Coldwater, MI Two Car Head On Crash, Sep 1966


Eight persons were killed Monday when two cars containing 10 riders crashed head-on 3 1/2 miles west of Coldwater on U.S. 12.
The crash accounted for nearly a fourth of Michigan's 34 road fatalities since 6 p.m. Friday. The death toll also included 11 drownings.
Branch County sheriff's deputies said there were no witnesses to the collision other than the two survivors, who were in critical condition in Lila Post Hospital in Battle Creek.
The accident was reported at 12:32 a.m. by a resident of the area who heard the crash. It occurred on an uphill curve.
Deputies said the wreckage and bodies were strewn over a 100-foot area. The cars did not burn, but did explode from the force of impact, they said.
Killed in one car were:
JOHN SMITH, 25, of Coldwater, the driver;
his wife JUDITH, 25; his father, JESSIE R. SMITH, 55, of Quincy; RICHARD ERSKINE, 38, of Mishawaka, Ind.; and his wife DELORES, 36.
Killed in the second car were:
The driver, DOUGLAS O. BOOTH, 17; NANCY LEE PAUL, 19; and GREGORY HANSELMAN, 18, all of Bronson.
Injured in the second car were BARBARA KRONTZ, 18, and LYNN WILDER, 18, both from Bronson.

Other fatal accidents over the holiday weekend included:
IRENE MALINKOWSKI, 14, and her sisters, LORRAINE, 9, and ELIZABETH, 7, all of 8414 Smart, burned to death Monday when their family's homemade camper burst into flames on U.S. 10, two miles north of Freeland in Saginaw County.
Their parents, MR. and MRS. HENRY F. MALINKOWSKI, and five other children, escaped with minor injuries.

Detroit Free Press Michigan 1966-09-06