Vinton, LA Greyhound Bus And Truck Collision, Aug 1965
BUS-TRUCK CRASH KILLS 11.
Vinton, La. (AP) -- A Houston-to-New Orleans bus collided with a truck carrying heavy lumber near this southwest Louisiana town Friday night, killing 11 persons and injuring 28.
The front 10 feet of the Greyhound bus were sheared off. The impact catapulted giant timbers from the truck through the passenger sections of the bus.
"It was just awful," said W. M. PIERCE, a Houston truck driver who reached the scene moments later.
"When I arrived I saw three passengers walking around," PIERCE said. "They were covered with blood. Another passenger was hanging out of a window and apparently dead."
A deputy sheriff said some of the bodies were so mangled that identification could only be made through fingerprints.
The truck driver, HENRY C. GREGORY, 35, of Houston, was one of those killed.
The bus driver, JEFF BLANKENSHIP of Houston, was seriously injured. He spent several hours in surgery at a Beaumont, Tex., hospital. First reports that he was dead later proved erroneous.
The injured passengers were taken to hospitals in Lake Charles and Sulphur, La., and Orange, Tex. The three most seriously injured appeared to be MOTT MUSGROVE, 13, of New Orleans, whose mother was among the dead; ERNEST CAMPBELL, 45, Port Arthur, Tex.; and JUANITA VYES, 35, Birmingham, Ala.
The wreck occurred on the Old Spanish Trail -- heavily traveled U.S. 90 near the Louisiana and Texas border.
The two vehicles met in the center of the highway, state police said.
Few of the passengers -- many of whom were asleep -- had any warning. Some of them, winners in a photo-service promotion contest, anticipated a happy, expense-paid weekend in New Orleans.
"I was sitting about the middle of the bus, and it seemed like all of a sudden the bus was trying to stop," recalled WILLARD COLEMAN, 47, Lake Charles. "Somebody hollered, 'Watch out.' From that point, I don't remember too much of anything."
DANNY DANIELS, 18, of Pascagoula, Miss., was thrown from the bus. He had to be restrained by police from re-entering the wreckage in search of his brother TERRY, 12. TERRY'S body later was recovered.
One of the prize winners, C. P. BROUSSARD, Port Arthur, Tex., was among the dead.
Six other winners were among the injured.
Logansport Pharos Tribune And Press Indiana 1965-08-29