St. Regis, MT Bus And Truck Wreck, Dec 1962



St. Regis - (UPI) - A Greyhound bus jammed with holiday travelers sideswiped a loaded grain truck on icy U.S. 10 four miles west of here early Monday and plunged down a rocky bank into the St. Regis River.
Six persons were killed, seven hospitalized and 14 to 18 others treated for minor injuries and released.
Killed were:
the bus driver, J. B. MAYER, 54, Spokane, Wash.
the relief driver of the truck, JACOB HOFF, 44, Sunnyside, Wash.,
and four bus passengers.
They were:
JANE McDANIEL, 15, Ennis.
MRS. CECILE McLAUGHLIN, 50, Livingston.
GEORGE HOMBURGER, about 40, New York City.
RONALD L. BAKKEN, U.S. Army (home address unavailable).
The bodies were taken to Missoula, 72 miles east of the accident scene in Western Montana.
Hospitalized at Superior, 17 miles east of the wreck site, were:
MRS. STELLA JONES, 73, Helena.
MRS. LUCY SALO, 56, Butte.
FLORENCE HINDS, 40, Portland, Mich.
DOUGLAS ZIBELL, 21, Tacoma, Wash.
JESS LEE, 21, Libby.
Another injured man, RICHARD BROWN, 40, Clifton, Ore., was at a hospital in Wallace, Idaho.
Those treated at Superior and released boarded another Greyhound bus for Missoula, where they were to rest overnight before resuming their trips.
HOFF was in the sleeper compartment of the huge semi-trailer rig. Driver of the truck, DONALD SCOTT MILLER, 31, of Sunnyside, Wash., was not hurt.
The bus was eastbound from Seattle to Chicago and intermediate points. The truck was westbound to Sunnyside from Great Falls, Mont., where the refrigerated van had been loaded.
The 43-passenger bus was loaded to capacity. MAYER had driven for Greyhound 17 years.
The accident occurred about 6:40 a.m. MST on a broad, sloping curve glazed with ice. The double-decked "Scenicruiser" bus apparently skidded into the truck, then plunged head-long down a 50-foot embankment rip-rapped with huge slabs of rock and landed on its right side in the river.
The left sides of both vehicles were ripped open. The truck remained on the road. Its cargo of barley poured out over the roadway and down the bank. The grain was splattered with blood.
A blood-soaked mattress hung from the smashed sleeping compartment of the truck.
The left side of the bus was pushed back half the length of the vehicle and ripped open. The entire left side of the truck and its aluminum trailer were torn.
Two wreckers, moored by cables to a huge pine tree, pulled the wreckage of the bus from the river. Crews shoveled what one witness described as an "ocean of barley" from the highway.
Officers said an automobile carrying six college students swerved to avert the accident and also plunged off the bank, but none of the students was injured.
Two physicians, Dr. William Doyle and his son, William, Jr., an intern, both of Superior, treated the injured at the Mineral County Hospital.
Ambulances and other emergency vehicles sped to the scene from Missoula.
The bus originated in Seattle at 8:15 p.m. MST Sunday. It left Spokane at 3:15 a.m. Monday.
The crash scene was a foggy valley framed by snow-covered mountains. Rain during the night had frozen on the highway.
Passengers told of the bus skidding before it sideswiped the truck.
The accident boosted the state's traffic fatality toll this year fo 254, compared to the record 275 recorded in 1961.

Montana Standard and The Butte Daily Post Montana 1963-01-01