Menlo Park, NJ Train Wreck, Oct 1902
Three mail clerks in the rear car of the western train heard the warning whistle from the 9:05 as it bore down upon them and realizing the danger jumped and saved their lives.
ENGINE PLOUGHED THROUGH
MISS DARRAH bravely extricated herself and was outside the car when the men arrived. But MR. and MRS. FISHER and MR. WILLETS and the rest were helplessly covered by the tumbled-in top of the crumbled coach and pinned in their places by flying seats and doors and broken glass and timber.
With considerable difficulty the dead body was removed. Then MRS. FISHER was lifted out. She was taken to a parlor car and made as comfortable as possible.
Physicians were soon in attendance and they dressed her wounds and those of the others from Trenton and elsewhere.
It was advised that MRS. LOWTHORP return to her home. MR. MURRAY came back with her and with MR. WILLETS, whose injuries were less painful. MISS WILLETS and MISS DARRAH also returned with them, reaching here at 11:35. MRS. LOWTHORP had to be wheeled in a chair.
No one on the 9:05 train was hurt, everybody escaping without a scratch.
“But it was a most heart-rending scene,” said MR. MURRAY. “At first we didn’t know how many were killed or how the Trenton passengers had fared. It was undoubtedly the most serious predicament I was ever in.
When the trains came together there was a feeling of rolling, rumbling floors and shaking seats, and for the second no one knew what to expect. The wheels under us were grinding along the rails and the car raised and lowered as the engine mashed its way into the cars ahead. The awfulness of the thing is beyond description.”
The western express was considerably behind its schedule time. The 9:05 train was to have had orders to pass it on the siding at Metuchen, but somehow there was a misunderstanding.
The signals were at danger on two blocks before the collision occurred, it is said though the 9:05 had gone beyond Metuchen. None of the officers of the road could account for the accident.
It was probably one hour and a quarter after the trains left Trenton that they came together.