Iowa City, IA Two Car Collision, Jul 1955


Iowa City, Iowa - (AP) - Two families on holiday outings met death at an Iowa intersection Sunday night. Eight persons were killed, four of them children, in the worst smashup of the July 4 holiday.
The MAX WILLIAMS family of Moline, Ill., was on its way to its old hometown of Colfax, Iowa.
CLARENCE WICHMANN, a Homestead, Iowa farmer, was driving his family back from a picnic.
Their cars met at the intersection of U.S. 6 and Iowa 109 about 16 miles west of Iowa City.
There were no witnesses to what happened and two survivors WICHMANN, 30, and WILLIAMS 7-year-old son RANDY, were hurt too critically to give a coherent account of the crash.
But state police said they found four bodies and two fatally injured persons strewn along a 50-foot stretch of U.S. 6. MRS. VIVIAN WILLIAMS, 28, was sitting in the front seat of one of the crashed cars, holding her 2-year-old daughter, LISA, in her arms. Both were dead.
The others killed immediately were WILLIAMS, 31; his friend, EARL LOWERY, 63, Moline; and WICHMANN'S daughters, DONNA JEAN, 5, and JEANNE ANN, 1. MRS. WICHMANN, 29, and her 3-year-old daughter, RUTH ANN, died en route to an Iowa City hospital.
State patrolman Jerry Bertramsen said the WICHMANN car had apparently come off of the state highway and hit the WILLIAMS auto at right angles.
The cars bounced apart, one rolling end over end for 100 feet and the other traveling 50 feet. They ended up in ditches about 50 feet apart, the victims scattered between them.

Linton Daily Citizen Indiana 1955-07-04