Catawba Junction, SC Train Wreck, Sept 1904
MRS. BLACK, sitting with her husband, gave a short cry and when he struck a match he discovered that she was dead, her neck having been broken. She was the only passenger killed or even hurt seriously.
As the scrambling and shouting went on in the dark, abover the noise a brakeman, with his hand half way out of a window, was heard to shout: "My God, the freight train is coming upon us."
In less than a minute the freight, which had left Monroe fifteen minutes behind the passenger train, struck the open space where the bridge had fallen and plunged its way through the passenger cars.
The woman whose identity could not be discovered, then met her death, the freight engine having crushed through the side of the car in which she was. The engineer of the freight train must have met his death instantly. His fireman escaped with a few minor injuries.
MR. BLACK, whose wife was killed, was the last man to leave the coaches, and the very first thing he did was to walk in his bruised condition to Catawba Junction, two miles away, and send a telegram to Monroe for help.
MR. BLACK is a telegraph operator in the service of the Norfolk & Western Railway and was going to Atlanta with his wife to testify there in a railroad suit.
J. M. Barr, first vice-president and general manager of the road, said to-day that there was evidence of a malicious attempt to wreck the train, a number of joints having been found disconnected. He gave the following details.
"Train No. 41 was in charge of Conductor RICHARD WEST and Engineer GASTON MEARS. The wreck occurred about 1 o'clock this morning at the trestle just south of Catawba River, South Carolina, and twenty-two miles southwest of Monroe, N. C. The engine passed over the trestle and went down the embankment killing the fireman and seriously injuring the engineer."
"A light engine and caboose, running as No. 19, in charge of Conductor CHAPMAN and Engineer BARKSDALE, which train was passed by No. 41, a short distance east of the point where the accident occurred, ran into the damaged trestle and on top of the passenger train, resulting in the death of the engineer of No. 19, the fireman of the passenger train and of MRS. BLACK and an unknown woman passenger."
"The Pullman employes, six railway employes, one mail, clerk, one Southern Express Company employe and twenty-three passengers were injured."
The Post-Standard Syracuse New York 1904-09-10