Dothan, TX Train Wreck, May 1923

SWITCH LOCK BROKEN, 5 DIE WHEN TRAINS MEET

4 Tramps Bum Last Ride Near Dothan, Texas

Bloodhounds Will Be Placed on Trail

TRAIN CREWS HURT

West Bound Passenger Train Hits East Bound

Cisco, Texas, May 24. - -Five persons were killed when two Texas and Pacific passenger trains collided on a siding at Dothan, hear here, early today.

Charlie Becker, negro porter, and four unidentified tramps were victims.

Switch Tampered With

A tampered with switch caused westbound train number 15 to go into a siding and hit eastbound train number 16, railroad officials said.

The eastbound train was waiting for the westbound to pass.

The lock on the switch had been broken, authorities say.

Bloodhounds to Take Trail

Bloodhounds will be placed on the trail of persons believed to have tampered with the lock, it was said.

Several passengers were badly shaken, but none seriously hurt. Engineer Simpson on the westbound was seriously injured, and several other members of the train crews hurt.

SWITCH PROPERLY SET. SAYS EARL

Dallas, May 24. -- "The switch leading to the siding was maliciously tampered with," Superintendent H. D. Earl of the Texas and Pacific Railroad declared here today, following the receipt of official report on the wreck near Dothan.

"I am positive of this because all the reports coming to us show that the switch was properly set by the train crew."

Port Arthur News, Port Arthur, TX 26 May 1923

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REWARD OFFERED FOR INFORMATION OF WRECK.

The Texas & Pacific Railway Company will pay $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the wreck of two Texas & Pacific passenger trains at Dothan, Texas, May 24, it was announced Saturday by J. L. LANCASTER, receiver.

Little information has been obtained relative to who tampered with the switch given as the cause of the wreck. J. A. SOMERVILLE, vice president and general manager of the T. & P. and A. J. LAWSON and PORTER J. BAILEY of the Bureau of Safety, Interstate Commerce Commission, are investigating.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 27 May 1923

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J. A. SOMERVILLE, vice president and general manager of the Texas & Pacific, is at Baird conducting the investigation from that end. His private car was attached to the westbound train. MR. SOMERVILLE was not injured.

Officials at the general offices of the Texas & Pacific had not been able to obtain complete reports of the accident up to Thursday night. Information received indicated the switch regulating Dothan siding on which train No. 16 was standing when No. 15 crashed into it, had been tampered with. It was said in reports to the general offices that the switch had been pried open and wired to the rails after No. 16 had passed onto the siding. This left the switch flashing the green light of safety when the switch was wide open.

Employees of the company injured in the accident were from the division terminal at Fort Worth. The general offices of the Texas & Pacific had not received a complete dead and injured list.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 25 May 1923

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POLICE ORDERED TO SEARCH FOR THREE MEN.

By the Associated Press.

FORT WORTH, Texas, May 24.-The Fort Worth police department Thursday afternoon was ordered to search for three men supposed to have been implicated in the wrecking of the two Texas & Pacific passenger trains early Thursday morning at Dothan, near Cisco.

A fourth man is in jail at Cisco. He is said to have been found near the place where the wreck occurred.

Late Thursday evening J. W. KNIGHTLINGER, division superintendent of the Texas & Pacific, who is in Cisco in charge of the investigation into the cause of the wreck, telephoned local police to arrest and hold three men. He described them as hoboes and said that they were wearing broad-brimmed hats.

The men are said to have been seen near Dothan Wednesday night a few hours before the wreck.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 25 May 1923

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SIX KNOWN DEAD IN CISCO WRECK

FOUR MEN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH OPEN SWITCH THAT CAUSED WRECK.

Special to the News.

CISCO, Texas, May 25.-Six persons dead, one of them unidentified, and another man believed to be fatally injured, was the latest toll Friday night in the wreck which occurred at the Dothan siding, seven miles west of here, at 2:30 o'clock Thursday morning, when two Texas & Pacific passenger trains crashed together as the result of an open switch, which is believed to have been tampered with.

List of Dead.

The complete list of those killed in the wreck follows:

A. G. RANDLE, 21 years old, 951 Henrietta street, Forth Worth, listed as E. C. Reynolds in first reports.

RAY CLARK, 16, Weatherford.

JOSEPH REMONTE, electrician, Ranger, formerly of Corsicana.

CHARLES C. BAKER, negro porter, 1028 South Calhoun street, Fort Worth.

E. A. STEWART, 911 Allen street, Fort Worth.

The unidentified boy is believed to be either that of MAC MCKEWEN, residence unknown, a companion of REMONTE's, or that of JOE SOLEN, CLARK's companion.

Clark's Body Identified.

The body of the sixth victim found late Thursday, while the tangled and burned debris, resulting from the collision and fire which followed, was being cleared from the tracks, was identified Friday as that of RAY CLARK, 16 years old, son of BOB FAWKES of Weatherford. MR. FAWKES, with his wife, mother of the dead youth, identified the body by the teeth and other marks.

MRS. CLARK said that her son left his home Wednesday in company with JOE SOLEN, about 23 years old, and that he told her they were going to the Pacific Coast.

BOB EDWARDS, a Fort Worth man, who lost a leg in the wreck, is in a hospital in Fort Worth and his recovery is regarded as doubtful. The eight other persons injured, including the engineers of the two trains, each of whom sustained broken arms, are expected to recover.

Four Men Arrested

Four men have been arrested in connection with the tampered switch which is believed to have caused the wreck. A young man arrested near the scene of the wreck a short time after the crash is being held at Cisco and three others were taken into custody at Sweetwater Thursday night.

The body of A. G. RANDLE was buried in Fort Worth Friday afternoon. REMONTE's body was buried here Friday. RAY CLARK's body was taken to Weatherford Friday for burial and BAKER's body will be sent to Fort Worth. The unidentified body is being held in the Wippern morgue here.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 26 May 1923