Hot Springs Junction, AZ Train Wreck, Sept 1923




Members of Crew Die as Engine Rolls Over While Rounding Curve.

Hot Springs Junction, Ariz. --- In the cactus-lined desert country one and one-half miles west of here, lay the wreckage of the locomotive and three coaches of westbound California Limited No. 3, crack Santa Fe train.

Four trainmen were crushed to death when the engine overturned and the head coaches crashed into it while rounding a sharp bend in the road.

When the wreck occurred the train was traveling about forty miles an hour over a detour made necessary by undermined roadbeds and washouts on the main line of the road in northern Arizona.

Passengers were hurled from their seats by the impact and some suffered minor abrasions, but none was listed as injured.

The dead:
J. J. TIMM, Needles, Calif., engineer;
K. M. TUTTLE, Needles, fireman;
COLEMAN, Chicago barber;
C. ELLIOTT, Chicago, porter.
The wrecked train was the second section of the Number 3 train. It left Chicago for Los Angeles and carried 128 passengers.

The engine turned over on its left side, while turning the sharp right curve, and the wooden buffet car behind it, used by members of the crew hurdled the locomotive and was dashed to splinters. The porter and barber met death in this car. They were its only occupants at the time of the wreck.

Two steel mail cars, which had been attached to the train when it passed through Phoenix, about two hours before the wreck, rolled over the embankment and plowed into the locomotive. Behind the mail cars, another buffet car and a Pullman partly left the rails. Windows were shattered, tracks were twisted about, but occupants of the cars were uninjured.

Passengers on the train attributed their escape from death to the fact that the mail cars had been placed behind the locomotive at Phoenix thus placing the Pullman cars well back from the engine. There were five Pullman cars on the train.

After the impact, which came with startling suddenness and sent passengers sprawling from their seats, women and men poured from their coaches and rushed to the wrecked cars ahead. The dead fireman and engineer were extricated from beneath the wreckage of the cab.

A wrecking train was called from Phoenix, carrying doctors and working crews.

Calm prevailed the ranks of the passengers after the wreck. None was hysterical, and women, who had run about at first seeking to aid others whom they thought must have been injured, settled down and faced the trial of awaiting the rescue train as bravely as the men.

The scene of the wreck is an isolated spot in the desert west of here, located where the wrecked cars could not be seen from the highway only a half mile away. Great pine cactus and weeds, coyotes and other wild game are all that thrive in the section.

Eagle County News Colorado 1923-09-29