Red Cloud, NE Head On Collision, Nov 1908
DISASTROUS WRECK AT RED CLOUD.
TWO BURLINGTON FREIGHTS MEET HEAD-ON IN A DENSE FOG, SUNDAY MORNING AT 6:55.
JOHN BARTHOLOMA AND GEORGE SNOKE KILLED.
TRAINS COME TOGETHER ON CURVE AND THE RESULT IS ONE OF THE WORST WRECKS ON THE McCOOK DIVISION IN YEARS IN LOSS OF LIFE AND PROPERTY.
Sunday morning, while our people were peacefully sleeping, or just arising from their couches, two Burlington trains collided at the west end of the city stock yards at 6:55, doing great damage and killing two men and injuring one.
The morning was very foggy and it was almost impossible to see a rod ahead of one. No. 13, the Burlington flyer, was due in Red Cloud at 7:00 o'clock, and No. 63, a west bound freight, was made up and was in the west end of the yard limits to make a siding, when an extra stock train from the west, due here, it was first reported at 8:50, and afterwards at 7:13 arrived at the yard limit at 6:55 and caught No. 63 just ready to move back, and plunged into her full tilt without a moment's warning.
The collision was heard all over the city, and in a short space of time hundreds of people on foot and in vehicles, and city physicians, were hurrying to the scene of the disaster, one that will be remembered for many days by those who saw the ruin and the mangled remains of the brave men who stood at the throttle and met death without flinching. It was a scene calculated to unnerve the strongest man who was hardened to such scenes. There, one of the ponderous engines careened upon its side, and underneath, two men, Engineer JOHN W. BARTHOLOMA and Fireman GEORGE SNOKE, both of McCook, lay pinned beneath, dead, their bodies mangled beyond recognition, while willing hands worked for hours to release the bodies, which was finally accomplished, and then were turned over to Undertakers Amack & Chaney and taken to their morgue and prepared for shipment to McCook.
JOHN LICHTENBERGER, a brakeman, was in the cab of the extra, and when the collision took place he was thrown from the cab into a barbed wire fence and his ankle broken. This comprised the injured, except slight injuries to Fireman JAMES HENDERSON of No. 63.
The wreck was a bad one. The trains came together just beyond the yard limits, on a big curve, where there was a heavy fill, and the impact was so great that the engine 1225, pulling the extra from the west, was thrown from the track, as it struck 1182, No. 63's engine, and was overturned and fell almost bottom side up, killing the two men, as she went over. Train No. 63 was standing still, and the force of the collision was so great that five cars, the tender and engine were badly wrecked, and three cars and the engine on the stock extra were reduced to kindling wood.
The wrecking train was ordered from McCook and reached here about 1:30, and the work of clearing the track was commenced in earnest, and was finally finished at 5:40 p.m., so that trains could go over the track.
The excitement was intense and more than 3,000 people visited the wreck, coming from Kansas and Nebraska towns for a radius of 20 miles, and most of them remained all day.
Continued on Page 2.