Newton, KS Train Wreck Killed One, Jan 1905

The Evening Kansan Republican , Newton,, Kansas January 17, 1905. As told in last evening's Kansan Republican , the north bound fast mail train No. 116, due to arrive in Newton at 3:00 o'clock was wrecked a mile and a half south of derby yesterday noon, resulting in great destruction to property, and wounding a number of trainmen and passengers and in the killing of the express messenger, L. L. West, a Newton boy. News of the accident came to Newton shortly before three o'clock and spread very quickly over town. The wrecked train was in charge of Conductor Frank Conway, with Engineer Charles Druce in the cab. They were running along briskly being fifty minutes late and had reached a piece of bad track a mile and a half south of derby when the wheels of the tender jumped the track and the four cars that composed the train followed. The cars rolled down an embankment twenty-five feet deep at the side of the track and lay on their sides. None of them turned over. The engine stayed on the track and neither engineer nor fireman was hurt. The passengers and trainmen were hurled towards the front of the cars and were bruised and cut by coming into contact with parts of the car.Fortunately, no fires started and the horrors of a conflagration were escaped. L. L. west, the express messenger, was found under the express car in which he worked. it is supposed he jumped from the car in the direction it was falling and was caught under the car and crushed. He was dead when aid reached him, the upper part of the body, especially the left shoulder and arm and the back of the head, being badly crushed. His neck too, was broken, so that death must have been instantaneous. Only his head and arms were visible to the rescuers. News of the accident was promptly telegraphed to the division offices here and a special was ordered to be sent to the scene from Wichita. The wrecking train was quickly sent from Newton and with it went superintendent Fox and most of the officials of the operating department stationed here. The wounded were brought to Wichita where those whose injuries were the most serious were given medical treatment. Charles Shafer, an express messenger whose home is in Oklahoma City, was found to be the most seriously hurt. A train was made up at Wichita and sent on through Newton to Kansas City as No. 116. It arrived here about eight o'clock last evening, bringing the body of Mr. West and many passengers from the ill-fated train. Nearly all the passengers had cuts and bruises and all had thrilling stories to tell of their experiences in the wreck. The wrecking crew worked all last night and today on the wreck. Traffic, however was not delayed long, No. 405 leaving here yesterday afternoon shortly after five o'clock. The property loss will be very large, as the cars were all more or less torn and smashed.