Rawlins, WY (near) Head On Collision, Jan 1956


Rawlins, Wyo. (AP) - Seven persons died as a result of a head-on collision late Thursday near the Continental Divide on U.S. 30, about 26 miles west of Rawlins.
Only one person, 30-year-old GEORGE RAY PAULI, driver of one car, survived. He was reported in satisfactory condition at a Rawlins Hospital.
Three occupants of the eastbound car driven by PAULI apparently died instantly. They were MRS. LELA CAGLE and her two children, KATHY, 4, and DAVID, 2.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol reported Friday morning MRS. CAGLE'S parents were being driven to Rawlins in a patrol car. Their car broke down as they drove from Colorado to Rawlins.
All four occupants of the westbound car bearing California license plates were killed. They were identified as:
Navy Seaman JAMES C. MARTIN, about 23, of Oldstown, Florida;
his wife, VIRGINIA, 20;
their son, WILLIAM EDWARD, 17 months;
and MRS. MARTIN'S sister, LUCILLE ELAINE TOWNSLEY, 19, of Powell, Wyo.
MARTIN is survived by his mother, Mrs. Edna Shoemaker of Oldstown.
He met his wife while in Powell on leave with sailor friends two years ago. MARTIN is stationed at San Diego, Calif., and was to be shipped out as soon as he returned from leave.
The MARTINS were en route to Florida for a vacation.
The TOWNSLEY girl is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. Orville Townsley of Powell, and twin sisters, Pauline and Paulette, 13.
MISS TOWNSLEY died in a Rawlins Hospital about 12:30 a.m., and the MARTIN baby died in an ambulance en route to the hospital.
Patrolman James Eastman said the PAULI car apparently skidded on an icy stretch of pavement and was struck broadside by the California car. The vehicles were virtually welded together, he said.
The tragedy occurred at dusk one mile east of the Continental Divide. The highway at that 7,200 feet altitude is icy and snow-covered in spots.
Wyoming's traffic death count stands at 12 for 1956, compared to five on this date last year.

Greeley Daily Tribune Colorado 1956-01-27