Grand Ledge, MI Head On Crash, Nov 1968


Grand Ledge - It started out as a happy weekend for a group of Boy Scouts and it was to include a canoeing trip on the Thornapple River, but it ended in tragedy in the grinding head-on crash which claimed seven lives west of here Saturday.
Dead are four Boy Scouts and their scoutmaster from Lansing and the driver and her infant daughter in the second car. Two Boy Scouts also were injured.
Killed were Scoutmaster JOHN WILLIAM HUGHES, 44; his son, DAVID, 13; ROBERT ALFORD, 13; CHRIS KOENIGSKNECHT, 12, and MARTIN BRANDELL, 12; MRS. RUTH ANN GOLLINGER, 21, of nearby Mulliken, and her daughter, THERESA LYNN, five months old.
Reported in "very serious condition" was JOHN KOENIGSKNECHT, 14, brother of CHRIS; and in poor condition was TIMOTHY QUIGLEY, 11. Both are in Lansing's St. Lawrence Hospital.
While there is no explanation for the crash, Eaton County Sheriff's Cpl. Ray Stiver said the MRS. GOLLINGER could have been blinded by the sun and her car veered across the centerline. She also may have been distracted by the baby riding in the front seat with her.
MRS. GOLLINGER was eastbound towards the sun and the HUGHES station wagon was westbound on the two-lane, blacktop highway. Both cars were demolished, the deputy said.
The scene of the accident was three and a half miles west of here, near Mulliken. The crash occurred about 8:30 a.m.
HUGHES and the scouts just shortly before had left Lansing and were en route to Hastings where a Saturday-Sunday canoe trip had been planned on the Thornapple River. Lansing is approximately 13 miles east of the crash scene.
MRS. GOLLINGER, eastbound, was presumed to have been en-route to Grand Ledge, but relatives were unable to explain the reason for her trip.

Battle Creek Enquirer Michigan 1968-11-03