Montvale, VA Freight And Passenger Trains Collide, Oct 1907

FREIGHT TRAIN WRECKS NO. 3.

A PASSENGER TRAIN WITH EXPOSITION VISITORS IN COLLISION IN CUT.

ONE KILLED AND A DOZEN INJURED.

UNSUAL ACCIDENT OCCURRS NOT FAR FROM ROANOKE, AND THE ESCAPE OF SEVERAL HUNDRED TRAVELERS CONSIDERED ALMOST A MIRACLE.

Roanoke, Va., Oct. 13. - Norfolk and Western passenger train No. 3 west-bound from Norfolk to Columbus, O., and a coal train east-bound sideswiped in a cut near Montvale, sixteen miles east of Roanoke, at 4 o'clock this afternoon, resulting in the death of one man and the injury of a dozen passengers, none of whom, however, was seriously hurt. The passenger train was loaded with people returning from the Jamestown Exposition.
K. P. UMBARGER, of Wytheville, the express messenger, was killed. MRS. L. ZIEGLER, of St. Louis, was the only woman passenger injured. The names of the other injured passengers were not given. Their wounds were confined to cuts and bruises.
The track where the wreck occurred is a curve for several hundred feet, and a flange on one of the heavily loaded coal cars burst on the out rail derailing the car in the cut and twelve coal cars following. The accident happened just as No. 3 passenger train was passing, and fortunately the engineers of both trains and their firemen escaped. The express messenger's body was taken from the debris shortly after the wreck, mangled almost beyond recognition.
The engineer on the passenger train discovered that something was wrong just as his engine had passed the freight engine. He immediately applied the air brakes on the coaches containing the passengers, cut his engine loose and rushed forward, thus saving his own life and probably hundreds of lives of the passengers. The coupling of the first car wrecked broke loose from the car in front, which freed the freight engine and several cars, and these went on to Montvale before they could be stopped.
As soon as possible, the railroad company dispatched a special train with physicians and officials to the scene of the wreck to relieve the 400 passengers, who were brought to Roanoke together with the corpse, arriving shortly after 8 o'clock. MR. UMBARGER was twenty-five years of age and unmarried.
The cut presents a mass of fifteen cars of both trains, piled thirty feet high, consisting of twisted rails, huge piles of coal and splintered cars, which will require several hours to move.

Tazewell Republican Virginia 1907-10-17