Sigourney, IA Train And Automobile Collision, Oct 1956


Sigourney, Iowa (UP) -- Eight children, all members of the same family, were killed today and their mother was seriously injured when a freight train slammed into a car at a rural crossing near here.
The accident took the lives of all of the children of the RICHARD HAMMES family, who farm three miles east of here. MRS. HAMMES, reported in fair condition at Keokuk County Hospital, was driving the children to school when the accident occurred.
The children included two sets of twins.
The victims included 9-year-old twins, RONNIE and DONNIE; KAREN, 8; LINDA, 7; GARY, 6; ROSEMARY, 3; and one-year-old twins RICKY and VICKY.
MRS. HAMMES was driving the children to a township school about a quarter mile from the crossing.
A Rock Island freight train crashed into the four-door sedan as it crossed the tracks on a gravel road two miles east of here and dragged the car 648 feet. The car had to go up a slight incline as it approached the tracks and MRS. HAMMES apparently neither saw nor heard the approaching switch engine and caboose.
Seven of the children were killed instantly. The eighth died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
The crash matched the worst auto accident in Iowa history. Eight persons also died in an auto crash on July 3, 1955.

Daily Inter Lake Kalispell Montana 1956-10-25


I remember this tragic event.

I remember this tragic event. I was ten years old and lived next door to Steve's grandparents. These 58 years later I can recall many of the details I heard at that time. I even babysat Myron several times when he stayed next door at his aunt's.

Hammes Family

Although I did not know this family.

I did meet Myron while living in the Dallas, TX. area in the late 1980's. Because we were both from Iowa, we became friends. Although we did not discuss the event in depth, I know that it was forever in his heart. He is a great person. Very witty,extremely intelligent, with a good heart. A member of Mensa and doing well in Arizona.

Family tragedy

These children were my mother's cousins. This was 6 yrs before I was born, but the impact of this carried forward. It was a loss that is still painful more than 50 yrs later for my family members to discuss.

I can tell you life was not kind to Richard, who left us in the early 1970's, a wonderful man who was given so much to try to overcome.

His last child, a son Myron born after the accident, lives in the Pheonix area and has two children of his own.

Steve Stahl