Williamsport, MD Train and School Bus Collision, Apr 1935
EXPRESS HITS SCHOOL BUS, 14 KILLED.
BUS, CARRYING 30 PERSONS, HIT AT ROCKVILLE.
WILLIAMSPORT, MD., PARTY HAD ATTENDED U. OF MD. LECTURE.
By The Associated Press.
Rockville, Md., April 11 -- At least fourteen high school pupils died tonight at 11:30 o'clock in the crash of a speeding train and their school bus.
The bus was returning to Williamsport, Md., after the pupils, members of the high school there had attended a chemistry lecture at the University of Maryland, at College Park. First reports indicates there were 30 persons in the bus.
The train, a Baltimore and Ohio express, eastbound from St. Louis, tearing into the bus, caught the wreckage up and carried it hundreds of yards before the brakes of the train ground it to a halt.
The view of the crossing, on the outskirts of this village, was described by police as not obstructed.
Railroad men said the train was not derailed and was proceeding to Washington. Immediate identification of the dead was made difficult by the mangled condition of many of the bodies.
The children, all juniors and seniors at Williamsport high school, were in charge of MISS LOUISE FUNK, chemistry instructor.
The occupants of the bus were:
JANE STALEY, WILMA NEWEY, CARL BRINDLE, JAMES FLURIE, MARGARET E. ZIMMERMAN, PHOEBE KELLY, PEARL EMERSON, BLANCHE LONG, LOIS WINTERS, MARGARET KREPS, CLAUDE MYERS, DeWITT HOSE, NORRIS DOWNES, MARY HOSE, PAUL McELROY, ELVA HARSH, LeROY KENNELLE, MAY DOWLS, VIRGINIA, MYERS, JAMES STALLY, HELEN BLOYER, MARY TEACH, GLENN ANDERSON, ALBERT LEAF.
PERCY LINE, the driver and MISS LOUISE FUNK, the teacher, suffered only cuts and bruises.
"I heard the whistle just as it hit us," LINE told reporters brokenly.
"I didn't see the train until I heard the bell of the engine as I started over the track."
The terrific crash, which resulted when the engine struck the bus about ten feet from the rear end awakened scores of people living nearby.
Many rushed to the scene, carrying lanterns and flashlights, searching for the mangled bodies strewn along the tracks for a quarter of a mile.
All rescue squads in the county were called out as the search was carried on in a drizzling rain.
The seriously injured and dying children were rushed to various nearby hospitals. Two bodies were said to have been carried on the engine for approximately 500 yards.
A Rockville physician said shortly after midnight that the bodies of six boys and three girls "about 14 to 15 years old" were in one undertaking establishment. He added that two more -- a boy and a girl -- had died at Georgetown hospital and still another child in the Montgomery county general hospital. The physician said the bodies were badly mutilated but he believed all could be identified.
The Rockville rescue squad, a volunteer fire department, took the injured to hospitals and firemen from Bethesda and Kensington aided in moving the bodies from the scene of the tragedy.
Survivors, white-faced, and trembling and nearly all of them nursing cuts and bruises were taken into Rockville homes until their parents could come for them.
The teacher made the following statement:
"I felt myself spinning around and I was thrown against the driver, who was in turn wedged against the steering wheel."
"The bus was knocked around against a high bank beside the tracks and facing in the direction from which it had come."
"I heard screams and moans of crying children."
"I regained command of myself. I had been stunned when my head hit the top of the bus."
The Frederick Post Maryland 1935-04-12
Additional Information On The Disaster.
The list of dead as given out here by Mayor Richard Hawkins follows:
MARGARET EVA ZIMMERMAN.
NORRIS DOWNS, JR.
MARY LOUISE DOWNS.
The eleven uninjured were:
The injured were:
JANE STALEY, broken arm.
MARGARET KREPS, internal injuries.
PERCY LINE, driver of the truck, and MISS LOUISE FUNK, teacher accompanying the children, were not injured.