Wilhites Station, AL Train Wreck, Jan 1886
WENT DOWN WITH THE BRIDGE.
TWO MEN KILLED BY A COLLISION OF FREIGHT TRAINS
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Jan. 9. – A fearful accident occurred on the South and North Alabama Division of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad at the bridge over Flint River, near Wilhites Station, Morgan County, to-day. Two sections of a north-bound freight telescoped. Part of the first section broke loose and remained on the bridge and was run into by the second section. The shock caused the collapse of the bridge, 100 feet of which was undergoing repairs. Five cars, went down with the bridge. The wreck caught fire and 18 cars were burned. JOHN JOHNSON, fireman of the second section, fell until his engine and was drowned. HENRY BOTELER, brakeman, was caught under a car and burned to death. Engineer W. D. Johnson, brother of the dead fireman, was fatally burned. Conductor George Young and a negro brakeman named Thomas McCreary were seriously burned. The freight consisted mostly of pig iron, which will be saved. Conductor L. O. Harris, of the first section, swam across the almost frozen river to flag the north-bound passenger train, which was to come along in a few minutes.
The New York Times, New York, NY 10 Jan 1886