Buffington, MO Two Car Crash Kills Six, Apr 1956


Death, lurking by the highway on the curve at Buffington, eleven miles west of Sikeston on Highway 60 Tuesday noon took six lives in a traffic accident, declared by many to have been the worst in local history, and laid a black ribbon of grief that reaches from Gray Ridge to Corpus Christi, Texas.
In the collision two cars were smashed into tangled junk and only a miracle saved the lives of any person in either car.
In one car, driven by 18-year-old DOYLE SUTTON, of Essex, Rt. 1, were DON RALPH WHEELER, 17, of Gray Ridge; LOUIS GASSER, 17, of Circle City; KENNETH RITCH, 17, of Circle City and Sutton. The first three were instantly killed and, according to reports, the only thing that prevented RITCH being included in the toll was that he was thrown out of the car by the impact. RITCH is in the Missouri Delta Community Hospital, seriously hurt, but physicians believe he will recover.
In the other car were ROBERTO ARANDA of Corpus Christi, Tex.; MRS. AMELIA ARANDA, 35; their daughters, MARY LOU, aged 10; SANTOS, aged 14; and their sons, ROBERTO, JR., aged 9; and FRANK, aged 11.
MRS. ARANDA died instantly; MARY LOU lived just long enough to be placed in an ambulance and ROBERTO, JR., died at 1:35 p.m. Tuesday, in the Missouri Delta Community Hospital. ROBERTO, SR., badly injured was taken to the Veterans Hospital, Poplar Bluff, for treatment of two broken legs and hospital authorities there reported this morning his condition is serious. The daughter, SANTOS, and son, FRANK, are in the Missouri Delta Community Hospital and their condition is reported as fair. SANTOS is said to have head and internal injuries and FRANK, cuts and bruises.
The ARANDA family, in company with two carloads of relatives were en route from Corpus Christi to Michigan, where they planned to work in the berry harvest. One car was ahead of the ARANDA car and the DeLapino family was in another car behind the ARANDAS'. According to Romero DeLapino, a brother of MRS. ARANDA, the car driven by SUTTON came from the east traveling at a high rate of speed. When it came to the curve the driver apparently lost control of the machine; it went onto the shoulder of the highway and then skidded back into the path of the ARANDA car.
The SUTTON car was traveling west as the boys were on their way back to Gray Ridge High School after having been to Morehouse in connection with their F.F.A. activities. The three high school students were members of the Gray Ridge F.F.A. meat judging team and were scheduled to go to Columbia this weekend for the state agricultural contests.

Daily Standard Sikeston Missouri 1956-04-11