Helena, AR Auto And Train Crash, July 1982


Helena, Ark. (AP) - A freight train slammed into a Cadillac at a gravel road crossing Friday, killing a woman, six of her grand-children and a neighbor. One child survived.
The Missouri Pacific Lines train was traveling at 48 mph when it hit the car about 9:30 a.m. at a crossing 14 miles south of here near Lake View, said State Trooper Jackie Speer.
"They just flat pulled up on the crossing," Speer said.
The crossing is on a dirt and gravel road, with no crossing bar, lights or bells, but has a standard sign, he said.
City officials have complained to the railroad about high weeds hiding the crossing and the lack of a light several times in the past year, Lake View Mayor Silas Dophin said.
The victims were identified as ALBERTA LONG, 52, who lives near the crossing, ALLINE WILLIAMS, 57, a neighbor, and six of MRS. LONG'S grandchildren.
The survivor also was a grandchild of LONG, Speer said.
The six children who were killed were identified as JAMES PITTS, JR., 9, and MICHAEL PITTS, 5, both of Augusta, Ga.; L.T. LONG, III, 5, SEAN LONG, 4, and twins CHRIS and CONNIE LONG, 2, all of Kansas City, Kan.

Journal and Courier Lafayette Indiana 1982-07-10