War, WV School Bus Plunges Off Of Cliff, Oct 1939

School Bus Wreckage



War, W. Va., Oct. 12 (AP) -- Worried surgeons in hospitals at Welch counted a seventh fatality today from West Virginia's worst school bus wreck and feared there would be more.
Many of the 74 high school students who fell with their bus over a 75-foot high cliff here yesterday suffered internal injuries and overnight the condition of some became worse.
Sixteen-year-old LUCILLE WHITE of Bartley, who was valedictorian of her junior high school class last year, died this morning, the seventh fatality.
The bus driver and five other students died yesterday and last night.
The name of PAULINE JESSIE, 15, was added to the danger list of the hospitals in Welch, where the injured were taken. Her condition became critical during the night and doctors feared she would die.
Axle Caused Plunge.
A broken front axle which threw the left front wheel off caused the accident, veering the 70-passenger vehicle over the edge of the embankment, where it rolled down in the Norfolk and Western railroad tracks.
Those who died last night were:
HUBERT L. BEICHER, 39, the driver, whose leg had been amputated. He suffered internal injuries and had been given a blood transfusion.
CHARLES COLVARD, 16, of Raysal, also given a blood transfusion. Fractured pelvic and arm bones, ruptured spleen.
RALPH EARLS, 17, of Bartley, ruptured spleen.
Killed in the wreck was 18-year-old MAXINE BEAVERS, of Bartley; LUCILLE MULLENS, of Raysal, died in a hospital an hour afterward; ERNEST NORMAN WOODY, 17, of Bartley, died in a Welch hospital three hours after the accident.
Several Critically Hurt.
Hospital physicians said several of those critically injured had suffered severe internal hurts. Listed as most serious were:
JAMES WHITE, 16, of Omar, Logan county; JESSIE MULLENS, 15, of Raysal, sister of LUCILLE; CHARLES FLANNAGAN, 18, of Bartley; VIRGINIA LOGAN, 16, of English; CLAUDE RYAN, 16, of Bartley; and LUCILLE WHITE, 16, of Bartley.
Principal H. H. SWANN said there probably would be no school until Monday. He said the Welch-War football game, scheduled for Friday night, has been postponed.
Five students injured in the wreck were found late yesterday afternoon at their homes, SWANN said, after a check was started of the pupils known to have been in the bus.
First Fatal Accident.
Big Creek high school, largest in McDowell county, draws its enrollment from a score of small mining villages. The wreckage bus was completing a daily trip to Raysal, Bartley and English when the accident occurred about 8 a.m.
State education department officials said it was the first fatal accident in the history of West Virginia school transportation. About 110,000 pupils are carried daily.

Charleston Daily Mail West Virginia 1939-10-12


War, WV, Bus Wreck

If you are familiar with the War area, this happened on WV Route 16 as you come down the hill approaching the Norfolk-Southern Railroad Crossing and Main Street.

Bartley Disasters

Things went from tragic to disastrous for the community of Bartley WVA. Only three months later, a major mine disaster killed ninety-one Bartley miners...including another member of the Mullins family...which lost one member and another was injured in this bus accident.


I had never heard of this bus

I had never heard of this bus accident. I know it was before my time, but it breaks my heart to know that so many got killed.

bus wrecked

Where did this bus wreck happen at?