Butler, IN Auto And Train Collision, Jan 1938



Butler, Ind., Jan. 3 - (UP) - The deaths of seven Ohio students, killed last night when their automobile crashed through a crossing gate into the path of a speeding train, were investigated today by Coroner O. B. Shook.
He went to Hicksville and Edgerton, O., to ascertain activities of the children before they left their homes to come here to a movie.
Speeding along a downtown street so they would be on time for the first evening show, the students - five boys and two girls - crashed through lowered gates just before the eastbound Mohawk of the New York Central Railroad, reached the crossing. The train was crowded with holiday travelers.
The small sedan in which the students were riding was demolished.
The dead:
MARVIN MILLER, fourteen, eighth grade student.
LOWELL BLYTHE, sixteen, high school sophomore.
MERLE SARVER, sixteen, high school sophomore.
JACOB W. STRAUFFER, seventeen, high school junior.
and RICHARD STRAUPE, sixteen, high school sophomore, all of Edgerton.
MARGERY ROAN, fifteen and her niece, GWENDLYN, fifteen, both of Hicksville, high school sophomores.
The boys were members of the Edgerton high school basketball team.

Car Is Smashed.
The automobile was carried 500 feet by the train. The impact damaged the engine so that it could not be moved. The train, en-route to New York from Chicago, was delayed an hour before another engine could be sent from Toledo.
The childrens' bodies were mangled beyond recognition, Coroner Shook said. Identifications were made through clothing, wallets and papers by friends who came here from Edgerton, only seven miles away.
The boys' bodies were taken to the Krill Funeral Home in Edgerton and the girls' bodies to the Pedkin and Reed Funeral Home at Hicksville.
An inquest will be held tomorrow when Coroner Shook has obtained all details of the case, he said.
The machine was owned by the Sarver youth's father. He had given his son permission to take it for the evening, Shook learned. The coroner believed Sarver was driving when the accident occurred.
John Figg, the crossing watchman, said the train was late. Had it been on time, he said, it would have passed the crossing 20 minutes before the students arrived.
Witnesses said the driver of the car apparently had failed to see the lowered gates or lights of the approaching train.

Daily Chronicle DeKalb Illinois 1938-01-03