Hackensack, NJ Train Wreck, Jan 1894


An Awful Rear-End Collision in New Jersey.

The D. L. & W. Dover Express Crashed Into by an Orange Local Train Near the Hackensack Bridge – Terrible Scenes of Suffering on the Jersey Marshes.

Dense fog that lay like a thick blanket over the marshy Hackensack (N.J.) meadows was in part the cause of one of the most shocking railroad wrecks that have occurred near New York in recent years. The apparent recklessness of an engineer and the almost criminal loss of reason on the part of a brakeman helped to cause a rear-end collision. At 8:25 a. m., an hour when thousands of men were traveling from their homes in New Jersey to their offices, workshops or places of business in the city, the Dover express train was stopped at a signal station on the Morris and Essex division of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, west of the bridge over the Hackensack River. It was a few minutes behind time on its way to New York, and it was followed closely by a local train from South Orange. The engineer of the local train sent his locomotive along at a rapid pace without regard to the fog, and neglected to follow a long-standing order to slacken speed as he approached the dangerous place where the express train was waiting.
A brakeman had started back from the express train to flag the local train, but he suddenly lost his self-control in the moment of peril, and returned to implore the passengers on the rear car of his train to jump for their lives.
A few men who heard the warning had time to escape. It was too late to stop the momentum of the local train with the air brakes, and the oncoming locomotive dashed into view through the mantle of fog and crashed into the rear end of the express train, wrecking three of the cars.
There followed an awful scene of death and suffering. From two telescoped cars were flung the bodies of a number of dead and dying men, while within the cars were imprisoned other men who had been hurt seriously, and whose appeals for help were harrowing to hear. Fortunately the wreck did not take fire, or the disaster would have been even more terrible.
Those killed were:
WILLIAM R. ADAMS, thirty-two years, Milburn, N. J., crushed about the head; taken to Volk's Morgue.
WILLIAM FERGUSON, Summit, N. J., fifty-five years, auditor in the Western Union Building, New York; father of FREDERICK FERGUSON, who was among the injured; died at St. Mary's Hospital.
JOHN FISH, Summit, N. J.
EDWARD KINSEY, Bernardsville, N. J., late of West Bergen.
EDWARD MORRELL, twenty-three years, Summit, N. J., son of RICHARD MORRELL steel rail manufacturer of Newark, taken to Volk's Morgue, Hoboken, N. J.
WALTER R. PURINTON, Short Hills, N. J., forty years, glue manufacturer at 197 Water street, New York; taken to Crane's Morgue.
J. R. RIMMER, Summit, N. J., member of the New York Consolidated Exchange and cashier for S. W. Boocock, 30 Broad street, New York; taken to Christ's Hospital.
PATRICK J. RYAN, Milburn, N. J., florist, unmarried; brother-in-law of WILLIAM R. ADAMS, who was also killed, taken to Volk's Morgue.
WILLIAM H. TURNER, Basking Ridge, N. J., bookkeeper for Chandler, Dill & Seymour, New York, taken to Crane's Morgue.
Those fatally injured were: HARRY S. COWAN, twenty-eight years, Basking Ridge, N. J., employed in the office of the Port Morris Land and Improvement Company in New York City; back broken.
FREDERICK FURGESON, twenty-five years, Summit, N. J. He was employed with his father in auditing rooms of the Western Union Building. Cannot survive amputation of leg.
CARL H. SCHULTZ, JR., twenty years, Basking Ridge, N. J., frightfully injured about chest and head.

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