McDonna, TX Train Kills Children On Trestle, Apr 1958
TRAIN KILLS FIVE ON EASTER PICNIC.
PARENTS WATCH SIXTH RACE TO TRESTLE END.
San Antonio, Tex. (AP) -- Horrified picnickers saw a speeding train plow through five children trapped on a lofty railroad trestle Sunday. All five died.
A sixth youngster raced to safety at one end of the mile-long viaduct moments ahead of the passenger train, the Southern Pacific's Sunset Limited.
Engineer J. W. EUFORTH jammed on the emergency brakes in vain while scores of the 300 persons gathered for Easter picnics screamed for the four girls and one boy to jump.
The youngsters were caught about a fourth of a mile out on the bridge past a curve hiding the train's approach. At that point the viaduct towers 40 feet above the brushy bed of the Medina River.
Among those gathered below to eat their noon meal in a park were about 50 relatives of the children. The park is on the river banks at McDonna, 15 miles southwest of here in South Texas.
Three children of MRS. PAULA GARZA, San Antonio, and two daughters of MR. and MRS. MANUEL RAMIREZ, Laredo, Tex., were killed. RAMIREZ is MRS. GARZA'S brother.
DIANA GARZA, age 11.
LOUIS GARZA, age 12.
LAURA GARZA, age 16.
ANNA MARIA RAMIREZ, age 13.
NORMA RAMIREZ, age 15.
NORMA died at a hospital several hours later. The others were killed outright.
MANUEL RAMIREZ, 12, scrambled off one end of the trestle seconds ahead of the train.
"Several people yelled at the children when we saw the train coming," said DERLY GUTIERREZ, 27, a cousin from Corpus Christi, Tex.
"I shouted to them to jump -- to get off the bridge. They were panicky. They started running -- they didn't know what to do."
Engineer EUFORTH said the train was traveling 61 m.p.h. as it rounded the curve.
"The kids didn't have a chance," he said. "There was no place for them to go .... "
"As I straightened out I saw those kids on the track. I went into full emergency procedure at once. I must have gone one half to three quarters of a mile out on the viaduct."
RAMIREZ brought his family last Friday for a reunion at the GARZA home, and other relatives joined them for the outing in the park.
Daily Globe Ironwood Michigan 1958-04-07