Odessa, TX Auto And Oil Truck Crash, July 1960


Odessa (AP) - A 30-ton truck flattened an auto, killing two mothers and seven children Thursday. A baby was injured critically.
The victims were MRS. PETTY LEE ROBERTS, 36, and MISS BESS LETTERMAN, 49, neighbors at Odessa; MRS. ROBERTS son, MARICE LYNN, 8; and six LETTERMAN children - DAVID, 16 months; RAMONA, 3; JOY, 5; SUSIE, 7; JOHNNY, 9, and MARY, 10.
MRS. ROBERTS' daughter, CONNIE, 17 months, was in critical condition.
The BJ Oil Well Service Co. truck driver, JOHN BOSTICK, 28, of Odessa, was hospitalized with shock. There were no other witnesses, police said.
Highway Patrolman S. C. Merchant said the car driven by MRS. ROBERTS had pulled from a stop sign on 27th St. into the path of the truck which knocked it into a small ditch and crushed it.
The two women and one child were thrown 50 feet. Two winch trucks were required to lift the truck off the car.
The truck weighed an estimated 60,000 pounds - 30 tons.
Odessa authorities said truck driver BOSTICK stepped out of his truck, looked at the wreckage and collapsed.
At no place was the automobile wreckage taller than two feet after the truck smashed over it.
The car's metal body was so torn that officers had no difficulty getting the dead out. Some of the children's bodies were hanging out of what was left of the car windows.

Hobbs Daily News-Sun New Mexico 1960-07-29