Atglen, PA Truck And Station Wagon Crash, Nov 1980


Atglen, (UPI) - A speeding pickup truck veered into a packed station wagon killing five persons - including a former school superintendent and his three grandchildren - in southern Chester County.
Five others were injured seriously, among them the superintendent's wife and two daughters, mothers of the dead children. The family was en route to a third daughter's home in Delaware for the christening of a new grandchild.
State police Sunday described the accident as the worst in recent memory in the suburban Philadelphia county.
"We have no way of knowing right now how it happened, and we may never known," said a state police spokesman.
Police said the five died on impact when the truck smashed into the station wagon Saturday evening, nearly splitting the vehicle in half.
One of the victims, CHARLES A. VOGELSONG, 65, Clearfield, driver of the car, had retired June 30 as acting superintendent of the Clearfield Area School District, ending a 44 year career in education.
The other victims were RICHARD E. WARD, 19, of West Grove, Chester County, driver of the truck and VOGELSONG'S grandchildren; MICHA PATRICK, 5 months, of Johnstown, Cambria County, and KAREN BARTON, 10, and her brother JEFF, 8, of Newark, Ohio.
All were pronounced dead at Coatesville Hospital shortly after the 7:15 p.m. crash near Atglen.
The lone passenger in the pickup truck, SUSAN WILSON of Avondale, Chester County, was in critical condition at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital after nearly 12 hours of surgery, hospital officials said.
VELVA PATRICK, 27, was in critical condition, and CHARLENE V. BARTON, 37, and her daughter, JENNIFER, 12, were both in guarded condition at Lancaster Osteopathic Hospital.
Another passenger in the station wagon, ELAINE VOGELSONG, 61, wife of the driver, was listed in serious condition with head injuries at Lancaster General Hospital.
WARD was driving north on Route 41 just south of Route 372 "at a high rate of speed," police said, when his truck veered into the southbound lane and slammed into the station wagon.

Tyrone Daily Herald Pennsylvania 1980-12-01