Tragedy struck the Bokelo family on April 24, 1943. On that day Henry Bokelo, age 30, his wife Hazel, and their five children were involved in an automobile crash with a Green Line bus driving on State Route 25 one mile north of Walton. All five children, Patsy and Earl Klumper, age 12 and 10, (Mrs. Bokelo children from a previous marriage), Henry Jr., 3, Charles, 2, and John, 18 months were killed instantly. Henry suffered from internal injuries and died two day after the accident. Hazel survived with a broken arm and internal injuries.
Henry Bokelo and all five children are buried next to each other in the Florence Cemetery.
Walton Advertiser, April 29th, 1943
A Walton, Ky. father and five children were killed and the wife and mother of the family sustained a left arm fracture and internal injuries Saturday afternoon when a automobile in which they were riding crashed into a Green Line bus, leased to the Greyhound Lines, on United States Route 25, one mile north of Walton. The five children were killed outright and the father dies early Monday at St. Elizabeth Hospital.
The dead: Patsy Klumper, 12 years old; Earl Klumper, 10; Henry Bokelo, Jr., 3; Charles Bokelo, 2; John Bokelo, 18 months and the father, Henry Bokelo, 30 years old.
The two older children were Mrs. Bokelo’s by a former marriage.
The father was taken to the hospital by Kentucky State Highway Patrolmen Astor Tinman and Buford Wainscott. Mrs. Bokelo was removed by the ambulance of Chambers and Grubbs, Walton funeral directors. Bodies of the children were taken to the funeral home.
Witnesses told investigating officers that Bokelo was driving south. As he rounded a curve one mile north of Walton a team of horses and a wagon, also traveling south, loomed in front of him. In an effort to avoid hitting the wagon, Bokelo swerved into the path of the northbound bus, then passing the wagon. The larger vehicle plowed over the automobile crushing the top.
The bus was operated by Charles Urich, 1308 Hermes Avenue, Covington, who suffered shock. The bus was empty.
Traffic was blocked for several miles while rescuers were removing the bodies and clearing the highway of wreckage.
The Bokelos had been seen visiting friends in Northern Kentucky and were returning home when the accident occurred.
Mrs. Bokelo is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Brock, Erlanger, Ky. Two brothers of the father, William and Ben Bokelo, also reside in Erlanger. The family moved to Walton from Erlanger one year ago.
Funeral services for the five children were conducted at 6:30 p.m. Sunday in the Florence Cemetery with Father Egbring in charge. The five victims, resting in separate caskets, were buried in one large grave. Chambers and Grubbs were in charge of the burial.
Arrangements for the funeral of Mr. Bokelo were made by J. J. Radel & Sons, Covington funeral directors.