Fowlerville, MI Car And Train Collision, Dec 1959



Fowlerville (AP) - A train-car collision killed eight persons in this southern Michigan village late yesterday.
Witnesses said the car occupied by five adults and three children drove onto a Chesapeake & Ohio Railway crossing just as the streamlined passenger train "Pere Marquette" sped through at 65 miles an hour.
The crash at 5:44 p.m., after darkness, wiped out all the members of one family - CLYDE E. BALLARD, 22; his wife, BERTHA, 24; and their son KEITH, 8 months, of Fenton, Mich.
Others killed were ALBERT SIMSON, SR., 29, of Fenton, driver of the car, and his son, ALBERT, JR., 2 months; MRS. MILDRED CAMERON, 26, of Howell, Mich., and her daughter, DAWN, 9, and GEORGE COPEMAN, 36, of Fenton.
The big diesel engine of the Grand Rapids to Detroit luxury train crushed the car and tossed the bodies alongside the track.
"It was awful," choked Engineer Grover Lamport of Grand Rapids. That was all he could say.

Flashers On.
Police said the automatic flasher warnings were blinking. They quoted witnesses as saying the car stopped, then drove into the path of the train.
Floyd Stewart, manager of a grain elevator, saw the accident from his parked car 40 feet away.
"I had just left my office," he said, "and was ready to go home. I heard the train coming and I was waiting for it to come through."

The News-Palladium Benton Harbor Michigan 1959-12-19