Nearman, KS Head On Train Collision, Feb 1925



(By the Associated Press)
Kansas City, Kan. Feb. 7. -- Five persons were killed and several others injured, three dangerously, when the locomotive of Missouri Pacific passenger train No. 104 eastbound from Omaha to Kansas City left the rails and crashed into a standing freight train at Nearman, three miles west of here.
The exact cause of the wreck had not been determined tonight.
The revised list of dead:
D. R. WIRES, Falls City, Neb., fireman of freight train.
R. H. JONES, Falls City, Neb., engineer of freight train.
MARVIN C. VODELL, Kansas City, engineer of passenger train.
W. E. GARDNER, Kansas City, fireman of passenger train.
Corporal CARLOS HALL, attached to service school at Fort Leavenworth.
W. J. Neely, of Falls City, Neb., brakeman of the freight train, who witnessed the accident, declared he saw the passenger train leap from the rails of the main line as the front trucks of the locomotive hit the switch. He said the passenger engine swung into the freight train on the sidetrack, then rebounded and rolled down a 10-foot embankment.
The freight train of 81 cars had been standing on a siding at Nearman about 20 minutes waiting for No. 104. The freight was headed west.
The passenger train was late and speeding about 45 miles an hour, it was said. NEELY, the freight brakeman, said he was standing on the main line track watching the rocking locomotive as the passenger roared toward him.
The impact of the locomotive was heard for several miles. Farmers who rushed to the scene said they found the passengers leaping from the windows of the coaches and women screaming and praying. The freight engine was thrown down a shallow embankment into mud.
R. H. JONES, Falls City, Neb., engineer of the freight train, was pinned in his cab and died while men struggled vainly to reach him.
All the dangerously injured are soldiers from Fort Leavenworth, Kan., who were riding the blinds on the passenger train. They are D. N. COULSTON, 22, right arm crushed; KENNETH BUNKER, right arm and right leg severed and J. A. PAINTER, 21, left arm severed.
"Something snapped when the passenger hit the switch," said Neely, brakeman on the freight. "I saw the engine leap up and hit the engine on my train. I jumped down the embankment. I could hear the roar of the passenger locomotive plowing through cars on the freight train. I kept on running. The passenger locomotive tumbled down the bank in the direction in which I had been running."

Sioux City Journal Iowa 1925-02-08