Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

August 5, 2012

“THE ROSEVINE TRAGEDY” BY: NEAL MURPHY AUGUST 5, 2012

Filed under: Neal Murphy — Freddie Keel @ 5:55 am

“THE  ROSEVINE  TRAGEDY”

 

BY:  NEAL MURPHY

 

 

The large headlines of the August 26, 1948 issue of the San Augustine Tribune read, “NINE DEAD IN TRUCK-BUS CRASH”.  Thirteen others injured when bus-truck run together Thursday night near Rosevine.

I was eleven years old when this tragic accident happened the night of August 19, 1948 around 9:30 pm.  My Dad and I drove out what is now FM1 to the Tebo Ranch creek bridge and examined the accident scene the next afternoon.  I suppose we were just “rubber-necking”, but we wanted to see the location of one of the worst vehicle accidents in deep East Texas history.  The old bridge was quite narrow, I would say a “one way” bridge over the creek, thus there was not enough room for two vehicles to pass on it.  That is what caused the terrible accident.

Records show that about thirty people were on board the church bus at the time of the accident.  The church bus, driven by Mr. Odessa Oliver, had left the Rosevine Pentecostal church at about 9:30pm.  He was headed south on the Bronson highway to return the church goers to their homes after a revival service.  At the Tebo creek bridge, only about a quarter mile from the church, the bus crashed into a north-bound truck carrying lumber.  Seven of the bus occupants were killed instantly, many being thrown from the bus into the creek below.  The truck driver and bus operator were not injured.

Three ambulances from the Wyman Roberts funeral home were dispatched to the scene of the crash and brought the injured to San Augustine, with the aid of several private cars.  All of the injured were treated by local doctors before being released or transferred to other hospitals.  A number of other passengers in the bus were scratched and bruised, but were not treated by doctors at their request.

Treated at Dr. Brake’s Clinic were:

Joe Flowers, age 60. Head lacerations.

Chester McBride,  crushed skull.

Gertrude Hudson,  internal injuries.

Frank Lee Hudson,  scalp lacerations.

Records show that Flowers was treated and dismissed, but the others were kept in the Brake clinic.

Treated at Dr. Bennett’s Clinic:

Pauline Oliver

Marcel Doyen

Marjorie Oliver

Josephine Hardy

Rhodie Waller

The Olivers and Marcel Doyen were transferred to the Center

hospital, and Rhodie Waller to the Nacogdoches hospital.

Treated at the Dr. C. H. Rulf’s Clinic:

Henrietta Doyen

Opal Hardy

Patricia Ann Ware

Marie Doyen

Betty Doyen

Late Friday afternoon additional assistance from the Red Cross arrived.  Mr. Harvey Nickel, the Red Cross field representative accompanied by Miss Rebecca Pond, a registered Red Cross nurse, evaluated each of the injured persons and stricken families.  Three additional victims were transferred to the Center hospital after being evaluated.  Mr. Nickel stated that the pair would be here for several days to attend to the rehabilitation of the affected families.  Financial assistance was pending the adjustment with insurance companies which had coverage on the lumber truck.

Dr. N. T. Bennett Thursday night commented on the condition of the dead and injured and stated that the number of head injuries was surprising.  Practically all of the injuries were about the head and shoulder area.

Those passengers who were killed instantly in the accident were:

Betty Ann McBride, age 30.

Mrs. Ethyl Doyen, age 60.

Raymond Doyen, age 17.

Charles Ellis Hudson, age 10.

Morris Brown, age 17.

Asbury Oliver, age 72.

Emma Blankenship, age 70.

Chester McBride, age 13 (died later)

Rhodie Waller, age 17 (died later)

Those critically injured:

Gertrude Hudson, age 6.

Marcel Doyen, age 2.

Frank Lee Hudson, age 8.

Funeral services were held at Rosevine at the church where the little group had been to worship for four of the victims on Saturday.  Sister Richards was the pastor of the church.  Funeral services for several other victims were transferred from the Pentecostal church to the Baptist church which afforded more shade and had exhaust fans to combat the sweltering heat.

The city of San Augustine and the Rosevine community were shaken and saddened by this horrific accident.  In fact, spectators at the Fireman’s Annual Rodeo opened up their hearts and their purse strings at the Friday night rodeo and contributed $436.36 to aid the victims.  Records show that there was considerable litigation for the next several years in the courts.

The bridge over the Tebo creek was widened years ago so that vehicles can safely meet and pass.  Even today as I drive over this still dangerous bridge on a sharp curve, I recall the events of August 19, 1948 which impacted so many East Texas families.  This has been just a short recapitulation of the events of 63 years ago.

———————————————-OOO————————————

Other publications from the author:

“From The Heart Of A Country Preacher” – 2006  Xulon Press

“Those Were The Days” – 2007  Xlibris Publishing

“The Psalms – From The Heart Of  A Country Preacher” – 2009  Xlibris Publishing

“Reminiscing The Red Dirt Roads”  –  2011  Xlibris Publishing

Web Site:  SAREDDIRT.COM

To Order:  orders@xlibris.com

“THE  ROSEVINE  TRAGEDY”

By:  Neal Murphy

PO Box 511

107 Hemlock Street

San Augustine, TX 75972

936-275-9033

Cell: 936-275-6986

Email: sugarbear@netdot.com

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3 Comments »

  1. Thank you, Mr. Murphy, for your account of this terrible wreck. My Mom, Pauline Oliver Birdwell, was a passenger on that bus. My grandfather was the driver of that church bus.

    Comment by Kenneth Birdwell — May 6, 2016 @ 5:23 pm | Reply

  2. Ethel Mary Loggins Doyen, my grandmother was not 60 yrs old. She was only 39. Her daughter Marcel was 3. Her son Raymond was 17. I have heard this story my whole life. I always wondered why the truck driver’s name was never mentioned and how one might find out this information. My grandmother who had been widowed in December of 1944 while pregnant with Marcel, left 7 children. The oldest daughter, Virgie Lee Doyen, who was about 19, had to single-handedly raise the other 6 after the tragedy.

    Comment by Mary Lynn Doyen McDaniel — May 6, 2016 @ 1:51 am | Reply

  3. Thanks for sharing. I heard this story from my Grandmother/ MAMAW SCOTT all the years of my child hood. She was six months pregnant with my Mother and notnon the bus that night but her brother was the driver and her father died and Mother survived.

    Comment by Stephanie Scott — May 5, 2016 @ 6:59 pm | Reply


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