Albany, NY Electric Train Wreck, May 1898



Over Forty Injured, Some Fatally – More Than a Hundred Passengers In the Wreck – The Motormen Were Racing For Switch – Both Dead.

Two electric cars while running in opposite directions at a rate of 40 miles an hour ran into each other Sunday afternoon near Albany. Five persons were almost instantly killed and over 40 were seriously injured.

The dead are: FRANK SMITH, motorman of car No. 22; WILLIAM NICHOLS, motorman of car No. 19; MAUD KELLOGG, of Round Lake; ANNIE ROONEY, of Stuyvesant Falls, and DAVID MAHONEY, mate on the Dean Richmond.

The fatally injured are: GEORGE C. BARRY, Troy, hurt internally; FRED J. SMITH, Albany, injured internally.

The seriously injured are: WILLIAM F. BARRY, Troy, cuts on head; MARIE BARRY, Troy, leg broken; GEORGE P. BITTNER, Moerville, cut and bruised; ISAAC BLAUVELT, Albany, leg broken; DE WITT C. PELTZ, Albany, badly bruised; CHARLES PELTZ, Albany, painfully bruised; HOWARD J. ROGERS, Albany, bruised and cut; MRS. H. J. ROGERS, Albany, cut and bruised; ______ ROGERS, Albany, leg broken; A. W. CROTSLEY, Albany, hurt internally; GEORGE LANE, Albany, badly cut; FRED HERZOG, Albany, shoulder dislocated.

Scene of the Wreck.
The scene of the accident was a point about two miles out of Greenbush, on the line of the Albany and Hudson railway. The point where the cars met on the single track was at a sharp curve, and so fast were both running and so sudden was the collision that the motormen never had time to put on the brakes before south bound car No. 22 had gone almost clean through north bound car No. 19, with human flesh for a buffer, and hung on the edge of a high bluff with its load of shrieking maimed humanity. One motorman was pinioned up against the smashed from of the south bound car, with both legs severed and killed instantly, while the other lived but a few minutes.

Fully 120 men, women and children formed a huge, struggling, shrieking pyramid, mixed with blood, detached portions of human bodies and the wreckage of the cars. Some of the more slightly injured of the men, extricating themselves from the quivering mass, began to pull people out of the rear ends of the two cars, and almost every one extricated in this way was badly injured.

The scenes were heartrending. The few women and children who had escaped injury and death were hysterical and added their cries to the shrieks of the dying and mutilated. Men with broken arms and bones, dislocated joints and bloody faces tried to assist others who were more helpless, and there were many cases of philosophical bravery.

With both motormen killed it was hard to get at the real cause of the accident, but it is pretty well determined that it was caused by an attempt of the south bound car to reach a second switch instead of waiting for the north bound car at the first siding.

Ogdensburg Advance and St. Lawrence Weekly Democrat New York 1898-05-28