Crescent City, FL School Bus Wreck, Dec 1933


Thirty Others Injured, Many Critical, In Florida Today


Freight Train Struck Vehicle As It Crossed Useless Crossing In Early Morning Fog

Crescent City, Fla., Dec. 14 – (AP) – Nine school children were killed and approximately 30 injured, some probably fatally, when a freight train struck a packed school bus five miles south of here today in a heavy fog.
Six children, three of them from a single family, were killed outright, and two died later, while several others are not expected to survive their fearful injuries.
The crash came when D. R. NILES, elderly bus driver, had reached the end of his five mile rural route, and was about to return here with the children, all students, at the elementary school.
The tragedy occurred at Silver Pond Grove crossing, six miles south of here.

One Family Hard Hit
The dead:
ELSIE GORTON, 15; EDDIE McGRADY, 10; HILDA HARDY, age ungiven; FREDERICK SMITH, age ungiven; EVELYN SMITH, 9; and WILLIAM SMITH, 12, all children of MRS. BENNIE SMITH, widow; WILLIARD OWEN, 11; HAZEL McGRADY, 13.
The injured taken to the Palatka hospital:
JOSEPH KING, 11, numerous cuts, full extent injuries undetermined.
VIOLET HOGG, 13, head wounds.
THOMAS FREEMAN, 12, unconscious and expected to die.
NELLIE, McGRADY, scalp wounds and bruises.
PHILLYS OWEN, 13, internal injuries.
WILLIAM HOGG, 17, possible broken back.
LOUISE HARDY, fractured knee.
HENRIETTA KING, 16, internal injuries, possible concussion of brain, unconscious.
There was the wildest confusion with cries of parents mingled with screams of the injured children. Bodies and parts of bodies were strewn along the railroad right of way for a hundred yards.
The driver of the bus D. R. NILES, was among the critically injured.
All available ambulances from Palatka, Deland and Crescent City rushed to the scene, loaded quickly with dead or injured and hurried away to hospitals, complicating a quick check of the casualties.
LOUIS LEACH, proprietor of the Crescent City Motor company, who was one of the first to arrive at the scene of the wreck described it as “the most horrible scene imaginable.”

Driver Found At Fault
NILES had reached the end of his route which tends five miles south of here to Silver Pond Grove when the crash came. He had just driven from the main highway, state road No. 3, about 100 yards to the home of RUPER TEUTON to pick up TEUTON'S two children.
TEUTON had constructed a turning place so that it was not necessary for the school bus to cross the railroad tracks, it was said, but NILES Crossed the track today in a heavy morning fog.
Engineer R. A. HOWELL said the train was proceeding north and the bus was traveling south.
HOWELL said the crash happened at 7:45 o'clock in a heavy fog. He said, however, that highway was only about 75 feet from the track and the visibility for that distance and further was good and the bus driver should have been able to see the approaching train.

Fayetteville Daily Democrat Arkansas 1933-12-14

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Poor little ones

I wonder if they are in peace or their spirits are still at that site. Very sad indeed.