Neches, TX Train Wreck, Dec 1928
Woman Killed, Forty Hurt, Texas Train Jumps Track
Victim Found Lying in Deep Mud in Ditch
Had Broken Pullman Window in Effort to Escape; Dies Later.
Unfound by Crew
Seven Cars of Sunshine Special Derailed Near Neches.
Special to The News.
PALESTINE, Texas, Dec. 23. - One woman was killed and forty or more passengers were more or less seriously injured Sunday when seven cars of the southbound Sunshine Special, crack train of the International-Great Northern Railroad, jumped the track thirteen miles north of here, near Neches, while running at high speed around a sharp curve. Only the engine, the baggage car and one coach stayed on the tracks. Spread rails were said to be the cause of the wreck.
Five Pullmans, a dining car and a chair car left the rails, rolled into the ditch and lay on their sides in three feet of muddy water.
After a special train from Palestine had taken the injured to the railroad hospital in that city, another special, with doctors from Jacksonville reached the scene of the wreck.
The train crew supposed that the rescuers from Palestine had taken all the passengers there, but looking over the wreck they found a woman, about 26 years old, lying half buried in the deep mud of the ditch. She was still alive and was put on the train, but died before reaching Jacksonville. Nothing on her person gave a clue to her identity.
Broke Window, Crawled Out.
It is supposed that after her Pullman left the rails and was lying in the ditch, she broke a window and dragged herself through it. She was evidently so badly hurt, however, that she was unable to get out of the ditch and during her struggles to do so lost consciousness. She was overlooked in the search by the first train crew to arrive.
The most seriously injured of the passengers, most of whom were in the Pullmans, was Mrs. Tom Reynolds of Calvert, whose hip was badly crushed. C. W. Gillespie, the conductor, also was badly hurt, just how seriously was not determined late Sunday night. Others hurt, and who were taken to the Palestine Hospital, were Mr. and Mrs. C. O. Schneider, St. Louis, A. L. Meador, Texarkana; James Williams, Shreveport; Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Newman, Texarkana; Marjorie Harting, Shreveport; Bonnie Bullard, Texarkana; W. A. Machin, Chicago; J. W. Nicholson, Cameron; C. W. Wilson, Jacksonville; Mrs. A. Stanley and Miss Emma Stanley, Galveston; Mrs. G. J. Magness, St. Joseph, Ill.; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lowe, Laneville; Pedro Gomez, Laredo; J. C. Fitzpatrick, Atlanta, Ga.; J. L. McChristian, Ashland, La.; Irene Weeks, Houston; Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Webster, Van Wert, Ohio; Mrs. Jennie McWilliams, Hope, Ark.; Mrs. C. R. Berry, Houston; Mrs. C. E. Lang, Houston; George Utley, St. Louis; V. M. Thomas, St. Louis; Mrs. Oscar Wade, Texarkana; C. B. Bell, St. Louis; Mrs. C. E. Long, Houston; Mr. and Mrs. G. H. Sewell, Graceland, and their daughter.
A number of negroes whose names were not obtained also were hurt, none seriously. Conductor Gillespie was the only one of the train crew to be injured.
Special Trains Sent.
The train was running five hours late when the accident occurred. One of the train crew went to Neches and from there notified Palestine and Jacksonville of the wreck.
A special train was made up at both places, with doctors and nurses aboard. By the time the train from Palestine arrived, the crew of the Sunshine Special had released the injured and uninjured passengers, those in the one passenger coach left on the track assisting them.
At the railroad hospital at Palestine, it was said that it was not thought that any of the injured would die. The less seriously injured were sent to Houston during the night, the others remaining here.
The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 24 Dec 1928