 Ford, stopped on its wheels along the shoulder of the road on its proper side, and what appeared to be skid marks were traced on the pavement and shoulder. The cars hit so hard that they separated by about six feet.

Janesville Daily Gazette Wisconsin 1956-07-09