York, NE Semi Trailer Truck And Auto Crash, Jun 1958
5 DIE WHEN AUTO FLATTENED.
4 OTHERS HURT AT YORK; TRUCK SKID IN RAIN.
DEAD ALL FROM WASHINGTON.
Lincoln Star Special.
York, Neb. - Five persons were killed and 4 injured just west of here Tuesday when a semi-trailer truck skidded head-on into a station wagon and literally smashed it flat.
Two of the injured and all 5 of the dead were riding in the station wagon. It was raining at the time of the tragedy.
The dead, all from Peshastin, Wash., were identified as:
MRS. W. J. SMITHSON, 52;
WILLIAM ZEIDLER, 32;
MRS. WILLIAM ZEIDLER, 30;
CONNIE ZEIDLER, 5;
and CLAIRE ZEIDLER, 2.
Injured and taken to a York hospital were VIRGINIA SMITHSON, 13, daughter of Mrs. W. J. Smithson, and CYNTHIA ZEIDLER, 10. MRS. SMITHSON was the mother of MRS. ZEIDLER. None of the injured was on the critical list.
The tragic accident orphaned both VIRGINIA SMITHSON and CYNTHIA ZEIDLER. Virginia's father was killed 2 years ago.
The 7 Washington people, traveling in the westbound station wagon, were believed en route home from a visit with relatives in Kansas and Iowa.
DUANE YORK, 29, of Barnestown, driver of the truck, suffered a fractured knee. His passenger, FREDERICK EHLERS, 25, of Beatrice, escaped serious injury.
Trooper Dick Schultz said another truck had just passed the semi-truck and YORK had to apply his brakes when the other truck pulled in front of him.
The semi-trailer jack-knifed. Schultz said the station wagon driver, not as yet determined, pulled onto the shoulder of the road in a vain attempt to avoid the big truck.
The truck cab rolled the station wagon 47 feet, flattening the Washington state vehicle, authorities said.
The westbound 15-ton semi-truck was pulling an empty cattle truck.
The crash occurred at 3:28 p.m. on U.S. 34 about 2 1/2 miles west of York.
MR. and MRS. ZEIDLER, MRS. SMITHSON and CONNIE ZEIDLER were instantly killed. CLAIRE ZEIDLER died in a York hospital at about 5 p.m.
Both Safety Patrolmen and county sheriff's officers were at the scene.
Traffic was tied up along U.S. 34 for about an hour and a half, when the highway once again was cleared enough to enable one-way traffic to get through.
One of the women victims was pinned under the wreckage, and authorities worked for some time to remove her.
All available ambulances and officers were still at the scene more than an hour after the crash.
The deaths brought Nebraska's 1958 traffic fatalities to 134, compared to 115 at this time last year.
The Lincoln Star Nebraska 1958-06-25