Archbold, OH Train Crashes Into Bobsled, Jan 1948


Archbold, Ohio, Jan. 5. (AP) - "I thought the track was clear," JESSE WYSE said today in explaining how the New York Central's
"Chicagoan" passenger train smashed his farm bobsled, killing 10 children of the three neighbors and seriously injuring two others, one of them his daughter.
WYSE and his 13-year-old son, JOHN, whom the father believed "too young and inexperienced" to take the tractor-drawn sled out himself, were not hurt. The boy leaped to safety from the rear of the sled.
"I just stiffened in my seat on the tractor," the father said. "The train hit the sled, tore it loose from the tractor and hurled it down the tracks."
The bobsled was scattered for a mile along the right-of-way east of this northwestern Ohio town. Two of the victims were ground beneath wheels of the train. Train passengers were uninjured and the train continued to Chicago after a 57-minute delay.
By that time, witnesses said, snow nearly blotted out all evidence of the tragedy which occurred at 1:30 p.m. yesterday.
WYSE planned originally to take the youngsters out Saturday, but was unable to do so until yesterday. His son, JOHN, told state highway patrolmen he begged to take the sled out himself "but dad said I was too young and inexperienced."
WYSE said he stopped at the crossing and thought the tracks were clear.
"I started up the tractor again and just as it was clearing the tracks, I saw the train bearing down on the sled," he continued.
"It was horrible."
The dead were identified by Coroner H. M.
Warner of Fulton County, as four children of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence GRIESER - GAYLE, 13; her twin, CHARLENE; PATRICIA, 8; and SHARON, 6; - Four children of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond GRIESER - DONALD, 13; MARLIN, 11; ARLENE, 10; and JANET, 4; - two daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Lyle OSBORNE - JEAN, 12; and MARJORIE, 16.
WYSE'S daughter, JANICE, 7, and another daughter of the Lawrence GRIESER'S, SHIRLEY, 9, were hospitalized at nearby Wauseon.
D. O. Scherer, of Toledo, engineer of the train said he saw the sleigh-ride party, whistled frantically but was unable to stop in time. He estimated his speed at 80 miles an hour. Conductor R. L. Snook of Elkhart, Ind., said two of the children leaped before the train struck.
SHIRLEY, taken to a Wauseon hospital with a broken leg, described the "terrible moment" of the tragedy.
"We didn't see the train because we were having so much fun," she related. "All of a sudden we looked up - and there the train was, big as everything and whistling like mad."
"I was so scared I didn't know what to do, so I just sat there."
"JANICE WYSE and I were sitting up front in the bobsled. The next thing we both knew we were flying right through the air."

Harrisburg Telegraph Pennsylvania 1948-01-05