Husted Station, CO Train Wreck, Dec 1892





Colorado Springs, Dec. 23. -- A most disastrous wreck occurred near Husted Station about fifteen miles north of this place at 1:30 this morning. Santa Fe train No. 8, the through California express, which leaves Denver at 11:05 each evening with four cars, left the track and plunged down a fifty foot embankment splintering the cars to fragments and injuring a large number of people, two of whom will die. The train was running at nearly forty miles per hour when the wreck occurred, and the great wonder is that everybody in the cars was not instantly killed. Fire broke out in the wreck almost immediately and added terrors to the scene. The two most seriously injured are two Denver boys named VAN LEON dying in a hospital in this city.
The first that any one on board the train knew of trouble was when the cars began bumping along the track. Only the baggage car which was next to the engine remained on the track. The express car turned over on its side and rolled down the embankment standing on its head at the foot of the slope completely upside down. The smoking car followed and immediately took fire. The flames spread to the next car which was the day coach.
The front end of the day coach was upon top of the embankment and the other end at the bottom. This car caught fire from the other and both were completely destroyed. The Pullman turned on its side on the other side of the embankment. The accident is ascribed by some to a spreading of the rails, while by others it is charged to faulty wheels. The character of the accident points to the spreading of rails. The Santa Fe immediately sent out a relief train with physicians and a wrecking crew on board.
Engineer Weis of Denver was in charge of the train. He and Fireman Lilias of La Junta were both uninjured. When the train was stopped it was right to the end of bridge No. 102, which crosses a gully fully fifty feet deep. The tender of the engine got off the track but the engine itself remained on.
Congressman Lafe Pence and wife were on the train but were uninjured. Dr. O. N. Spencer, of this city, the Santa Fe surgeon, is now attending the injured, a large portion of whom were taken to the Alton Hospital.
When the wreck train returned to this city about 7:30 this morning a horrible sight was presented as the train men carried the people out of the train on stretchers. Some of them were taken to the St. Francis Hospital, east of the city and some to the homes of people, while others were distributed around to the various hotels. A corrected list of injured is as follows:
WILL VAN LEON, of Denver, severe injury to head and brain; not expected to live.
BERTIE VAN LEON, of Denver, serious internal injuries; not expected to live.
MYRTLE VAN LEON, of Denver, head badly bruised and right arm severely burned.

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