St. Paul, MN Bus And Truck Collision, July 1948
FIVE MEN DIE IN COLLISION.
FIRE SWEEPS DULUTH BALL TEAM BUS.
St. Paul (AP) -- At least five persons, including several members of the Duluth team of the Northern baseball league, were killed today in the head-on collision of the team's bus and a heavy truck.
Eleven injured persons, four of whom were described as in critical condition, were taken to Ancker hospital.
The dead included:
JAMES E. GRENLISH, 277 Stimson street, St. Paul, driver of the truck.
Among the injured are:
BERNARD F. GERL, 22, Joliet, Ill., critical condition.
DONALD VANDERMEER, 18, Muskegon, Mich., critical.
FRANK CLARK, 20, Jackson, Mich., critical.
JOHN RITOMYA, 19, Fayetteville, N.C., critical.
ELMER SCHOENDIENST, 22, Germantown, Ill., bruises.
MELVIN McGAHA, 20, Fayetteville, Ark., bruises.
BILL WARD, Chicago, bruises and shock.
JOE SVETLICK, bruises, injured arm and leg.
Tentatively identified as dead are:
DONALD SHERER, St. Louis.
BOB BREDWELL, St. Louis.
GILBERT TRIBLE, 19, St. Louis.
JOSEPH BECKER, 19, St. Louis, fractured left leg and burns about face.
ROBERT VOGELTANZ, 25, Evergreen Park, Ill., fractured left leg.
CHRIST DUBIA, 23, Murray, Ky., facial injuries.
The bus was reported driven by the baseball team's manager GEORGE TREADWELL. It was a bus owned by the ball club.
The bus carried 17 Duluth Northern league ball players on their way from Eau Claire, Wis., where they played Friday night to St. Cloud where they were scheduled to play tonight.
The accident occurred as the bus, going west and a truck, headed east, approached each other at a small rise in the road.
Witnesses in a car following the truck said that the truck hit a rough spot in the road, bounced out of control, and plowed head-on into the bus. The bus burst into flames.
The victims included the truck driver, but a man riding with him was reported to have escaped virtually unhurt.
The wreck was seen by three men in cars following close behind the vehicles. The truck was owned by the Liquid Carbonic company, 680 East Minnehaha Ave., St. Paul.
One automobile was driven by HARRY SOBEL, 100 North Fairview avenue, St. Paul, and his passenger was DR. EARL HILL of the veterans hospital. He was close behind the truck.
The other car, behind the bus, was driven by K. J. VORWERK, 1045 East Cook Ave., St. Paul.
They halted and immediately started pulling victims from the wreckage as flames started from the gasoline tanks spread over the vehicles.
Screams and moans accompanied the roar of lames. Rescuers managed to pull about 10 persons from the bus. The truck driver was pulled from the vehicle before rescuers were forced away by intense heat.
The St. Paul and Rosetown fire departments were called and St. Paul police sent ambulances and emergency cars which carried the injured to Ancker hospital in St. Paul.
Care For Injured.
State highway patrolmen and Ramsey county deputy sheriffs also, rushed to the scene and helped care for the injured.
Every doctor available at the hospital hurried to care for the burned and injured victims. Nurses were called to special duty.
When the flames finally were put out, but before the wreckage had cooled enough to be entered, three bodies could be seen in the bus wreckage. Alongside the highway lay the bodies of the truck driver, and of another unidentified man.
The impact turned both vehicles sideways, pointing north -- the bus off the road and the truck nearly all the way off the highway. The truck was carrying a load of dry ice in 25-pound blocks.
MRS. KENNETH FABYANSKE, 471 Minnesota avenue, St. Paul, a street just north of the highway, heard the crash, almost infront of her home. Flames spurted up immediately, she said.
The Brainerd Daily Dispatch Minnesota 1948-07-24