Deer River, MN Train Wreck, Mar 1907


Engineer and Conductor Lose Their Lives Near Deer River. Orders Disregarded.

(News Tribune Special.)

DEER RIVER, Minn., March 15. - In a head on collision between two freight trains on the Minnesota & International railroad just beyond Deer River, two men, Frank McVeigh, engineer, and George Martin, conductor, both of this town, were instantly killed this morning.

The collision was between extra freight No. 8, and freight No. 5. No. 8 is said to have disregarded orders to stop at this point and ran by the station at 30 miles an hour. A few miles beyond Deer River it met freight No. 5. Both trains were going at high speed, and as they met just beyond a curve the train crews could not see the headlights and avert the accident.

The engines came together with terrific shock and No. 5 was smashed into junk iron. Engineer McVeigh was crushed to death in the cab, and Conductor Martin was hurled from the top of a freight car. His skull was fractured and he died shortly afterwards.

The train crew of No. 8 escaped injury by jumping just before the collision. Both engines were pulling about 20 box cars and many of these were broken and splintered.

The dispatcher at Deer River says that blame of the accident rests entirely upon the crew of No. 8 as they disregarded his signals to stop. The train crew assert that they saw no signals and they thought they had clear right of way.

The Duluth News Tribune, Duluth, MN 16 Mar 1907