1974 highway accident
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+10508) one month ago
I have had a call from a gentleman looking into a tragic highway accident that took place on August 14, 1974, eight miles south of town on highway 312. A RV with five of his family members was in an accident and killed. Does anyone recall this sad event?
Highway 312 doesn't appear on the current highway map and with my crappy geography, I can't remember where it was. I know 212. Anyway, eight miles south of town on Highway 312.
He plans to come to visit and want to see the site. Anybody with a good memory?
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Posted by David Schott (+15325) one month ago
Reply to Amorette Allison (#380442)
I believe MT Highway 59 between Miles City and Broadus was known as US 312 for a time. As Richard Bonine pointed out not too long ago in the "Photos of one-room schoolhouses southeast of M.C." thread the Broadus highway has been realigned over the years so it's possible the exact accident location is not on the current path of the highway.

Belleville Telescope:
Thursday, August 22, 1974

Four residents of Haddam, Fairbury, Nebr., and Byron, Nebr., were killed Monday morning in a fiery crash with a lumber truck south of Miles City, Mont. Killed were George Kettelhut, 68, of Byron, Nebr., Mrs. Walter (Dorothy) Kettelhut, 53, of Fairbury, Nebr., Robert Cox of Haddam, 54, and his wife Vera, 52. In critical condition at a Miles City Hospital are Mrs. George (Anna) Kettelhut, 64, of Byron, and Walter Kettlehut, 69, of Fairbury. The three area couples had been in Canada on a vacation trip with a pickup truck with mounted camper on the truck bed. They were also pulling a trailer behind the pickup. The six were headed south on a two-lane highway nine and one-half miles south of Miles City, Mont., when the mishap occurred. Miles City Sheriff Bill Damm told The Telescope that authorities haven’t determined exactly what occurred but said the accident happened as the pickup-camper and trailer were being passed by a semi-trailer loaded with 2x4’s. Damm said the truck driver told authorities that as he got along-side the pickup-camper and trailer, the trailer somehow got sucked under the trailer load of 2x4’s. Then both vehicles, out of control went off the road, over a 10-foot embankment. The semi-trailer then tumbled down on top of the camper-pickup, which exploded in flames. Three of the deceased were killed almost immediately, and Mrs. Walter Kettelhut died hours later in the hospital. The truck driver was not seriously hurt. Authorities were unable to talk with survivors Mrs. George Kettelhut and Walter Kettelhut, who were unconscious and in critical condition at the Miles City Hospital. Custer County coroner Dale M. Stevenson said that several of the bodies were burned beyond recognition when the pickup-camper exploded. Steve Kettelhut of Fairbury, son of the Walter Kettelhuts and Willis Kettelhut of Deshler, Nebr., son of the George Kettelhuts flew to Miles City Tuesday to visit survivors and identify the dead. Mrs. LaVern Heitman of Hardy, daughter of the George Kettelhuts also flew to Miles City and will stay with her mother, Anna, in the Miles City Hospital. Bodies of the four were returned to Belleville Wednesday morning on a Capitol Airlines plane arranged by John Dart of Bachelor-Faulkner-Dart Funeral Home in Belleville. Funeral services for Mr. and Mrs. Robert Cox will be held at IO a.m. Thursday (today) morning at the United Methodist Church in Haddam. Burial will be in the Haddam Cemetery. Services for Mrs. Walter Kettelhut will Fly Burned Bodies Back be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday in the American-Lutheran Church at Fairbury, Nebr., with burial in the Fairbury Cemetery. Services for George Kettelhut will be Friday at 2 p.m. at the St. Peter Lutheran Church northwest of Byron, Nebr., with burial in St. Peter’s Cemetery. Surviving Mrs. Kettelhut are husband Walter, sons Dave of Paris, Ten., and Steve of Fairbury; daughters, Joyce, Mrs. Richard Roesler of Cook, and Bonnie, Mrs. Samuel Gould of Crete; two brothers, Rudolph Bohling and Richard Bolding, both of Johnson; four sisters, Viola, Mrs. William Winters of Palmer, Kas., Alvina, Mrs. Bernard Kuhlmann of Lebanon, Kas., Sophie, Mrs. Roy Rizor of Tecumseh and Hill da, Mrs. Wesley Zier of Lincoln, and four grandchildren. The Kettelhut family moved to Fairbury several years ago from the Hubbell area. George Kettelhut, 68, was a retired farmer and resident of Byron. Surviving are his wife, Annie; son, Willis of Deshler; four daughters, Verla, Mrs. LaVern Heitmann of Hardy, Leora, Mrs. Verden Freitag of Byron, Jeannette, Mrs. Richard Mohrmann of Byron, and Joan, Mrs. Willis Gass of San Angelo, Texas.

Fremont Nebraska Tribune:
Wednesday, August 21, 1974

Crash victims are identified

MILES CITY, Mont. (AP) The Montana Highway Patrol on Tuesday identified three Midwestern couples as the dead and injured in a bizarre wreck Monday that killed four persons and critically injured two others. Officials said relatives arrived by a chartered airplane to sort out the names of the dead and near-dead from the smashup that saw a camper unit hit a lumber truck south of this eastern Montana cowtown. The patroj said the dead in the smashup included Robert Cox, 54, and his wife, Vera, 52, of Haddam, Kan. Also killed were Dorothy Kettelhut, 55, Fatrbury, Neb., and George Kettelhut, 68, Bryan, Neb. The collision left a surviving .spouse of each of the Kettelhut victims m critical condition at a Miles City hospital. The patrol identified the injured as Anna Kettelhut, 64, Bryan, and Walter Kettelhut, 69, Fairbury. Custer County Coroner Dale M. Stevenson said the victims were from neighboring towns across the Kansas-Nebraska border. Stevenson said the victims all apparently were relatives.
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Posted by David Schott (+15325) one month ago
Lincoln Nebraska Journal Star
Wednesday, August 21, 1974

Fairbury Residents Killed in Montana

Miles City, Mont. (AP) - The Montana Highway Patrol Tuesday identified three Midwestern couples as the dead and injured in a bizarre wreck Monday that killed four persons and critically injured two others. Officials said relatives arrived by a chartered airplane to sort out the names of the dead and near-dead from the smashup that saw a camper unit hit a lumber truck south of this eastern Montana cowtown. The patrol said the dead in the smashup included Robert Cox, 54, and his wife, Vera, 52, of Haddam, Kan. Also killed were Dorthy Kettelhut, 53, Fairbury, Neb., and George Kettelhut, 68, Byron, Neb. The collision left a surviving spouse of each of the Kettelhut victims in critical condition at a Miles City hospital. The patrol identified the injured as Anna Kettelhut, 64, Byron, and Walter Kettelhut, 69, Fairbury. The patrol said initial investigation pointed to a supplementary gasoline can carried on the towing unit as the reason for the deadly fire that erupted when the vehicles brushed the side of a Townsend Lumber Co. truck. The truck involved in the holocaust was driven by Jack Gross of Laurel, Mont. Neither Gross nor his wife, a passenger in the truck, was injured.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+10508) one month ago
Thanks so much. From the description, it sounded like 59 South but had a different number lo those many years ago.
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Posted by Tim Miles (+457) one month ago
Interestly to me, the County Commissioner area map shows the Broadus hiway as 312, dated in 2004.
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Posted by Bruce Ingraham (+180) one month ago
Google old US highway 312. Click on End of US highway 312- US Ends.com. This site will unravel some confusion on 312.
US highway 212 is depicted on old maps as starting at Yellowstone park. Going towards Billings then down to Crow Agency towards Broadus then toward Befourche and eventually ending in Minneapolis.
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