Simmesport, LA Trains Collide, Aug 1951


By Associated Press.
Simmesport, La., Aug. 10. -- Eight men died Friday in the flaming wreckage of a Marine troop train and a Kansas City Southern streamliner that crashed head-on near here. Some 60 other persons were injured, more than 50 seriously enough to warrant hospitalization in four towns, and two Army installations.
Railroad officials said the crew of the troop train ignored an order to go on a side track to allow the streamlined Southern Belle to pass. The crash occurred about 7 a.m. (C.S.T.) on a double curve in flat cotton and timber country some 60 miles northeast of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Eyewitnesses at the scene expressed surprise that anyone survived the crash.
"If it had not been for the Marines, I don't know what the (civilian) passengers would have done," said RAY J. MARRAN, executive secretary of the Kansas City, Mo., fire department, who, with his wife, was aboard the Southern Belle.
"There was a loud crash and breaking glass," he said. "Furniture in the diner tumbled around, people were thrown all around the car. One man's face was badly cut. A woman lay unconscious on the floor. A porter had his leg broken and it was dangling."
"But," he said, "there was no panic. Everyone was unusually calm. In no time, it seemed, Marine rescue squads were working."
The Eighth Naval District headquarters of the Navy in New Orleans said 26 Marines were injured. Some were treated at New Roads, one was flown to Brooke Army Hospital at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and 19 were sent to Camp Polk, La., for hospitalization. Five of them were in serious condition.

By Associated Press.
Shreveport, La., Aug. 10. -- The dead, aboard the passenger train, were listed by the Kansas City Southern Railroad Company as:
L. L. RAINEY, Shreveport, engineer.
WALTER LUCINE, Negro, Shreveport, fireman.
J. K. CUNNINGHAM, Paris, Tex. (A coroner's report said CUNNINGHAM died of a heart attack after the collision.)
Listed as dead among those on the troop train:
B. I. MOORE, Minden, La.
A. W. MARCOTTE, New Orleans, conductor.
C. A. YATES, New Orleans, engineer.
JAMES REED, Negro, New Orleans, fireman.
One unidentified Marine.
Marine headquarters in Washington listed the dead Marine as Cpl. CHESTER LOUIS LIPA, 21, of Detroit, Mich.
Listed as missing from the troop train is a Negro brakeman, identified as C. MORE, Shreveport.

San Antonio Express Texas 1951-08-11