Spring Green, WI Auto And Truck Crash, July 1960


Spring Green, Wis., July 5. - (UPI) - Wisconsin 23 is not much of a road.
Still it does have its pretty parts. One of them is a seven-mile stretch, two lanes wide, that runs along a slight ridge between the Sauk County towns of Spring Green and Plain.
Last Saturday that part of 23 lost its charm, for it was the site of an accident that was the worst of the nation's Fourth of July weekend driving disasters in which more than 400 persons were killed.
The crash wiped out seven of the eight members of the RICHARD A. MEISTER family of Beloit, Wis.

Only Mother Survives.
The only survivor of what was to have been a holiday jaunt "to grandma's" is a slim, 29-year-old childless widow. At the start of the slightly more than 100-mile journey LORAINE MEISTER had been a wife and mother of six children.
Killed instantly in the crash were the father, RICHARD, 29, and five of the children, KAREN, 8; ROBERT, 7; BRIAN, 4; COLLEEN, 3; and DANNY, 1.
KATHRYN, who was 9, survived only long enough to make the trip to the Reedsburg Memorial Hospital with her mother, who is still a patient there.
LORAINE has talked only briefly since the crash, but she told her sister, Mrs. James Rinehart of Richland Center, she vividly remembers it.
She was sitting in front with DANNY, Mrs. Rinehart said, "holding him on her lap and playing with him. The other kids were in back. They were almost to grandma's - then there was the trailer in front of them."
"She can't go beyond that. She's hardly able to talk at all. She doesn't ask for anyone - she just talks about the children. She realizes they are gone."

2 Horses In Trailer.
The trailer was a two-wheeled horse van. For some reason it snapped its hitch at the back of the Cadillac driven by Stanley J. Mannine, 28, South Beloit, Ill., a town just across the state line from the Wisconsin community where the MEISTERS lived.
The trailer contained two horses. It tilted back and followed in the path of Mannino's auto as the MEISTER car approached in the opposite direction. Then it swung across the centerline, tongue first, and struck the 1954 Oldsmobile sedan head-on.
The tongue shot through the left headlight of the MEISTERS' auto and shoved on into the passenger compartment and out through the roof, laying open the whole car.
The weight of the trailer knocked the car off the road and sent it tumbling 14 feet down the grade that hugs the blacktop surface.

The Terre Haute Tribune Indiana 1960-07-05