Shadeland, IN Interurban Train Wreck, Sept 1910

Soldier Ground to Death by I.U.T. Car

A soldier, practically identified as Private William J. Hengen, Company F, Twenty-sixth United States Infantry, was struck and instantly killed last night at 8:15 o’clock near Shadeland crossing, a short distance this side of Fort Benjamin Harrison, by an inbound Muncie car on the Indiana Union traction line.

Although the body of the soldier was so badly mangled that it was impossible to distinguish the features, it was almost positively identified by the color of the hair as that of Private Hengen by Corporal A. E. Coates and Private James Henderson, who belong to Company F. Private Hengen was missing from the Maneuver Camp last night.

The car which killed the soldier was in charge of Motorman John Matheney of Indianapolis, who said that he sounded a warning, but was unable to check the car’s speed before it struck the man. A train was passing on the Big Four tracks, which run parallel to those of the I.U.T. and it may have been that Hengen did not hear the whistle. He was walking toward the car, which was running at a high rate of speed.

Both legs were severed and the chest was crushed.


Hengen left the Maneuver Camp at 1 o’clock, having said that his sister, Miss Rose Hengen, would arrive during the afternoon from Chicago, Ill., and that he wished to meet her. At the camp last night it was said that Hengen was a man of good habits and that he rarely drank. He enlisted Sept. 16, 1908, and it was his first enlistment. His regular station was at Sault Ste, Marle, Mich. His home was on East Union street, Lafayette, Ind.

The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, IN 22 Sept 1910