Monument, CO Train Wreck, Jul 1895

The Scene of the Disaster

SHOCKING WRECK

Santa Fe Freight Goes Through a Bridge at Monument -- Four Killed.

Denver, July 17. --- An appalling wreck occurred on the Santa Fe road near Monument, Colo., at 11 o'clock this morning. A freight train consisting of twenty cars plunged through a bridge near that place, burying beneath the debris the train crew, a number of tramps and several bridge carpenters who were repairing the bridge. Wrecking crews were quickly dispatched from Denver and Pueblo and a special train from Colorado Springs with physicians. These with the citizens of Monument, worked heroically rescuing the dead and injured. One hundred and fifty feet of trestle went down with the train. The scene under the bridge was described as most shocking, freight cars, bridge timbers, and railroad iron being a horrible wreck. The plunge was of 50 feet to the rocks below.

The killed are JIM CHILDERS, foreman of the bridge gang; MRS. COOPER, wife of the station agent, and an UNKNOWN TRAMP.

The fatally injured are MARK WINCHERS, engineer of the freight train; D. N. IRBY, brakeman.

The seriously injured are JAMES NEAL, CHARLES HAILEY, FRANK SHAW, WALLACE COOPER, CHARLES VAN MERTER, TOM SMITH and JOE WILLIAMS, tramps who were beating their was over the road; J. W. COLE, C. C. CARPENTER and THOMAS STENHOUSE, bridge carpenters and CHARLES SARGENT.

Aspen Weekly Times Colorado 1895-07-18

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CRASHED THROUGH A BRIDGE.

RAILROAD ACCIDENT IN COLORADO IN WHICH THREE PERSONS WERE KILLED AND THREE FATALLY INJURED.

Monument, Col., July 17. -- A Santa Fe freight train, bound from Denver to Colorado Springs, fell through a bridge just south of here at 11 o'clock this morning, killing three persons, fatally injuring three, and seriously injuring fifteen others.
The killed are:
CHILDERS, JAMES, foreman bridge gang.
COOPER, MRS., wife of stationary engineer.
Unknown tramp.
The injured are:
CARPENTER, J. C.
COLE, J. W.
COOPER, WALLACE.
HALLEY, CHARLES.
IRBY, D. N., fatally.
NEAL, JAMES, fatally.
SARGEANT, CHARLES.
SMITH, THOMAS.
SHAW, FRANK.
STERBOOSE, THOMAS S.
VAN MERTER, CHARLES.
WILLIAMS, JOSEPH.
WINCHERS, MARK, fatally.
There were twenty-four cars in the train loaded with stone, lumber, and timber. The bridge gang, consisting of twenty men, were working under the north end of the bridge. The train passed over them, and was nearing the other side when the timbers gave way, and the train went through into the gulch, fifty feet below. Nearly all the men working on the north end were thrown off, and fell below. MRS. COOPER, wife of ALBERT COOPER, the engineer of the bridge work, was sitting on a ledge of rock watching the men work, when the timbers began to crack, and J. C. CHILDERS, who was on the structure, jumped to save her. The leap was to death as he had scarcely reached her side when the great mass of wreckage fell upon them. Both were mangled and buried. CHILDERS was foreman of the bridge gang. There was a moment of silence, and then came the hissing of steam and cries of the scalded men pierced the air.
Fireman FRYE was caught in his cab, but was pulled out. Two brakemen on the engine were scalded.
As soon as possible a wrecking train was brought from Denver, with physicians and surgeons. All that was possible was done for the suffering. They were taken to the hospital at La Junta for treatment.
The bridge was of wood, 50 feet high and 300 feet long. Twenty minutes before the accident occurred the Midland passenger train crossed the structure. The cause of the accident is unknown. The wreckage is piled up thirty feet, and it is thought that there are bodies still under it. It will take two days at least to clear it away. About half of the bridge was taken away by the train in its descent.

The New York Times New York 1895-07-18