Alpena, MI Beer Truck And Bus Collide, Aug 1951


Alpena, Mich. (INS) -- At least ten persons were killed Saturday when a Greyhound bus, jam-packed with vacationers, smashed head-on with a large beer truck on the outskirts of Alpena, Mich.
Michigan state police report at least 20 of the 40 passengers aboard the bus, enroute from Mackinac City to Detroit, were hospitalized at Alpena's only hospital.
Many of the bodies were reported so mangled that identifications were almost impossible. The bus driver, ERVIN BARRETT of Mackinac City, was tentatively identified among the dead but later was found in the hospital in critical condition.
Among those listed at dead were ARTHUR AUBE, driver of the truck, and his 19-year-old helper, HAROLD BROMOUND, both of Alpena.
Three others were tentatively identified as MRS. CARL HANSEN of Detroit, MELVIN CHASE of Alpena and DARLENE GRICE of Flint, Mich.
Blood plasma was being rushed to the bus crash victims from Lansing and Detroit, some 200 miles away, as the facilities of the 100-bed Alpena hospital were pushed to care for the injured.
Ambulances, hearses and station wagons were alerted from throughout the eastern Michigan resort area to help transport the victims. State police also pressed a school bus padded with mattresses into service.
Blow torch crews worked more than an hour after the crash occurred on highway U.S. 23 to free some of the passengers trapped in the mangled bus.
One passing motorist was reported to have fainted as he witnessed the rescue attempts made to save the victims tangled in the blood-splattered wreckage. Suitcases, shopping bags, purses and camping equipment were scattered throughout the area.
According to witnesses, the truck collided with the 40-passenger bus, enroute from Mackinac City to Detroit, while trying to avoid hitting an automobile.

Cedar Rapids Gazette Iowa 1951-08-19

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My name is Rick. You were 7 years older than me. I lived across the street on Piper Road. I traded my bike for your bow. You'd be about 68 now and I'm 61.

Respondant: Wayne Piper

By any chance, did you use to go by the name of "Wonka"--a term of affection--back in 1974 in TC?

Bus Crash

I was five years old when this accident occured. My father was in the employ of Harry Fletcher, a prominent Alpena businessman. His family's station wagon was one of the cars recruited to help transport the injured from the scene of the accident. The wife of a member of our church, St. Paul's Lutheran, died in the crash.

Bus Crash

Our family passed by the scene of this horrific crash some 58 years ago. I was 4 years old at the time and we lived in Harrisville Michigan. We were returning home from a drive up U.S. 23 along Lake Huron. I can still vividly recall the mangled wreckage of the bus. I see to recall that the bus was either tilted over to or laying on it's side. There was wreckage and debris everywhere.