Montz, LA Train Wreck, Nov 1912 - Death Toll at 18


Seven on Ninety Injured Passengers in Critical Condition


Interstate Commerce Commission will be Asked to Investigate Secrecy Railroad.

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 12.---The total death list in yesterday morning's wreck on the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad at Montz, La., is placed at eighteen and seven of the ninety passengers who suffered injuries are in critical condition.

In addition to the identified dead taken from the ruins yesterday the body of an unidentified white man was found and the charred remains of one child and two adults were taken from the burned wreckage.

Mark Cunningham, the brakeman, on whose shoulders railroad officials yesterday placed the blame for the terrible accident, in a statement made today at his home at Wilson, La., declared he would not be made the "goat" and suffer for the responsibility of others. Cunningham claims that when he was sent back to flag the freight train it was but a few minutes behind the excursion train and the collision was unavoidable so far as he was concerned. A statement credited to Conductor Stinson, of the excursion train, was to the effect that he did not have time, after his train stopped because of the breaking of an eccentric bar of the engine, to walk ahead to the engine, to walk ahead to the engine before the freight train crashed into the rear of the crowded excursions train.

The Interstate Commerce Commission will be asked not only to investigate the cause of the wreck but to inquire into the refusal of the railroad officials to give information of the wreck to the press and police until nearly seven hours after it occurred and also to investigate the delay in getting the wounded to hospitals. Persons who had relatives on the wrecked train were denied. Information for hours and in one instance a man whose wife was dangerously wounded was not permitted to go to the wreck on the relief train sent from Baton Rouge.

Although the wreck was but twenty-seven miles north of New Orleans, the press and police here were not notified until nearly seven hours afterward and the injured reached the hospital about eight hours after the wreck occurred.

The Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery, AL 13 Nov 1912