Chicago, IL Engine Into River, Nov 1897



Chicago, Ill., Nov. 11. -- WILLIAM RAYMOND, a fireman on the North-Western railway, met death last night by the plunging of a switch engine into the river at an open draw. MICHAEL J. LEAVITT,
the engineer, narrowly escaped the same fate.
At 5:30 o'clock switch engine No. 147 pulled out of the station shed at Wells and Kinzie Streets. Approaching the river neither engineer nor fireman noticed that the bridge was swung and that all danger signals were set. Frank McInerny
who has charge of the switches, called a warning from the tower about the men, but it was unheard on account of the noise of passing trains, and the locomotive rolled forward, trembled an instant in the air and then plunged into the depths of the river.
The fireman, with a cry of alarm, jumped at the first intimation of danger. He landed in the river and watchers on the bank saw him come up. He paddled feebly, but appeared to be stunned and was not able to grasp the long pole extended by the bridgetenders. A moment later the dark waters had closed over his form.
LEAVITT remained in his cab, with his hand on the throttle and went down with the engine. The waters had hardly closed over the engine before the form of the engineer was seen striking vigorously for the shore. The bridge-tenders threw him a rope and he was assisted into a rowboat that had been brought up. While bruised and exhausted, his injuries were not considered serious, and he was immediately driven away in a cab without making a statement.
This is MICHAEL J. LEAVITT'S first accident during more than twenty-five years of service. He is about 60 years old and resides at 2543 North Forty-fourth Court, Ravenswood.
The dead fireman had been an employe of the road for three years. He was a single man and lived at Ashland, Wis.
Three months ago a similar accident occurred not far from the same spot. An out-bound suburban train on the Milwaukee & St. Paul ran into an open draw near Kinzie Street, and the locomotive and tender were entirely submerged. The front end of the smoking car was also under water, but all the passengers, as well as the engineer and fireman, escaped serious injury, almost as by a miracle. This accident occurred just after 6 p.m.

Sheboygan Times Wisconsin 1897-11-13