Charlotte, NC Auto And Train Collide, Dec 1931

Old Dowd Road Crash



Charlotte, N.C., Dec. 26 - (AP) - Death under the wheels of a fast Southern passenger train ended the Christmas celebration of a family of four and five other persons at the Dowd Road crossing near here early today.
Eight of the party, including two small children, were killed instantly as the northbound Birmingham Special crashed into their light touring car shortly before 1 o'clock.
MISS LOMA COX, of York, S.C., died two hours later at a hospital after two blood transfusions had been made. Ambulance drivers found her barely alive on the front of the engine which ground to a halt two blocks from the scene of the crash.
In addition to MISS COX, the dead are:
MR. and MRS. T. H. HOLTON and their children, WILBUR, 4, and MAXINE, 2. HOLTON was an employee of the Kendell Mills at Thrift.
VAUGHAN HOLTON, Paw Creek, mechanic and HOLTON'S brother.
JOHN H. LOVE, Paw Creek, filling station operator.
DURLE COX, of near Paw Creek.
RAYMOND SHARPE, Thrift textile worker.
Identification was difficult for the bodies were mangled almost beyond recognition.
The party had left the home of Frank Cox, father of MISS COX, at York a short while before, relatives said. They were driving with the car's curtains up and evidently failed to notice the beams of the locomotive which thundered toward the crossing.
There were no witnesses to the crash, the impact of which was so great the women's shoes were knocked off. Three of the victims right legs and wrists were broken.
Officials from the textile mills at Thrift came here shortly after the bodies were transferred to a mortuary and made complete identification. Relatives arrived later and verified the identifications.
The party was enroute back to the Paw Creek section and apparently was oblivious to the train which hurtled out of the darkness upon them. Pieces of the automobile were strewn for two blocks up the track.
Engineer C. R. Nesbitt, who with Conductor Milton Clapp was in charge of the train, was quoted as saying the crossing was clear as he approached.
A. L. Harmon, claim agent for the railroad, would make no statement but said the crossing was blind from both approaches on the south and from one approach on the north. Railroad officials at Greenville, S.C., would make no statement today.
The special, enroute to New York, resumed its journey after more than an hour's delay.
Funeral services for the HOLTON family will be conducted tomorrow but relatives of the other dead have not completed burial arrangements.
F. A. Love, brother of John Love, sold the automobile to his brother and that, from the description of the body in the driver's seat he believed SHARPE had been driving.
Coroner Frank Hovis today said he regarded a formal inquest hardly necessary although he was making an investigation.
Harmon said the crossing was the scene of many fatalities but he recalled the last major accident there occurred 12 years ago on New Year's day.
Then, he said, five persons were killed as their automobile was hit by a train.

Florence Morning News South Carolina 1931-12-27