Eugene, OR Truck And Auto Collision, Dec 1959


Eugene, Ore. (AP) -- Four University of Washington students, bound for the Rose Bowl football game at Pasadena, Calif., died early today in a crash on an icy, foggy highway.
Their automobile slammed into a tank truck and trailer that had jackknifed into the wrong lane on two-lane U. S. 99, five miles north of here.
A fifth occupant of the car was brought to a hospital here with serious injuries.
The dead, killed outright, were:
DERWOOD BURR NORDIN, 23, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.
MYRA LEE TAYLOR, 21, Tacoma.
EVELYN JOY SIMONS, 20, Shelton, Wash.
Brought to Sacred Heart Hospital here with fractures of ribs, collarbone and nose as well as head injuries was BARBARA JEAN HILL, 21, Seattle. Her condition was called serious but probably not critical.
Patrolman Allan Lindley said the truck and trailer, driven by Ernest Albert Rice, Jr., 35, slowed when a car ahead of it breaked.
Lindley said the driver told him that as soon as he applide his brakes the big rig began to skid and the trailer swung around into the southbound lane.
The students' car hit it with such force, he said, that the front end of the car was demolished.
There was ice because of freezing fog, the patrolman said, with a considerable amount of it in the accident area. He added visibility was limited.
The truck driver, from Rodeo, Calif., suffered only a leg bruise, Lindley said. His relief driver, who was not hurt, was Henry D. Dees, 44, San Pablo, Calif. The truck was owned by Pacific Inter-mountain Express of Oakland, Calif.
Lindley said the truck driver told him he was not aware of ice on the highway until he applied his brakes and the trailer began to swing.
Traffic was halted for about half an hour while the truck-trailer was straightened out and taken away.
Lindley said the time of the accident was fixed at 1:30 a.m. by one of the dead girls' watches which stopped at that time.
The deaths put Oregon's 1959 highway toll at 492 in the Associated Press tabulation, only two short of the worst record in history.
It was the fourth time this year that four or more have been killed in a single accident in the state.

Port Angeles Evening News Washington 1959-12-29