Lonsdale, RI Train And Sleigh Collision, Jan 1893

BENEATH CRUEL WHEELS.

EIGHT PERSONS IN A SLEIGHING PARTY KILLED AT A RAILROAD CROSSING.

Providence, R.I., Jan. 18. -- At an early hour this morning a large sleighing party, containing a happy crowed of men and women, was returning from Attleboro, where the party had enjoyed a supper. The party numbered about thirty people and the sleigh reached Lonsdale grade crossing just as a freight train dashed along. There was a fearful collision, and when the horrified people in the vicinity reached the scene of the catastrophe they found the tracks and road bed strewn with the dead and daying.
The dead are:
DANIEL RICHARDSON.
ROBERT COOK.
SARAH ANN DRAPER.
MARY ANN FAWCETT.
WILLIAM C. DRAPER.
MISS ANNIE WILSON.
MARY HAMILTON.
ANNIE SULLIVAN, who died in the hospital.
Those injured are:
MRS. JOSEPH RILEY, collar bone broken.
ADA YOUNG, right leg broken.
JOSEPH McKNIGHT, scalp wound.
WILLIS BRAITHWAITE, ribs broken.
THOMAS WILSON, collar bone broken and badly injured in the back.
FANNIE SMITH, bad scalp wound, compound fracture of the lower jaw and fracture of the nose.
Of the injured FANNIE SMITH is expected to die.
The party comprised young people from Pawtucket, and it had been promiscuously assembled from previous acquaintances among the members. The sleigh was drawn by four horses.
Leaving Pawtucket at an early hour the party proceeded to Attleboro, and the conditions of sleighing and weather being perfect, a most enjoyable time was had.
A stop was made at Bate's cafe, where supper was had, and to lengthen the period of enjoyment a round-about return course was taken. They were singing merrily when they approached the Lonsdale crossing on the Worcester division of the Consolidated Road. A high stone wall shuts off the view of the railway at this grade. WHen the party arrived at the crossing the headlight of an engine was within twenty-five feet of them. This was an engine drawing the freight from Worcester, and it was running at eighteen miles an hour. Before the party could realize their terrible peril the engine was upon them. It crashed into the sleigh, forward of the center, smashed the vehicle and hurled its occupants in all directions. Before the engineer could reverse his engine the train plowed into the wreckage and the victims.
As quickly as possible the train was stopped and the crew hurried to the assistance of the unfortunate people. From all directions residents of the village hurried to the scene in response to the cries and moans of the injured.
The scene was an awful one. The dead lay where they had fallen in gruesome positions. The injured were writhing in pain on the snow covered ground and their groans were heartrending. The villagers hastened speedily all those within reach were on the scene. The injured were quickly removed to neighboring houses, and the dead were placed in the depot to be taken to their homes or to await identification.
All the members of the party were more or less injured, those not seriously hurt being conveyed to their homes in sleighs and carriages provided by the villagers.
The engineer said he slowed down as usual at the crossing and saw the lead horses when it was too late to stop the train. The collision, he said, was unavoidable.

Omaha Daily Bee Nebraska 1893-01-19