Caneyville, KY Train Wreck, Dec 1902

FOUR MEN KILLED.

DISASTROUS WRECK ON THE ILLINOIS CENTRAL THIS MORNING.

FAST PASSENGER STRIKES A WORK TRAIN AND KILLS THREE AND FATALLY INJURES ANOTHER.

CAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT.

One of the worst wrecks the Illinois Central has had in recent years occurred this morning at Caneyville, Ky., 84 miles this side of Louisville, when the fast train No. 104, which was due to leave Paducah at 1:25 for Louisville, ran into a work train at 6:32 o'clock and killed three men and fatally injured another.
The killed are:
Fireman W. O. ROBERTS, of Central City, of the passenger.
Fireman STITH, of the work train.
Flagman THOMAS BELL, of the work train.
Engineer LOUIS COFER, of Louisville, is seriously injured and death is expected momentarily.
Conductor D. G. McCANN, of the work train, was injured by having his foot badly mashed, and was taken to Louisville for treatment.
The passenger train arrived at Paducah an hour late this morning and changed engines. Engineer LOUIS COFER, of Louisville, with Fireman W. O. ROBERTS, of Central City, handled the engine while Conductor W. S. FORSYTHE looked after the train.
Of late the trains have been running a little later than reported and the cause of the wreck is supposed to have been an oversight of the work train crew who thought that the fast train would be later than reported.
The work train was in charge of Conductor D. G. McCANN, formerly a switchman in the Paducah yards, but now of Louisville; Engineer ROBERT STITH, of E'town and Fireman STYCHE of Louisville. The work train pulled into the siding to take water but did not quite clear the main line, a portion of the train being left across the main line. The passenger came along and struck before the train was sighted and so heavy was the force with which it struck that the big passenger engine was turned completely around and over, killing the fireman instantly and mortally wounding the engineer. The coaches of the passenger train did not leave the rails and none of the passengers are seriously injured.
There were several passengers bruised slightly but not seriously. The passenger engine is a total wreck and also are several cars of the work train, the wreck being principally a side swipe.
Engineer STITH was on Engineer Barney Keegan's engine when it left the track at Kuttawa and plunged into the lake. Fireman STITH is an engineer but was firing on account of a shortage in firemen.
Both STITH and ROBERTS were married men and leave wives. COFER is married and has a family in Louisville. Little could be learned of BELL, who was reported killed. All those who were killed are well known here and the news of their death will be received with much sorrow by their many friends.

Paducah Daily Sun Kentucky 1902-12-27