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Clinton County, Illinois — November 1, 1974

A motorist allegedly rear-ended a coal truck Monday in the Trenton area, killing himself and four passengers.

According to reports, an unidentified driver was operating a coal truck as it traveled near the intersection of U.S. Route 50 and Illinois State Route 160. As the truck approached a railroad crossing, he decelerated.

Meanwhile, Robert Schaeferle was operating a pickup truck as it traveled behind the coal truck. Mr. Schaeferle reportedly failed to slow in time and smashed into the back of the truck.

Mr. Schaeferle died at the scene, along with passengers Kathy Kreke, Randy Riley, 24-year-old Vicki Lynn Swinney and Jennie Bickner.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 1.13 fatalities occurred for every 100 million miles of travel in 2009. The rate in 1966 was 5.5 deaths per 100 million miles.

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  • David Scopes

    This is not accurate. all those kids were in high school. Robert Schaeferle did not die in the accident or from injuries related to the accident