Sigourney, IA Auto And Train Crash, Oct 1956


Sigourney, Ia. (INS) - Eight Iowa farm children, ranging in age from one to 9, were killed Thursday when a car driven by their mother collided with a train northeast of Sigourney.
Seven of the children died on the spot while the eighth died several hours later in a hospital.
The victims, including two sets of twins, were children of MR. and MRS. RICHARD HAMMES who farm east of Sigourney.
The mother, 36, was listed in fair condition at a Sigourney hospital and given a good chance to live.
Keokuk County Deputy Sheriff Keith Bryant, said the auto was split open and demolished after being dragged down the tracks for 684 feet. He said the diesel engine came to rest on top of part of the HAMMES car.
Bryant described the crossing as a bad one, "close to being blind."

Cousin a Witness.
Mrs. Paul Webb, a cousin to HAMMES, and also a neighbor, witnessed the accident which occurred a quarter mile from her home. Mrs. Webb explained the train honk attracted her attention and she turned just in time to see the crash.
MRS. HAMMES was taking her children to a rural grade school.

Lincoln Star Nebraska 1956-10-26