Montz, LA Train Wreck, Nov 1912 - Fourteen Die


Flagman's Neglect Lets Freight Crash Into Coaches.


Four of Dead, 41 of Injured Are White People


Some Negroes Turned in to Help Rescue Passengers From Burning Cars, But Majority Hysterically Added to Panic---Officials Withheld News of Wreck Till Morning.

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 11---Fourteen lives were snuffed out an ninety passengers injured when a through freight train crashed into the rear end of a north bound excursion train the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad near Montz, La., at 12:30 this morning.

The appalling disaster is charged by the railroad officials to the negligence of a flagman named Cunningham, who disappeared when the two trains crashed together.

Of the dead four are white women, one a white infant, four negro women and five negro men. Forty one of the injured are white and 49 negroes. It is expected that all of the victims, except possibly three, will recover.

Although the scene of the wreck is but 27 miles north of New Orleans, and relief trains were sent from this city and from Baton Rouge, the railroad officials withhold from the press information of the wreck until a late hour this morning.

An Amazing Feature

An amazing feature of the wreck was that the loss of life was confined almost entirely to the last and fourth from the last coach of the excursion train.

The second from the last coach escaped injury almost completely. The excursion train was made up of ten coaches, with negroes occupying all but the two rear coaches.

The rear coach was demolished and the third and fourth cars were telescoped. All three, together with the freight engine were burned. Pathetic stories of the ghastly horror were brought to New Orleans by survivors who narrowly escaped death.

A few of the negroes were self-possessed and lent their earnest aid to the heroic efforts of white passengers to save from the flames those pinioned beneath the wreckage but most of them ran wildly about shrieking, shouting and praying.

Mrs. Thomas McGinness, wife of a New Orleans plumber, was killed and her husband and two babies are in a local hospital. Three of the other dead among the white victims were relatives and neighbors in Zachary, La.

At an early hour tonight no one had appeared to claim the body of the white infant and it is supposed that the child's mother perished in the wreck.

Of the injured 48 were brought to New Orleans for medical treatment, and 44 were taken to Baton Rouge or to their homes.

The Louisiana railroad commission today telegraphed to the interstate commerce commission to join in an investigation of the wreck.


The dead:

MRS. VICTORIA MONTTEGUDO, Zachary, La. (white)
MRS. CHARLES BRECO, Zachary, La., (white)
MRS. THOMAS M'GUINNESS, New Orleans, (white)
WHITE CHILD, unidentified.
MRS. JENNIE COMEAUX, Zachary, La., (white)

Two white women, unidentified, one from Zachary.

Of the nine negroes, whose bodies were removed from the wreckage, three were women, one a girl, 14 years old, and five men.