Beckemeyer, IL Camper And Train Collision Feb 1976

BERKEMEYER IL CAMPER TRAIN WRECK 1976

12 YOUTHS ARE KILLED IN CAMPER-TRAIN COLLISION.

Beckemeyer, Ill., (AP) - Twelve Southern Illinois young people out for an evening of roller skating were killed Saturday night when the camper truck in which they were riding was struck by a freight train at an unguarded crossing.
An ambulance driver said bodies were strewn along two-fifth of a mile of track in the heart of this community east of St. Louis.
State Police said 16 persons were packed into the recreational vehicle.
They were thought to be members of two families.
The dead were all 18 or under, except for the driver, HENRY LOWE of rural Carlyle, grandfather of several of the victims.
The four injured were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in nearby Breese, with three of them listed in serious condition.
"It was an unprotected crossing," said State Police Sgt. William Pierce. "No lights, no gates, no nothing."
The Baltimore & Ohio freight train was westbound toward St. Louis when it struck the truck on the driver's side.
Despite bitterly cold temperatures, there was no evidence of ice or snow at the crossing, which rises about four feet to the tracks. The night was clear with a bright, half-moon.
Beckemeyer Police Chief Robert Phillips said the camper was either going to or coming from a roller rink, probably the one in nearby Highland. Orvin Leonard of Beckemeyer, one of the wrecking crew said there were at least 10 pairs of roller skates inside the camper.
Phillips reported that engineer O.J. Cores of rural Washington, Ind., said the train was traveling at about 55 miles an hour. Phillips said that did not violate, the law, even though the tracks run through the town's business district.
Phillips said Cores had put on his emergency brakes and sounded the air horn.

Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph Colorado 1976-02-08

List of the Casualties
HENRY LOWE, 60, the driver.
TARA LOWE, 4, of Carlyle.
LEROY LOWE, 15, of Carlyle.
CRAIG LOWE, 6, of Carlyle.
MARK LOWE, 13, of Carlyle.
TOBY HOPPER, 6, of Keysport.
DARIA HOPPER, 8, of Keysport.
LINDA McCABE, 13, of Beckemeyer.
ALLEN MOORLIGHEN, 15, of Carlyle.
ROBERT MOORLIGHEN, 13, of Carlyle.
BRYAN FORTH, 13, of Carlyle.
THOMAS SMITH 18, of Fairview Heights.