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

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Near the stove, in each other's arms, were two other young women, both dead -- evidently instantly killed -- their heads crushed almost beyond recognition. They also lay wedged in between the debris of the wreck, pinned down so tightly that action was impossible, and here again it required jackscrews, levers and saws to extricate the remains. One woman, who suffered only, and miraculously enough, from slight injury to her feet, was removed from this impromptu coffin and carried home. Another woman lay cramped between two car seats, with life extinct. Not a mark appeared upon her body to incicate how death approached. Extended, with arms pushed forward as though to ward off the crashing timbers which fell about, but didnot touch her, she lay there as calm, appearing as though in sleep. But the awful position in which the body lay left no doubt but that in the upheaval of the overturning car the woman became wedged between the seats and the life slowly crushed from the frail body. It was an awful sight. There was death visible in every form. Right at her elbow was another less fortunate who, while killed, must have suffered terrible agony before death relieved her. The majority of the passengers in the cars which plunged to death were women. All young, happy, hopeful creatures, whose tiny sachels, with carefully prepared lunches, told pathetically, as no words possibly can the circumstances of their daily lives. BEN GOLDSMITH, a resident of West Roxbury, was one of the fortunate passengers. He was in the last car to land safely on the further side of the bridge, and as the car which followed his plunged backward, and down into eternity,he jumped through the rear of the car and landed upon the embankment safe, as the dying cries were sent up from the commingled and indistinguishable mass below. In the first car that went down sat, side by side, MR. and MRS. HENRY CARDINAL. MRS. CARDINAL'S head stsruck the side of the car and she was instantly killed. Her husband escaped with his life. His injuries were summed up as follows: Severe scalp wound, contusion of the chest, with bloody expectoration, contusion of the hip, besides severe bruises on almost every part of his body. He is at present doing very well, and the physician feels very confident. In the smoker a MR. ROUNDY, aged 50, was playing cards with ED SNOW, HARRY GAY and Officer LAILER. Every one of his companions were killed outright, and a few moments later MR. ROUNDY found himself standing in the soft clayey mud of the Roslindale road, his clothing torn, the blood streaming from his face and head, holding in his hand the queen of diamonds, the surviving relic, besides himself, of a game that will never be finished. ROUNDY managed to get home, where he is now lying in a critical condition.
ROBERT T. ABRAHAMS was jammed in between the seats badly, and his leg broken. His daughter, NELLIE was badly injured in many places about the limbs and body, an all her front teeth were knocked out, several of them being swallowed.
A pathetic sight was that of two girls with arms around one another, clinging in the embrace of death. Both had been killed by blows upon the head. One man was found sitting bolt upright in his seat, but stone dead, with blood flowing in several small streams from cuts on the head. The women had an awful time in getting out. Many left their clothing, which was torn from their forms. There were four girls dead together, as if they had occupied two seats facing each other. All of those pinned down in the car had a horrible fear of fire, and shrieked for assistance to escape possible cremation.
WILLIAM YOUNG, of Roslindale, was in the third car that fell. He says there were a great many ladies in his car, most of them being killed. He saw many women with their heads and necks cut and breasts badly mutilated. He smashed through a window, got out and worked an hour helping others. He says the women were as brave as the men, and there was little loud crying, except by those who were pinned down.

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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.
Jeremy Fraine

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