Janesville, WI Head On Collision, Feb 1906

THREE TRAINMEN DIE.

KILLED IN HEAD-END COLLISION OF TRAINS TWO MILES FROM JANESVILLE, WIS.

WRECK DUE TO A MISTAKE.

CREW OF A MILK TRAIN LEFT STATION BELIEVING OTHER TRAIN HAD PASSED.

Janesville, Wis., Feb. 15. -- Three trainmen dead, one dying, three injured and six passengers hurt, were the casualties due to a head-end collision between a special freight and a De Kalb passenger train on the Chicago and Northwestern railroad two miles south of Janesville at night. THOMAS LAFFERTY of Baraboo, engineer; JOSEPH MAHER, fireman, Janesville, and Fireman BERMISH of Baraboo are dead.
Conductor R. A. PECK of the freight train is dying. Conductor GEORGE DEVANSA of Janesville was cut about the head and shoulders.
Engineer BRISCOE of Baraboo has a crushed foot. MRS. CROSBY of Sycamore and five other passengers were injured, but not severely. The wreck was due, it is said, to a snow storm.
The wreck was due to a mistake over orders. A special milk was waiting here ready to go south as soon as the through passenger train from DeKalb, Ill., for St. Paul passed. Before the time the through train was due, a local from Belvidere, Ill., arrived and the crew of the milk train supposed this was the train for which they were ordered to wait. The milk train then pulled out for the south. Two miles south of here the passenger train was running north toward Janesville, going at a rate of sixty miles an hour on a straight, well-ballasted track. The two engineers saw the danger before the trains met, but not in time to do more than partically check the speed of their trains. With the crashing of the trains the wreckage took fire, but ws speedily extinguished. The passenger train was comparatively little damaged. It was a heavy train and most of the coaches remained on the track, though the passengers were all badly shaken up.
The trainmen on the milk train were not so fortunate. It was there that most of the fatalities occurred. One body, supposed to be that of the fireman, is still under the wreckage of the two engines. The other two bodies were lifted out of the wreck and with the injured were brought at once to Janesville.

Austin Daily Herald Minnesota 1906-02-15