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Family That Suffered Seven Killings Now Has Five Die In Wreck

November 7, 1990 GMT

MORRISVILLE, Mo. (AP) _ Three years ago, the Schnick family awoke to a shooting spree that killed seven of them and put one on death row. Tuesday, the family learned five members from three generations were killed by a truck.

″When I heard it on the radio this morning, I knew. I just knew it was them. I knew they were dead,″ said Wilma Ducker, whose daughter, Sharon Schnick, 45, and three of her daughter’s children were killed in the wreck.

Mrs. Ducker said Sharon Schnick and her family had spent the night with her mother-in-law, Alline Schnick, 65.

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Alline Schnick was the driver of the car that apparently ran a stop sign at a highway intersection about 15 miles north of Springfield and collided with a tractor-trailer truck.

Alline Schnick also was killed in the wreck. The other victims were Sharon Schnick’s children, age 9, 5 and 19 months, said Polk County Coroner Sidney Pitts.

The only two survivors from the car were Sharon Schnick’s husband, Gary M. Schnick, 42, and their 4-year-old son.

None of the Schnicks was wearing a seatbelt, Missouri State Highway Patrol Cpl. Tim Selvey said.

Gary Schnick underwent surgery at a Springfield hospital and was listed in critical condition. Their surviving son was listed in serious condition.

Gary Schnick’s brother, James Schnick, is on Missouri’s death row for an early morning shooting spree in 1987 in which his wife and two nephews were killed. He was charged but not tried with the shooting deaths of four other family members in the spree.

James Schnick was a dairy farmer in Elkland, Mo., about 20 miles east of Tuesday’s accident.

James Schnick first told authorities that he had killed one of his nephews in self-defense. He contended the 14-year-old nephew had killed his own family and then tried to kill him. Police later found out the nephew died trying to fend off an attack by James Schnick.