Los Angeles, CA Trolley And Train Collision, July 1906
LOCOMOTIVE CRASHES INTO ELECTRIC CAR AT ONEONTA STATION.
SHOCKING SCENES FOLLOW TERRIFIC IMPACT OF ENGINE.
CONDUCTOR OF TROLLEY FAILS TO SEE OR HEAR APPROCHING TRAIN, SIGNALS MOTORMAN ON TO DISASTER.
One person was killed and fifty-three were injured in a collision between a Sierra Madre car on the Pacific Electric railroad and the Pasadena-Los Angeles local on the Southern Pacific at the crossing of the two roads a short distance east of the Oneonta station at 1:40 o'clock yesterday afternoon.
Witnesses declared that the accident was partially the fault of Motorman PERKINS and Conductor SMITH, who were said to have been careless, and also to have been the victims of circumstances.
Sierre Madre car No. 283 left Los Angeles at 1:10 o'clock. It approached the crossing thirty minutes later and came to a halt a few feet west of the tracks. Conductor SMITH, according to the company order, went to the railroad track, then gave the signal to go ahead.
Too late he saw the train approaching at a rate of thirty-five miles an hour. He gave the signal to stop and the motorman applied the air and at the same time reversed the motor. Then, thinking that he could cross ahead of the train, he threw the motor in a forward motion and applied the full power. The huge car gave one leap.
At that instant the engine crashed into the middle of the coach, lifted it clear from the tracks and with the half hundred bewildered persons, hurled it a hundred feet. One end of the car struck a telephone pole and the coach was thrown to the right side of the track. As it struck the ground it was literally torn to pieces.
The engine was derailed at the right side of the track and the train was brought to a stop within a distance of ten feet.
Several passengers were thrown for many feet to either side of the track. Some were pinioned in their seats, while others were tossed about within the car like a ball in a tight barrel tumbling down a hill.
Maimed, bleeding and bruised, those who were able crawled from the wrecked coach. Some had sustained broken arms, others had been less fortunate. None escaped without being cut by flying glass, for every window in the car was broken.
Hurried calls were sent to all of the nearby towns and special cars, with doctors and nurses, were dispatched with full speed.
Probably a score of the passengers were able to go to their homes with little or no help. The helpless injured were taken from the car and everything done to ease their pain until they could be removed to hospitals.
A large number of the people were put on cars and brought to Los Angeles. An emergency hospital was hastily fitted up at the Pacific Electric depot.
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