Reedy Fork, NC Train Off Trestle, Dec 1909



Greensboro, N.C., Dec. 15. -- Local passenger train No. 11 on the Southern railway, known as the Richmond and Atlantic train, due in Greensboro at 6:40 o'clock, was wrecked this morning at 6:32 o'clock at Reedy Fork trestle, ten miles north of here, and at 6 o'clock tonight eleven dead bodies had been removed from the wreckage.
It is said that twelve are dead and twenty-five are being cared for at a hospital.
The identified dead:
A. P. CONE, superintendent of the Richmond & Danville division of the Southern railway, Richmond.
H. C. WHITE, traveling auditor, Washington, D.C.
ISAAC DAMMELS, porter on the Richmond sleeper.
C. B. NOLAN, Pullman conductor, Greensboro.
FRANK W. KILBY, export accountant of Anniston, Ala.
ED SEXTON, Denton, N.C.
RICHARD EAMES, mining engineer of Salisbury, N.C.
ED BAGBY, Richmond, Va.
JOHN C. BRODNAX, Richmond, Va.
The body of an unknown white man, apparently 25 years old, was recovered late this afternoon.
Among the patients at the hospital who are fatally injured are:
HENRY L. STRIBLING, Atlanta, Ga., died early this morning.
F. C. SMITH, Spencer, N.C.
Much time was required to remove the dead and injured from the debris.
George J. Gould, who, with his son, Jay, was in one of the Pullmans when the train jumped the track, and who was reported dead, escaped uninjured. He, with his son, Jay, and a friend, R. H. RUSSELL, of New York, former editor of the Metropolitan magazine, had just got out of their berths when the wreck occurred. MR. RUSSELL was badly hurt by coming in contact with a car stove and is at the hospital.
Mr. Gould and his son came in on the special bearing the dead and injured. He left this afternoon for his hunting lodge fifteen miles from here, stating that the wreck had not discouraged his plans for a week's outing.
The derailment was caused by a broken rail about 200 feet from the trestle that spans a small stream. The train was comprised of two baggage, express and mail cars, three day coaches and two Pullmans. The engine and baggage mail and express cars passed over in safety, while the day coaches and Pullmans were thrown from the trestle into the creek and along the bank twenty to thirty feet below.
At the point where the first coach left the track the right rail was broken about eighteen inches from the joint. The rail was broken into fragments for several feet and torn entirely from the ties. The wheels ran on the ties until near the trestle, when the outside wheels went over, allowing the brake beams and axles to fall on the guard rails of the bridge.
As the last coach was on the trestle the five coaches toppled over, broke loose from the mail and express car and tumbled into the mud and water below.
The Norfolk Pullman fell into the water, while the Richmond sleeper, just in front, landed only partially in the water. Most of the injured and killed in the sleepers were in the Richmond car, which was totally demolished.
The Norfolk sleeper was also badly torn up, but fell on its side, in the swollen stream, submerging many passengers.
The appearance of the dead at the undertakers shops showed that some were scalded to death and others were badly mutilated, while one was cut in half at the waist, his dismembered parts being found at opposite ends of the coach.
The railway had a corps of officials, physicians and laborers on the scene soon after the news reached here.
At 5 o'clock this afternoon track had been cleared. Three cars have not been raised, and it is believed that several bodies will be found beneath the wreckage.

Salt Lake Herald Republican Utah 1909-12-16