Alamosa, CO Truck And Auto Crash, Aug 1960
COLORADO HIGHWAY CRASH KILLS EIGHT RESIDENTS OF GRANTS.
Compiled From Journal Wires.
Alamosa, Colo. - A 3-month-old baby found lying on the pavement was the only survivor in a car containing nine persons which crashed head-on with a truck Thursday at midnight in Colorado's worst highway wreck in many years.
The baby was TAMMY COLE, daughter of MRS. AUDREY EILEEN COLE, of Grants, N.M. who was identified by the Colorado Highway Patrol as driver of the new compact car.
MRS. COLE also apparently was thrown to the pavement by the crash impact.
The other sever persons in the car were imprisoned inside it. All were killed almost instantly.
They were MRS. HARRIETT CHARLENE MARTIN, 20; her two children, YOLANDA LYNN, 19 months old, and WILLIAM FRANK, 3 weeks old; and DAVID, 7; PATTY, 5; DEBBIE, 3; and CINDY, 2; all children of MRS. COLE.
All the victims were residents of Grants.
The two fathers, James Cole, 38, and William Martin, 30, are employees of Kermac Neuclear Fuels Corp., a uranium mining firm. They were in Grants at the time of the accident.
The baby was brought to a hospital at Alamosa where her condition was reported fair despite head and arm injuries.
Also in an Alamosa hospital were the truck driver, 35-year-old FLOYD HOGAN of Bentley, Okla., and a passenger in the truck, CHARLES L. ROBINSON, 37, Climax, Colo. Their condition was reported good.
The compact car was headed south on Colorado Highway 17, along the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley. The truck was northbound. The crash occurred 23 miles north of Alamosa. The Colorado Highway Patrol fixed the time as 11:45 Thursday night.
HOGAN said he was driving on his side of the highway when "all of a sudden she turned in front of me." He said the car was "no more than 30 feet in front of me when it suddenly swerved."
Robinson estimated the truck's speed at 50 miles an hour.
"Everything seemed all right," Robinson said. "We could see the car's lights. They were on the right side of the road when suddenly something happened to the car. It was right there."
May Have Slept.
Cpl. Jim Hughes of the state patrol said MRS. COLE'S car was on the wrong side of the highway at the point of impact and her car was traveling between 65 and 70 miles an hour. The speed limit where the accident occurred is 70.
Hughes set the truck's speed at 50 to 55. He said there was a possibility that MRS. COLE went to sleep while driving.
Officer William Worker, who arrived about 30 minutes after the accident, said it was the worst sight he had ever seen. The small automobile was spun around by the impact with the two-ton truck and was facing the opposite direction. The car was "crushed, like an accordion," according to an ambulance driver.
The women had taken their children to Walden, Colo., where the women formerly lived, and were returning to Grants after visiting relatives.
Albuquerque Journal New Mexico 1960-08-20