Cobleskill, NY Bus And Truck Collision, Feb 1955
3 ONEONTANS IN FATAL BUS CRASH NEAR COBLESKILL; DRIVER KILLED.
VETERAN ENGINEER ON D. & H. INJURED; FOUR IN HOSPITAL.
Two STC students and an Oneonta man escaped critical injury yesterday when a Binghamton-bound Greyhound bus and a tractor-trailer collided on rain-swept Route 7 near Cobleskill.
The bus driver was killed, four passengers were severely hurt and eight others injured. The truck driver was not hurt.
The Oneontans are:
WARNER S. DUNSHEE, 61, of 47 Fairview St., a D & H engineer for 38 years. He suffered a possible fracture of the right arm; a broken rib; bruises of both knees, and bruises on the forehead above the right eye and on his right cheek.
MISS DOROTHY DAMUSLAR, 19, of 51 East St., daughter of Mrs. Mary Damuslar, Waterford, a junior at STC. She suffered shock but no injuries or bruises.
MISS LORETTA McCARTIN, 19, of 27 Cedar St., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James McCartin, of New York City, also a junior at STC. She suffered sprains of her left knee and ankle and bruises about the head.
The accident occurred at about 9:15 a.m. about a mile southwest of Cobleskill.
According to State Police Cpl. Kenneth Gleason, investigation indicated that the bus was passing a car and a truck on the approach to the bridge as the tractor-trailer approached from the opposite direction.
Corporal Gleason said the tractor-trailer driver, Ralph Wiggins, about 31, of Binghamton, applied his brakes. The tractor-trailer, going down a hill, jack-knifed and straddled the road, Corporal Gleason said. The bus driver apparently pulled sharply to the right, he added, but the left front of the bus collided with the left front of the trailer.
The tractor-trailer driver, employed by Collier Chemicals, Inc., of Binghamton, was on his way to South Rensselaer to pick up a shipment from the plant of Eastern Chemicals, Inc., the parent company of Collier.
It was not raining at the time, Corporal Gleason said, but the highway was wet from earlier rains.
Eleven passengers, including the three Oneontans, were treated by Cobleskill physicians at the office of Dr. Ward Oliver, who described the crash scene as a "tragic sight."
Four others were taken to Ellis Hospital in Schenectady.
The bus driver, SEYMOUR MILLARD, 45, of Waverly, was the father of four children and had driven for Greyhound for 14 years.
MR. DUNSHEE, a native of Sidney Center who has been with the D & H since 1917, told The Star he was asleep in the second seat from the front on the side of the bus across from the driver when the crash occurred. He said he was knocked from the seat to the floor.
When he managed to get up from the floor, he said, the entire front of the bus was smashed and every window shattered. The body of the driver had been pushed back beyond MR. DUNSHEE'S seat.
MR. DUNSHEE said it was necessary to use acetylene torches to cut free two women passengers who had been sitting directly behind the driver. Both women were severely injured.
MR. DUNSHEE said he crawled to the rear of the bus and was helped to the ground through the emergency door. He completed the trip from Albany to Oneonta later on an emergency bus sent out from Albany, he said.
MISS DANUSLAR said, "I was the only one, I think, on the whole bus who wasn't hurt at all. I was looking at a magazine. It just was so fast I don't know what happened."
She was treated at Dr. Oliver's office and about 3 p.m. rode on to Oneonta with a young married couple who, she understood, were school teachers in Norwich.
The couple, driving in their car in back of the bus at the time of the crash, remained at the scene and at Dr. Oliver's office helping as best they could to care for the injured, MISS DANUSLAR said. She said she did not learn their names.
Also completing the journey to Oneonta with the couple was MISS McCARTIN, who said she was sleeping and had just awakened when she saw the bus collided with the tractor-trailer. She was helped from the wreckage by the unidentified young man, when taken by ambulance to Dr. Oliver's office for treatment of her injuries.
Corporal Gleason said a trip sheet found in the bus listed 16 passengers. He said, however, State Police could only determine that there were 15 passengers on the bus at the time of the crash.
The four passengers removed to Ellis Hospital were:
MRS. JESSIE RANSON, of St. John, New Brunswick, Canada; critical condition with fractured pelvis, a crushed left leg and facial cuts.
MRS. MAYNARD LASSONDE, of Selkirk, near Albany; serious condition from multiple facial fractures and a possible head injury.
MRS. TEOPHILA PICKLINGIS, 54, of Schenectady; serious condition with internal injuries.
MISS GEORGIA McGRATH, of Endicott; condition satisfactory; possible fracture of the left leg.
Oneonta Star New York 1955-02-23