Utica, NY Train Wreck, May 1858

A dreadful accident occurred on the New-York Central Railroad at 6½ o'clock yesterday morning, involving the loss of some eight or ten lives, and the maiming of the accident was a bridge over Sauquoit Creek, between three and four miles west of Utica.  The Cincinnati Express train, due in Utica at 20 minutes past 6, was somewhat behind time, and running at a high rate of speed, when it met on the bridge the Utica Accommodation train for the west, each on its own track.  The head of each train had crossed the bridge, but as the passenger cars of the Express and the freight cars of the Accommodation train came upon it, the combined weight of the two crushed the north side of the structure, and the trains were precipitated into the creek----the passenger cars of the Express being piled one above the other, and the platforms and seats being splintered to atoms as the cars struck the abutments.  The passenger cars of the Accommodation fortunately had not reached the bridge.  The acccident[sic] is attributed to various causes, but the true one is undoubtedly the extreme rottenness of the bridge.

The New York Times, New York, NY 12 May 1858


MR. W. H. PERKINS.----We gather from the Rochester papers further particulars with regard to the fatal injuries to this gentleman at the Sanquoit Bridge Railroad accident.  Mr. Perkins was in the second passenger car of the train---the one which first struck the eastern abutment of the bridge, and upon which all the cars following were precipitated.  Notwithstanding the fatal nature of his injuries he rode to Utica, after being extricated from the mass of ruins, sitting upright in a car.  At Utica he was conveyed on a hastily constructed litter to the McGregor House, from whence he dictated a dispatch to his friends at Rochester, after which he spoke no more.  When his wife and friends reached Utica, he signified his recognition of them but could not converse.  From the first he sunk steadily and died at noon on Wednesday, some seventeen hours after the accident.  His injuries were chiefly internal.

The remains reached Rochester at 10 o'clock Wednesday evening, where they were received by a large number of the citizens and escorted to the late residence of Mr. P. on Spring street.----He was born July 11, 1819, and was therefore 39 year old.

The Berkshire County Eagle, Pittsfield, Berkshire, MA 21 May 1858