Capleville, TN Bus And Auto Collision, July 1972


Capleville, Tenn. (UPI) -- A speeding car with a flat tire swerved out of control and collided with a Greyhound bus near here Friday, killing the car's driver and two passengers on the bus.
Another 20 persons aboard the Memphis-to-Atlanta Sceni-cruiser were taken to nearby Memphis hospitals, but only two were admitted.
The dead passengers were identified as LARRY LEONARD and his wife, GLADYS, of Commerce, Okla. The driver of the car was tentatively identified as OMAR KENYATTA, JR., of Columbus, Ohio.
Police said the car was packed with literature on black leader Malcolm X and with 45 rpm records.
An eyewitness, Johnny Trusty, reported seeing the car swerving wildly across the road at a high rate of speed as it passed his service station along U.S. Highway 78.
"He was swaying all over the road. His right front tire was flat and I knew something bad was going to happed," Trusty said.
Moments later, the north-bound car crossed over into the other lane and collided with the bus. A utility pole was knocked down, cutting off power to this small community. The bus then crashed through a barbed wire fence and and ended up in a pasture.
The bus driver, CORNELIUS HARRIS, 27, of Memphis, and a passenger, 5-year-old DONALD SPOON, of Hot Springs, Ark., were hospitalized in satisfactory condition.
Highway Patrol Sgt. Paul Bedwell described it as "nearly a head-on collision. The Buick was running north on a flat tire and got into the bus' lane."
The accident was the second major crash involving a bus in Tennessee in two months. Fourteen persons died May 18, when a Greyhound bus and a truck collided near Bean Station in East Tennessee on twisting U.S. Highway 11W.

Panama City News-Herald Florida 1972-07-15