Stone Station, IN Train Wreck, Jun 1897



Passenger Train, While Going Thirty Miles an Hour, Plunged Head-long in the Ditch.

RIDGEVILLE, Ind., June 14.----Southbound passenger train No. 2 on the Grand Rapids & Indiana, with D. W. Perry, conductor, was wrecked at Stone Station, four miles south of here, at 2:50 o'clock this afternoon. One was killed and several injured.

The killed:

DAVID CRAMER, of Fort Wayne, engineer, crushed under his engine and body not yet recovered.

The injured:

LEVI CRABILL, of Fort Wayne, fireman, badly crushed and scalded, may die.
MARTIN MENTSCH, of Fort Wayne, baggage master, badly hurt, but injuries not serious.
STEPHEN MUNDY, of Grand Rapids, express messenger, badly shaken up, but not seriously hurt.

The passengers about forty in number, that just as they passed the crossing, about one hundred feet north of where the engine jumped the track, he noticed that the track was out of line, caused probably by the intense heat. He saw Engineer Cramer rise from his seat when the crash came, after which all was blank until he found himself on a cot beside the wreck. The engineer lies under his engine with his hand near the throttle and his body wedged in between the tender. The engine, No. 2 lies on its side across the ditch on the west side of the track and almost at right angles. The baggage car lies on its side on the east side. A little further on is the wrecked smoker, mostly on its trucks, but badly damaged. It obstructs the track. The women's coach broke loose from the smoker in an effort to follow the engine into the ditch, and stands with its front end over the ditch. The chair car, still coupled to the car in front, stands with the rear trucks on the rails, which were badly twisted, even the crossties being badly cut into, and the track torn up for about one ground.

The fireman states that both he and the engineer saw the danger when within less than two hundred yards of it. The engineer immediately reversed his engine, but was too late to avert the accident. Fortunately the track and right of way were nearly on a level at the scene of the accident, or much greater damage would have resulted. The engine turned almost completely over and threw the tender ahead of it. The train was making thirty to thirty-five miles an hour, and was in charge of Conductor Joseph Parry, with J. H. Browne as brakeman. The wounded, except the fireman and baggageman, were taken to Richmond.

Lost His Life for Another.

FORT WAYNE, Ind., June 14.----Engineer David Cramer, who was the only one killed in the Stone wreck to-day, together with Levi Crabill and Baggagemaster Martin Mentsch, who were seriously injured, all reside here and have families. The engineer's body is still under the engine at 8 o'clock to-night and will be brought to his home in this city as soon as taken out. The other two men will arrive to-night on a special train. Engineer Cramer was not on his regular run, but should have gone out at 5 o'clock this morning instead of at noon to-day. He changed to accommodate another engineer. He had been on the road twenty-five years, being the oldest engineer with the company.

Cramer Held Fastest Run Record.

PORTLAND, Ind., June 14.---Roadmaster James Leavy and a crew left here on a special train immediately after hearing of the wreck at Stone Station to-day. All trains are delayed, and it is not likely the track will be cleared for traffic until to-morrow. Cramer, the dead engineer, is one of the company's oldest employes[sic]. He made the fastest run ever known on the road between Richmond and Ft. Wayne, and that afternoon covered a mile in fifty-three seconds.

The Indiana State Journal, Indianapolis, IN 16 Jun 1897