I am looking for a Newspaper Clipping or piece on a Car Accident on Highway D, going towards Rolla, Phelps County, MO. North on I-44 there is a Highway D near Jerome, MO.
The accident happened when going around a curve, going to the Lake of the Ozarks, for an outing. When the car failed to make the curve going towards the Lake the vehicle rolled numerous times down the cliff. When it finally Landed it was facing towards Rolla, so when the accident report was made it said that the passengers were going back from the Lake Ozark but in reality, we were on our way to the Lake, but during the rolls and flips the vehicle was facing the opposite direction. The Police said that No one should have survived.
Two sisters, (Ella) Louise Pruitt. Maiden name Stone, her sister, Gloria Jean Williams-Maiden name Stone, were going to the Lake with Louise's Daughter, 4 1/2 years old, Rhonda Lynn Pruitt, and Gloria's two daughter's, Brenda Joeleen Williams age 4 1/2 years old also, and Baby Balinda Jo Williams age approx 21 months old but not 2 yet, were in the vehicle just prior to the crash. Louise and niece Baby Balinda were thrown from the vehicle. Gloria was in the front Passenger side some what pinned in on her side of the car, and Rhonda and Brenda were still in the back seat with the car resting on its roof.
Most seriously hurt was Baby Balinda Jo Williams and Mother-Gloria Jean Williams. The only way we found Balinda was that she was totally Bald. Mother had Rhonda and I with her looking for the baby. She truely felt that Balinda was under the car, that must have landed on her. We kept trying to dig and feel for the baby.
Fortunately we found that not to be the case. All of a sudden the Sun shone just at the right angle that it had shone directly on Balinda's Bald head and we saw her at last. She was terribly injured and head cut so deep we seen her skull.She was lying on large Boulders. Mother had injuries to her head, neck and shoulder. My Back was all cut up from the back windshield shattering, Rhonda had bumps and bruises to her body-hip, My body fell and covered hers from the glass.
My memory of the accident had Aunt Louise unconscious and sitting up by a tree after being thrown from the vehicle, she was the driver. Also I thought that I had seen a road sign or another vehicle side swipe us and then we went over the cliff after some time of trying to keep on the road, then Mother having to make a decision to either try to get Aunt Louise able to walk/climb hill side back up to the road or leave her to save baby Balinda. My Cousin Rhonda says her Mother was with us. I only remember one adult Female with all three children and thought it to be my Mother. Rhonda says we all climbed the mountain side/cliff/hill and got to the road at the top. there were huge boulders to climb and all up hill also there were RR Tracks down the cliff near where we fell off the road. I remember that Rhonda and I were following the Woman all lined up like ducks in a row, Crying, bleeding and seeing people driving by not even stopping to help for a long time, our feet burning because we were in bathing suits and flip flops that were knocked off our feet in the accident., and finally a lone Trucker stopped and gave us a ride to get help. Rhonda says the trucker stopped and took Gloria-my Mother and my sister-Balinda to get help. She says that I begged to go with Mom and Balinda but didn't and stayed behind and followed Aunt Louise and Rhonda to go and get help. Since Mom and Balinda were the most injured, and we all couldn't fit in the truck we walked for help. She said that the friends we were following came back for us. Mother did say that she was walking carrying Baby Balinda in her arms and both were bleeding badly, Mom thought all along that she was carrying a dead infant. She said she was going in and out of consciousness or close to it, trying to black out from loss of blood but kept on walking for help in case she could get the baby and the rest of us help. Mom and her Sister Louise were barely 22 or 23 years old at the time of the accident if that old.
I remember there were two ambulances, I road in one for sure. We were all taken to Rolla Hospital, Louise and Rhonda were released, My Dad, Military (Army SGT.), didn't want us in the Rolla Hospital and Mom, Balinda and I were transported once again to Fort Leonard Wood, Pulaski County, MO.
Newspapers could have been reporting on this accident in Pulaski County, Phelps County and even Laclede Counties in MO. I know there was a newspaper reporting this accident but when it was clipped out, the name of the newspaper was not with it. Also there were pictures taken at the junk yard or during the retrieval of the vehicle from the crash site over the cliff.
It had to have happened between June of 1963-even to Aug 1963 because for me to be 4 1/2 that would be the time span. Temperatures were in the 100's. Seems to me that I was disturbed to have read the clipping and there was no mention of Baby Balinda being in the accident but she definately was there with us all. This was years ago when I was young.
I do not have the tools to search for or resources to look in newspapers for this accident. There must have been a Police report somewhere or Highway Patrol report something.
If anyone could help me find such information I would be deeply grateful. The clipping or section on the accident may have listed Louise as Mrs.Ralph Pruitt and my Mother Gloria could have been listed as Mrs.Delmar I Williams or Wife of SGT Delmar Williams of Fort Leonard Wood, at least he was, not sure if my Mother still living with him at that time or not, they were Divorced Oct, 1963 and the accident happened the summer just prior to the Divorce which occured in Pulaski County, MO, in Waynesville. Possibly the Newspaper for the Fort may have reported the Accident since Dependants were involved.
If anyone had a Father, grandfather or Brother or Uncle that may have told such a story and was a Truck driver during 1963 or there about who has spoke of such an incident I would like to speak to you.
Waiting for any reply and thank you in advance.
P.S. My sincere hope is that all parents will make sure infants are in cars seats and older children in booster seats or seat belts for safety. Parents are the only ones who can protect these little ones. Children that young don't know how to protect themselves. When we crashed, at that time don't think there were seat belts in that vehicle, but had there been, bodies would not have been thrown out and the head injuries to the infant would not have been so severe. two 4 1/2 year old cousins would not have been thrown all through the car and hitting the roof of the car and ending on the inside of the roof at the end. Please parents, relatives, and all responsible in transporting children buckle up these Precious Gifts from God.
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