Patterson, NY Auto And Tractor Trailer Crash, Dec 1956


Patterson, N.Y. (UP) - Six student nurses were killed last night when their car skidded across ice-slicked Route 22 near here and was struck broadside by a tractor-trailer.
State Police labeled the accident "the worst ever in the area."
Five of the victims died in the crash. The sixth, SHEILA ROCHE, 19, 127 Salisbury Ave., Blasdell, N.Y., died en route to a Danbury, Conn., hospital. She suffered a fractured skull and a broken neck, police said.
The others were:
CONSUELO BYRNE, 20, 141 Garrison Ave., Staten Island, N.Y.;
ANNE CALLAGHAN, 20, 9-1 73rd St.;
EILEEN DAVIS, 20, 625 56th St.;
MARTHA SANTOEMA, 20, 9126 5th Ave.;
and MAXINE SINGLETON, 19, 591 Jefferson Ave., all of Brooklyn.
Putnam County Coroner Frank G. Genovese listed fractured skulls as the cause of death for all five.
The driver of the truck, FRANK BOTLMAN, of Pughkeepsie, was arraigned today on a charge of criminal negligence before Justice of the Peace Behrend Guosson in the Town of Southeast. He pleaded innocent and was released in $500 bail. It was indicated the charge was a technical one due to the number killed in the accident.
A trooper who investigated the accident said the car veered across the highway into the path of the southbound milk tanker. He said one of the truck's front wheels was jammed almost through the car. Both vehicles come to rest just off the highway, he said.
The girls, all students at St. Mary's Hospital in Brooklyn, were returning to Harlem Valley State Hospital in Wingdale to complete a 12-week psychiatric training course prior to graduation.
Mrs. Ann O'Shea, supervisor of nurses at Harlem Valley, said the girls began the course on Nov. 28 and had gone to New York City for the weekend. She said they were due back at the school by 11 p.m. last night.
Troopers said a passing motorist pulled two of the nurses free of the wreckage. One was thrown clear in the crash. The wreckage of the car had to be pulled apart to recover the rest of the bodies, police said.
Botlman, who was unhurt, told police he saw the car skid and tried to avoid the crash by turning his truck up an embankment.

Times Record Troy New York 1956-12-10