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Thursday, January 21, 1960
Railroad Crossing Crash Instantly Kills Local Man
Burnie Smith Edwards, 63, of Payette was killed instantly at 12:35 p.m. Monday when the
pickup truck he was driving was struck by a Union Pacific switch engine and caboose at the
Center Avenue railroad crossing just east of the Idaho Canning Co.
Edwards had just left his home on Third Avenue North a few minutes before the accident to
mail some letters and run an errand for his wife.
Trainmen who witnessed the accident told city police at the investigation that the engine
whistle was blowing before the engine approached the crossing going south and continued to
blow until the engine struck the Edwards car.
One U. P. employee said the Edwards vehicle had slowed at the crossing and was only
traveling about five miles an hour when it inched into the track crossing.
Police reported that Edwards' death was the third at Payette railroad crossings in the
past eight months and the fourth such accident.
An ironical coincidence at the time of the accident was the presence of the state highway
department survey crews making preliminary surveys for the construction of a railroad
overpass just 100 yards north of the scene of the accident.
Witnesses said that Edwards apparently did not see the approaching engine. Police
reported that his pickup was carried 170 feet from the point of impact and the vehicle was
Trainmen told police the engine was traveling at about 45 miles per hour when it struck
the Edwards car.
Funeral services for Mr. Edwards were held at 1 p.m. Thursday (today) at the Shaffer
Chapel in Payette with the Rev. Leonard Clark officiating. Interment was at Riverside.
Mr. Edwards was born in White county, Arkansas June 20, 1896 and came from Richland,
Oregon to Payette in 1940 where he was a residential contractor. He was a member of the
Orchard Avenue Grange.
In addition to his wife Mable, he is survived by three sons, Clifford of Richland, Wash.,
Kenneth of Paso Robles, Calif., and Teddy of Fort Lewis, Wash.: one daughter, Mrs. Willie
Lee Holman of Portland, Ore.: 15 grandchildren: three great grandchildren: three brothers
and one sister.