Burnham, IL Auto And Train Collision, Jun 1953

TRAIN SLICES AUTO IN HALF; SEVEN KILLED.

FOUR WOMEN AND THREE CHILDREN PERISH AS PASSENGER TRAIN PLOUGHS INTO AUTO AT BURNHAM, ILL.

Chicago (UP) - Four woman and three children were killed and another woman and child seriously injured when a Michigan Central passenger train sliced their auto in half at a crossing in nearby Burnham, Ill.
The dead were taken to the Cook County Morgue where relatives identified them.
The passenger train, the Canadian-Niagara was delayed 55 minutes but none of the crew or passengers were hurt. It was bound for Detroit.
The crowded automobile was dragged 150 feet after the crash.
The two survivors, both in "critical condition," were taken to St. Margaret's Hospital in Hammond, Ind. They are VIRGINIA WAJINEZ, 20, and DAVID SAKAIA, 4, whose mother was among the dead.
The dead were: MRS. IRENE SAKAIA, 23, David's mother and driver of the car; her sister, BARBARA DAVIS, 11; MRS. CATHERIINE ZAWACKI, 61; her daughter, PATRICIA, 18; Patricia's niece, ARLENE ZAWACKI, 7; MRS. GENEVIEVE NOVACK, 26, and her daughter, JACQUELINE, 5.
Police said the car apparently was driven through flasher signals at the crossing, which is not protected by gates.
Officers said they found the signals in operation when they arrived at the scene of the accident.
Engineer Claire Phillips told Burnham police the train was going about 40 miles per hour. He estimated the auto's speed at 60 miles an hour.

Logansport Pharos-Tribune Indiana 1953-06-04