Haverhill, MA Train Wreck, Jan 1888




Three Cars Leave the Track at a Bridge Over the Merrimac River Near Bradford, Mass.----The Killed and Injured.

HAVERHILL, MASS., Jan. 10.---A frightful accident occurred to the Portland express train on the Boston and Maine Railroad, which left Boston at one o'clock this afternoon, the scene of the disaster being near the Haverhill bridge, which spans the Merrimac river between Bradford and Haverhill. The train consisted of seven cars, drawn by the engine Norris, Engineer Thomas French, and in charge of Conductor Weymouth. This train does not stop at Bradford, and was going at great speed. The Georgetown Branch train was standing on the track near the water-tank house at the Bradford end of the bridge, waiting for the espress to pass over to Haverhill.

As the express rounded the curve two cars left the rails and went crashing into and demolished the water-tank house. In this house a number of section hands were eating dinner. MR. JOHN O'BRIEN, a retired merchant of Bradford, was talking with the section hands, and was killed, together with WILLIAM TAYLOR, one of the laborers. John Madden, another railroad man, was with them. He was injured and will probably die. The car that crashed into the tank-house knocked the foundation out, crushing through the top of the car and doing fearful work within. The next car behind telescoped the car ahead of it, adding to the havoc. The killed and wounded were mostly in those two cars. The cars behind these two ran down alongside the Georgetown train, barely escaping a collision with the engine of that train.

The people in the smoker had a fearful experience. One of the wheels on the front truck broke, and the car bumped against the end of the bridge, causing it to careen, and the car ran upon the bridge for some distance upon the sleepers, then careened the other way and leaned against the ironwork of the side of the bridge. the passengers of whom there were about thirty, found themselves at the top of the car, while it seemed to those who had sufficient presence of mind to think that the car was tumbling off the bridge to the river below. The passengers managed to crawl out, none being very seriously injured. As soon as they reached terra firma, such as were able rushed back and helped those who were imprisoned in the wrecked cars. The entire force of physicians in the city was summoned by telephone, and was quickly at hand, and the wounded were cared for as soon as released.

The list of killed [ineligible] up nine, as follows: CHARLES HAZELWOOD, Walnut avenue, Boston; JOHN O'BRIEN, of Bradford; G. N. COLE, wife and child, of Lawrence, Mass.; WM. TAYLOR, of Bradford, Mass.; A. S. WALKER, of Harrison, Me.; L. B. ADAMS, of Newton, Mass., and JOSEPH SHAW, of Boston. The Cole family were all killed together, the child in its mother's arms. They were in the second coach.

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