Various, WI Auto And Boating Accidents, May 1955



By Associated Press.
Wisconsin's worst traffic accident of 1955 and the most tragic boating mishap of the year claimed a combined total of nine lives Saturday and Sunday and swelled the weekend state death toll to 15.

Five young people were killed Sunday in a head-on collision of two cars on a curve of Highway 50, three miles east of Lake Geneva. And four members of one family are missing and presumed drowned in Lake Poygan in Winnebago County, where their capsized boat was found.

The Walworth County sheriff's department said there were no witnesses to the auto crash but that at least one of the vehicles must have been traveling at a high rate of speed.

All four occupants of one auto were killed and there was only one survivor from the other car.

The dead were identified as:
CARL G. BASKI, 26, of Waukegan, Ill., who died at a hospital this morning;
KENNETH MITCHELL, 20, of Withee;
CHARLES THOMPSON, 20, and JEROME PICKERA, 19, both of Hurley;
and ROBERT VORPAGEL, 16, of Springfield, Ill.

The only survivor, EDWARD SCHENK, 17, of Lake Geneva, was in critical condition at an Elkhorn Hospital. The sheriff's office said SCHENK was a passenger with VORPAGEL while the other four victims were in a car driven by PICKERA.

Missing since Saturday morning and presumed drowned in Wisconsin's worst water tragedy of the year are:
ALFRED BEHNKE, 55, of Milwaukee;
his 14-year-old son, MALLEN;
his daughter, MRS. LOLA MAJEROWSKI, 30, of Theinsville;
and her husband, THOMAS MAJEROWSKI, 32.

Winnebago County Sheriff Victor Jordan said the quartet's capsized boat was found floating in Lake Poygan Sunday morning with a string of fish still attached to the craft. They had been staying in a trailer house on the lake near Winneconne and had gone fishing Saturday morning.
Jordan said the lake, one of the state's biggest, was very rough Saturday. A search will begin today.

Daily Telegram Eau Claire Wisconsin 1955-05-09