Rockton, WI Auto Collides With Oil Truck, Mar 1950
8 KILLED IN COLLISION NEAR ROCKTON.
SPEEDING AUTO CRASHES TRUCK ROUNDING CURVE.
ALL DEAD PACKED INTO CAR IN WAGON WHEEL CORNER TRAGEDY.
Rockford - (AP) - Eight persons were killed at 8:45 last night in the worst highway accident in Winnebago County's history.
All the dead were in a car which collided with an oil truck at "death curve" on Illinois Route 2 about ten miles north of here, at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant corner, near Rockton.
Willis Spring, 29, Monticello, Wis., who was driving the truck was not injured.
ROBERT RINEHART, 37, Rockford; his wife PATRICIA; their two children, a son five years old; and a daughter one year old; RAYMOND RINEHART, brother of Robert; JOHN RECOY; EDNA TAYLOR; and an unidentified middle-aged woman.
Spring, who was released after questioning by police, said the car smashed head-on into his truck. He was quoted by Coroner David Klontz as saying that the car was rounding the curve "very fast," ran off on the shoulder of the road then swung back into the truck.
Crash in Mid-road.
Spring said he was headed south at about 35 miles an hour at the time of the crash and that there "was no way to avoid it." The crash occurred in almost the exact center of the highway.
Klontz said ROBERT RINEHART was driving the car, a 1936 model.
Sheriff's deputies said the car was so badly jammed they had to use a wrecker in removing the bodies. Four had been jammed into the front seat and four in the back seat.
The car burst into flames at the impact, but Klontz said there was no evidence that any of the passengers died as a result of the fire.
All Badly Crushed.
Deputies said that none of the occupants of the car were tossed out in the crash.
All were horribly crushed to death. Most of the victims died from skull fractures and other crushing injuries.
Six of the occupants were dead when authorities reached the scene. A woman and a baby, rushed to Beloit Municipal Hospital, died there a short time later from crushing body and head injuries.
The truck is owned by the Badger Petroleum Co., of McFarland, Wis. Spring said he was en-route from Madison, Wis., to Peru, Ill.
Janesville Daily Gazette Wisconsin 1950-03-21