Joliet, IL Ten Vehicle Pile Up, Aug 1967
TEN VEHICLES PILE-UP AFTER MINOR CRASH ON INTERSTATE 55, FOUR DIE IN CAMPER.
'A CARLOAD OF PEOPLE WERE SCREAMING FOR HELP ...'
Joliet, Ill., (AP) -- "A carload of people were screaming for help. We took the worst first."
So reported GEORGE LAWSHE, a Channohon fireman who was one of the fire rescuers to reach the scene of a chain of accidents early Saturday that involved 10 vehicles, killed four persons and injured 16.
The series of crashes started about 5:40 a.m. CDT in a heavy fog in Interstate 55 seven miles south of Joliet.
MRS. HANNA B. RUNIONS, 61; MARLENE LOUISE RUNIONS, 18; MRS. MARY K. RUNIONS, 25, and her son by a previous marriage, JEFFREY TALLMAN, 3, lost their lives.
The pileups involved seven members of the RUNIONS family of Kansas City, Kan., and eight members of a LLOYD family of St. Louis.
Other lesser accidents occurred later on the four-lane highway that cuts diagonally across Illinois from St. Louis to Chicago.
State police gave this account of the sequence in the two northbound lanes:
It started with a minor collision. A car driven by ERWIN CHILDERS, 34, of Jacksonville, Ill., hit the rear of the auto of FREDERICK MALONE, 22, of Corona, N.Y. A car driven by JERRY SHAW of St. Louis bumped into CHILDERS' automobile.
PHILIP DE LISE stopped his car because of the accident. THOMAS DUNBAR, 47, of Springfield, Ill., halted his truck for the same reason.
HARRY WALTRIP, 50, of Decatur, Ill., whose truck had a cargo of flammable material, rammed into DUNBAR'S truck. The WALTRIP truck jacknifed.
LEE LLOYD of St. Louis, driving with his wife and six children, halted.
HAROLD BURNS, 32, of Bellevue, Ill., approached, and his truck plowed into WALTRIP'S truck. WALTRIP'S truck burst into flames.
Meanwhile, CHARLES RUNIONS, SR., of Kansas City, Kan., driving a camper, and his son, CHARLES, J., also of Kansas City, driving a car, had pulled up on the right shoulder of the highway.
Flames spread to the camper killing four of its occupants.
The RUNIONS were en route to Winfield, Ill., to visit relatives.
CHARLES RUNIONS, SR., and his namesake son were in St. Joseph's Hospital in serious condition.
Treated and released from the hospital were MRS. VIRGINIA RUNIONS, 42, wife of the senior RUNIONS; the LLOYDS; WILLIAM BENTZ, 23, of Kansas City, Kan.; DUNBAR; WALTRIP and YVONNE BENSON, 23 of St. Louis, who was hurt in the three-car accident that started it all.
BURNS was in serious condition at St. James Hospital in Pontiac.
Four persons hurt in one of the ensuing accidents, were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital later.
Southern Illinoisan Carbondale Illinois 1967-08-13