Spanish Lake, MO Train Wreck, Apr 1908

Sever Leg With Jackknife.

Wreck Victim, With Steam Pouring Into Face, Directs Amputation.

St. Louis, Mo., April 2.-Pinned under wreckage caused by a rear end collision on the Burlington Railroad to-day, and with steam from a broken engine pipe pouring into his face, HORACE A. MCKITTRICK, a stock breeder of Brookfield, Mo., directed the amputation of his leg and furnished a dull jackknife with which the work was done. The rough operation was performed by the Rev. R.C. ALLEN of Grove City, Penn., but it failed of its purpose, MCKITTRICK dying later at the hospital.

Four others were injured in the wreck, which occurred near Spanish Lake, where a passenger train crashed into the rear end of a freight train.

Several of the passengers in the caboose of the freight train jumped and escaped serious injury, but MCKITTRICK was caught between broken timbers under the passenger locomotive.

The New York Times, New York, NY 3 Apr 1908


Cuts Leg Off With Knife

Preacher Saves Victim of Wreck From Scalding to Death.

St. Louis, April 2.-Five men wee injured, three seriously, in a rear-end collision today at Spanish Lake, 15 miles north of St. Louis, in St. Louis County, between a freight train and a Burlington passenger train, No. 24. The caboose of the freight train and the engine of the passenger train were wrecked.

J.A. MCKITTRICK, a stockman of Brookfield, Mo. was pinioned under the wreckage by his left leg, which was nearly crushed off at the knee. Scalding steam from the passenger locomotive was enveloping him, and to save MCKITTRICK’S life Rev. R.C. ALLEN, f Grove City, Pa., cut off the leg with a pocketknife.

With the scalding steam pouring upon him. MCKITTRICK pulled out hooknose and handed it to Mr. ALLEN, who with others, was trying to extricate the man from the wreckage, commanded the minister to cut off the crushed leg and save him from being scalded.

Mrs. EMMA RENNER, a trained nurse from Cincinnati, a passenger, pressed a bottle of whiskey to MCKITTRICK’S lips and told him to drink. The steam increased.

“Cut off that leg; I can’t stay here and die!” shouted MCKITTRICK.

Mr. ALLEN began cutting at the tendons with the knife.

It was dull and MCKITTRICK suffered intense agony.

Throw it away and get an ax, he finally cried out. But Mr. ALLEN continued and finally had severed the tendons.

MCKITTRICK was carried into a car, where MRS. RENNER made a tourniquet of her veil and staunched the flow of blood, and then gave him opiates. Later he was brought to a St. Louis hospital.

Rev. Mr. ALLEN, who performed the amputation, is a Covenanter minister, 60 years of age.

Morning Oregonian, Portland, OR 3 Apr 1908


Rev. Mr. Allen, who performed the amputation, is Covenanter minister sixty years of age. He was on his way to Staunton, Ill. Trained nurse RENNER, who was bruised in the wreck, was enroute to her home in Cincinnati from the state of Washington. Others hurt were R.L. LEDFORD, of Hannibal, Mo., and Fireman MACKERSON, both internally injured.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, Biloxi, MS 4 Apr 1908