Greene County, Arkansas

2 Dead, 14 Injured In School Bus Crash

Paragould, Ark.
Nov. 24, 1948


Two children were killed and 14 were injured when a loaded school bus and a lumber truck collided on a narrow bridge near here late yesterday.

The dead were Betty Lou Counger, 12, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Finis Counger of nearby Halliday, Ark., and Jimmy Schunk, 12, son of  Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Schunk also of Halliday.

Two of the children were injured critically. Lou Ann Kingston, 10, and Bobby Schunk, 8, brother of the dead youth, suffered severe head injuries.

Arkansas State Patrolman Joe Cosner identified the driver of the lumber truck as O. J. Barker, 59 of Rector, Ark., lumber company owner. The school bus was driven by Leon Hatcher, 24. Neither driver was injured.

Cosner said the lumber truck sideswiped the school bus as the two vehicles were crossing a narrow bridge about seven miles north of here. The bus was taking about 30 children to Halliday from school at Marmaduke, Ark. The bus was demolished.

Cosner said the side of the vehicle was "caved in" by the crash. The top of  the vehicle fell on the children he reported.

All of the injured were brought to Dixon-Memorial hospital here where nine physicians aided in treating the children. The Langston girl was later, taken to the Baptist hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

Barker was charged with involuntary manslaughter. He is to be given a preliminary hearing today.  Transcribed by: Sandy Hardin

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