Independence, MO Snow Causes Train Collision, Mar 1900





Kansas City, Mo., March 1. -- The fast St. Louis day express, due to arrive in Kansas City at 5:45 this evening, was delayed by a freight train, which struck in a snow drift two miles south of Independence, Mo., about 12 miles out of Kansas City. The St. Louis local passenger train, running 40 minutes behind the fast express, came on through the blinding snow storm and crashed into the express train ahead, the engineer having failed in the driving snow to see the danger signal which the fast train had sent back.
The parlor car in the rear of the first train was literally cut in two. When Engineer FRANK RAYMOND and his fireman escaped from the wreck they crawled out through the windows of the parlor car. Fire added to the horrors of the wreck, coals from the furnace of the shattered engine having fallen among the debris of the splintered coach and soon the whole wreck was ablaze. Two or more persons, it is believed were burned. A list of the dead and seriously injured, so far as known, is as follows:
MRS. J. G. SCHMIDLAPP, Cincinnati, instantly killed, body recovered.
Unknown woman, body consumed in wreck.
The injured are:
J. G. SCHMIDLAPP, Cincinnati, will recover.
MISS SCHMIDLAPP, Cincinnati, scalded, will lose sight of both eyes.
MRS. J. BALKE, Cincinnati, mother of Mrs. Schmidlapp, badly scalded, eyesight lost, may recover.
W. A. VAUGHN, Cincinnati, newspaper reporter, scalded and right arm crushed, amputation necessary.
L. F. SHELDON, Sedalia, assistant superintendent of telegraph of Missouri Pacific, painfully scalded.
Brakeman FRANK McAFEE, St. Louis, badly bruised.
MRS. ELIZABETH LEE, Cincinnati, scalded.
All of the injured have been brought to the University Hospital in Kansas City.
William Rost, a farmer near whose place the wreck occurred and who was one of the first to render any assistance to the imperiled passengers, is quite sure that at least three women were burned in the wreck. When he reached the car, flames were crackling through the splintered woodwork of the car at one end, while at the other end a cloud of blistering steam was issuing from the locomotive, which had ripped the coach open from end to end. On every side were men and women crying for assistance.
Mr. Rost's first act was to pull from the wreck a woman whose legs were sticking out through a broken window. She was not badly hurt. By the time this had been accomplished, other passengers from the forward coaches had come back and helped out all of those in the burning car who could be reached.
Mr. Rost states that he saw the body of one woman jammed in the roof of the burning coach, and that it was not reached by the rescuers.
The body of another woman was consumed in full view of the passengers who gathered about the wreck. Mr. Rost and others tried to drag her out, but she was pinned under heavy wreckage. Mr. Ross says the young woman was apparently dead, as he reached her hand and there was no response to his efforts at rescue.

San Juan Islander Friday Harbor Washington 1900-03-08