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Arden & Betty Wesner Car/Train Accident
the father of Juan * * * Train Rams Car; Couple Survive Trying To Push Stalled Auto Off Tracks By DEWEY HANES N-P Staff Writer A young St. Joseph couple on their way to school yesterday morning miraculously escaped with their lives when a freight train ripped into their car as it stalled on a grade crossing near their "It was like a nightmare," murmured murmured Mrs. Betty Jane Wesner, 25, to police as she stood, stunned and bleeding, near the crossing following the crash, awaiting the ambulance. Her husband, Arden, 23, lay on the ground beside her, his right arm shattered and eye, scalp and knee severely cut. "Call the church and ask them to pray for us," he asked the police police officers. The Wesners, both Sunday school teachers at the Fairplain Assembly of God, left their home two blocks away at 115 Hawthorne Hawthorne road about 9:30 a. m. and were driving east when their car stalled at the C. O. railroad crossing. PUSHES CAR Wesner, a tool and die maker at Hughes Plastics in St. Joseph, got out of the car and began to push it off the double set of railroad railroad tracks. At that moment, a 61-car Grand Rapids bound freight pulled by three diesel locomotive units barrelled around the curve just south of Hawthorne road at Only Days Left To Give Your Fair Share To United Fund ARDEN,AND BETTY WESNER 55 miles an hour. Engineer Lloyd Chambers, 62, of Grand Rapids, said he saw car on the tracks at the crossing. A man was on the far side attempting to push it and a was starting to get out of the auto, he said. "I couldn't figure It," he said. "I was laying on that whistle, they stayed right with it." Chambers said he started to sound the whistle at the whistle pole a half mile south of the crossing. There are no flasher signals at the crossing. The big diesel knifed into the right rear side of the car, it down the embankment to north of the crossing. APPLIES BRAKES Chambers said when he realized realized the car would not make off the crossing, he threw on emergency brakes and ducked away from the window. He estimated the train was about two freight car lengths away from the stalled auto when he applied the brakes. The diesel ground to a stop Hilltop road about a quarter (See back page, sec. 1, col. 5)