Rittman, OH Train Wreck, Mar 1899


And Fireman Fatally Injured by a Wreck on the Erie.

Erie west bound passenger train No. 5, due here at 8:56 a.m., was wrecked this morning between Rittman and Sterling. The accident happened between 7:30 and 8 o'clock and resulted in the death of the engineer, WALLACE LOGAN, and the serious injury of the fireman, Barney Ward, who was reported as not being expected to live.

The engine jumped the track and the engineer, it is stated, was crushed beneath the engine. All of the cars of the train, except the dining car, were derailed, but so far as has been learned none of the passengers were injured.

The Galion wrecking train was telegraphed for and passed through the city at 9:45 this morning on its way to the scene of the wreck. It contained a full crew and some officials. It also had two day coaches and a baggage car to be made up at the wreck and to be run west as an accommadation[sic].

The accommodation train which was made up at the scene of the train and ran in place of No. 5 today arrived here this afternoon at 1:45 o'clock. On it were the passengers who had been in the wreck. The fireman, Barney Ward, was on the train on his way to his home at Galion. His right hand was hurt, he had a gash in his forehead and bruises of various kinds, none of which are serious. When the train left the wreck, the engineer, Logan, was still under the engine. His home was in Akron. He was about 48 years of age and leaves a wife and children. D. C. Casselman, of Chief Mail Clerk Poe's office, who had gone to the scene of the wreck on the wreck train, returned this afternoon. The accident happened about one-half a mile east Rittman. The train was going at the rate of 60 miles an hour when suddenly the engine jumped the track and rolled over. Some part of the machinery is supposed to have caused it. Five cars and vestibuled[sic] coaches were ditched, but none of the passengers are reported injured except F. C. Wilson, of Cincinnati, leg broken; H. Little, internal injuries, and a lady, minor injuries.

The clerk in charge of the postal car of No. 5 was J. B. Kearse, of this city. There were two other clerks in the car. Quite a quantity of mail which was in the cases was destroyed. The car was lying on its side and there was considerable mud and water in it. The main track was torn up for some distance. In addition to the Galion wreck train the Kent wreck train crew is engaged in clearing up the wreck. A large force of men is at work and it is thought that No. 5 will be put on the tracks again by evening.

It is regarded as very remarkable that, considering the manner in which the accident happened and the speed of the train that more people were not hurt.

Mansfield News, Mansfield, OH 22 Mar 1899

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