Boston, MA Terrible Train Wreck At Bussey Bridge, Mar 1887

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None of the other stoves were smashed, for a wonder, sufficiently to ignite the wreck with their burning contents, and the work of extricating the dead and wounded began. Superintendent FOLSOM caused several physicians from Boston to be sent out, and ABNER ALDEN, station agent at Dedham, had notified the physicians there, all of whom responded immediately. The ambulances were also dispatched from the Massachusetts General and City hospitals with a corps of surgeons, who were enabled to render valuable assistance to the wounded.
The news reached police headquarters within half an hour after the accident, and Deputy Superintendent BURRILL, after giving orders for a large detail of officers from the nearest stations to report to him, started for the scene of the disaster, and reached there about 8:30 o'clock.
Never was so sad a duty more expeditiously and thoroughly performed. The dead and injured were quickly taken out, and never was a railroad wreck where there had been large loss of life more promptly deserted by all who had suffered in it. The fact that the accident occurred in the midst of a settled suburban district, and that nobody upon the train was more than five miles away from home, made it possible to transport the dead and injured, so far as it was practicable under the circumstances. When J. H. LANNON, who was first on the ground, arrived cries and groans were coming from all parts of the awful heap. Bruised and wounded people were crawling out from all sides. He found an ax and climbed upon the third car, that lay in the trench, two others being beneath it. The cries of the injured came most from this car, he thought. He crawled through a window and went to work. A woman first demanded his attention, whe was pinned down by the feet and two seats, and the body of a man lay on top of her. The body and seats were soon got out of the way. Working on the wood and iron that held her down caused her to scream with fresh agony, and it was some moments before she was freed.
In one of the forward cars, and among the first passengers to be taken out, was a young woman whose name has not yet been ascertained, and whose death -- for she was killed outright and terribly mutilated as well -- was the most shocking of any of the passengers. When ingress was obtasined through the smashed cars, and when the splintered timbers had been sufficiently removed to allow of any work upon the wreck, about the first body reached was that of this unfortunate woman, who was pinned down in the car with her face jammed between two sills and in a most shocking condition. That she was alive seemed doubtful. Still the body was moved, when, to the terror of her rescuers, it was found that the head and one arm were severed from the body, as though done by a knife. Covered with the rubbish of the wreck, as she lay there, no possible identification of the remains could be made, and after fruitless attempts to remove her with their hands the rescuers obtained saws and jackscrews and, after much difficult work, succeeded in extricating all that remained of the woman who but a moment before was full of life, hope and ambition. The body was first removed, then the mutilated and unrecognizable head, and finally the arm. Tenderly the remains were covered, and soon after removed to Forest Hills and later taken to the city morgue.

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Comments

Bussey Bridge

My gg grandfather was also in the accident. There are a couple of interviews with him while still on the scene. He was injured but was fortunate to be in one of the back cars and found a way out. I would love to share what I have and see what info you have compiled as well!

-Bonnie Richardson

Waldo Lailer

Mr. Harlow
I am currently researching the Bussey Bridge accident for a future publication and am interested in any information you might have on Waldo Lailer. I would be more than happy to provide you with the information i have already obtained on him.
Any information you would be willing to give me would be greatly appreciated.
Sincerely,
Jeremy Fraine
Email: jjfraine@yahoo.com

My Gr. Grandfather died in the wreck

Thank you for the newspaper coverage of the Bussey Bridge Train Wreck. My Grandmother's father Waldo Booth Lailer, a policeman at the time, evidently on his way to work, died in the wreck. I have a picture taken at the scene which has been handed down in the family it is about an 8x10 and mounted on a card. My Grandmother, Harriet Louisa Lailer and her brother William Fessenden Lailer (Uncle Bill) were young children at the time and I have a picture of them together as well. Waldo was from Maine, and he and some brothers, Orlando Lailer was one, moved to the Boston area to join the police department.
David Wood Harlow
Wagoner, Oklahoma