Forney, TX Train Crashes Into Truck, Aug 1929

13 MEMBERS OF TWO FAMILIES KILLED BY CRACK TEXAS TRAIN.

TRAIN HAD APPARENTLY STOPPED FOR SUNSHINE SPECIAL, THEN LURCHED FORWARD ONTO TRACKS, EYEWITNESS SAYS.

Dallas, Aug. 12 (AP) -- Joyously returning from a holiday in the city, 13 persons, members of two rural families, were killed by a fast passenger train at a grade crossing near here last night. A 14th was in a serious condition in a local hospital today.
A truck bearing them home from Dallas was struck by the Sunshine Special, Texas and Pacific train, and smashed.
The dead:
MRS. IVA BADGETT, 45.
ERA and VERA BADGETT, twins, 22.
TEXAS BADGETT, 15.
EMMA BADGETT, 19.
BIRDIE BADGETT, 8.
JESSIE BADGETT, 7.
MARY JOE BADGETT, 3.
E. F. McHENRY, 53.
MRS. ANNIE McHENRY, 43.
BEULAH McHENRY, 14.
EMMA McHENRY, 10.
BILLIE McHENRY, 4.
MARY LEE McHENRY, 17, was seriously injured.
A coroner's inquest at Mesquite was set for today.
For hours after the catastrophe, which took more lives than any other of its kind in Texas history, the torn bodies lay in a heap on the floor of an undertaker's establishment at Forney, Texas, while officials sought relatives of the victims in efforts at identification.
What caused the machine to jump into the path of the locomotive was not ascertained immediately. Claude Chapman of Mesquite, said to have been a eye witness, declared the truck was halted as if to await a train and then dashed on.
G. W. Garrett, a farmer living nearby, said he saw the train splinter the truck, which belonged to BADGETT, but could not tell who was driving or the reason for the collision.
The crossing itself was rather high and on a side road just off the Mesquite-Forney highway.
The Texas and Pacific company today started detailed investigation of the accident one of the worst grade crossing crashes in the hostory of Texas.
Engineer J. T. Vawter, who was in charge of the train, declared that he blew his whistle and it looked as if the truck had stopped. Suddenly, he said, the vehicle seemed to have leaped upon the rails in front of his train.
He said the passenger train was brought to a stop as quickly as possible without danger of buckling and causing some of the coaches to leave the track.
Passengers piled out of the train as soon as the cause for the sudden stop was learned and several women fainted as they viewed the badly torn bodies along the right-of-way.
A member of one body was found lodged on the front of the locomotive where the pilot was knocked off by the impact. The vehicle itself was stripped of its body, fenders and other parts. A body was seared badly when the remainder of the machine caught fire.
Sheets were obtained from the Pullman cars and the bodies were gathered from along the right of way ahd those of the McHENRY family were taken to Forney while the BADGETT family victims were removed to Mesquite.
Funeral arrangements for the victims were being completed today. The bodies of the McHENRYS will be taken to their old home in Paul's Valley, while members of the BADGETT family will be buried at Long Creek, near Mesquite.
The worst grade crossing accident before yesterday's in late years in Texas occurred near Round Rock in which 11 members of a Baylor university basketball team were killed.

Port Arthur News Texas 1929-08-12