Maxton, NC Truck And Train Collide, July 1965

CAROLINA TRUCK-TRAIN CRASH FATAL TO NINE, MAN INJURED.

Maxton, N.C. (AP) - An Atlantic Coast Line railroad freight train struck a pickup truck near this southeastern North Carolina town Saturday, killing nine of the 10 persons in the truck.
The accident occurred at a high-banked rural crossing about 2 1/2 miles southeast of Laurinburg near the South Carolina line.
Mangled bodies were strewn over the track.
Several hours later, JERRY LEE DAVIS, 23, of Newton, N.C., was killed when his car was struck by an ACL freight train at a crossing near Pembroke, N.C., 10 miles south of the Maxton wreck scene. DAVIS was alone.
Mangled bodies were strewn over the track at the wreck near Maxton.
Two of the dead were members of the Red Hill Blue Devils, a Lumbee Indian sandlot baseball team from the Red Hill community in Robeson County.
The team was en route to a game at Bowmore, 11 miles from Maxton.
The other victims were spectators accompanying the team whose other members had gone in two cars. All the victims were of Rt. 3, Maxton.
The lone survivor, ANGUSH BLUE, 31, was driving the truck which he owned. He was taken to a Laurinburg hospital in critical condition with head and chest injuries.
The dead players were CECIL LOCKLEAR, 21, and EDDIE JACOBS.
The other victims were identified as:
JESSE CLARK, 46, his wife, ELIZABETH CLARK, 42.
HOWARD LOCKLEAR, 34, his wife VIOLA LOCKLEAR, 28.
MARLEN BLUE, 12, and his cousin, ROY BLUE, 9.
HETHROW LOWERY, 42.
The wreck occurred about a mile from a filling station where the two players and other victims were picked up.
The truck was behind the two cars which continued for some distance before noticing the truck was no longer in sight.
Robeson County police said the truck apparently did not stall on the track but pulled into the path of the train. They said apparently there were no eyewitnesses to the accident.
Robert Collins, 29, who was to have umpired the game, said he declined to make the trip in the truck because he said it was overloaded. He stayed behind and later helped identify the victims.
Highway Patrolman J. E. Powell said the truck was knocked about 45 feet from the point of impact and that bodies were strewn 50 to 300 feet along the track from the crossing.
He quoted Hugh Gross Merriman, 43, engineer of the Atlantic Coast Line train of two cars, an engine and a caboose, as saying he saw the car just a moment before the wreck.
The train was headed down a slight grade. Merriman estimated the truck was going about 40 miles per house when it approached the crossing.

The Progress-Index Petersburg Virginia 1965-07-11