North Leroy, NY Train Wreck, Aug 1901


Two Cars of the “Black Diamond Express” Jump the Track Near North Leroy.

BUFFALO, Aug. 9. – Two rear cars of the Lehigh Valley Railroad’s “Black Diamond Express,” which left this city at noon for New York and Philadelphia, jumped the track and broke loose from the rest of the train near North Leroy, ten miles east of Batavia, at 12:53 o’clock this afternoon. The train was making over fifty miles an hour at the time.
One of the derailed cars was a Pullman observation coach, the other a parlor car. The latter remained on the cross-ties and nobody in it was hurt. The observation coach plunged down an embankment and dropped over into a ditch on its side, eight of its occupants being injured, none of them seriously. Their names follow:
AMES, L. M., New York, porter.
BENTLEY, S. M., Buffalo, conductor.
CRANE, F. H., 295 Garfield Place, Brooklyn.
JOHNSON, LUKE, Lakewood, N. J.
KEENER, FRED., Lakewood, N. J.
ROP, L. M., 507 Fourth Street, Brooklyn.

There was much excitement at Leroy when the accident was first reported there. Railroad orders came in quick succession over the telegraph wires, and wrecking trains were rushed out to the scene of the catastrophe, carrying many physicians to look after the injured, whose numbers were greatly exaggerated. After the eight who had been hurt were cared for, the train, started on its way again, leaving the scene of the accident at 2:30 o’clock, just a little more than two hours having elapsed.

Up to a late hour to-night the cause of the accident had not been determined. Officials of the railroad said they did not know why the cars had left the track, an examination of the rails having failed to explain the matter.

The train was in charge of Engineer McIntire of Sayre, Penn., and Conductor R. Mack of Easton, Penn. The “Black Diamond” was put in service in 1893, and this is said to be the first accident that has befallen it.

When the “Black Diamond Express” reached Jersey City at 12:06 o’clock this morning it was found the Mrs. Luke Johnson was the only one of the injured whose condition was at all serious. She had two disfiguring cuts on her face and the lower part of her chin appeared to have been severed.

L. W. Amos, the porter, seems to have been the hero of the accident. The passengers of the observation car said that despite his own injuries he went among them after the car rolled down the embankment and did all he could to add to their comfort, refusing to leave the car until the passengers had been attended. At the station in Jersey City he went about looking after the passengers, despite the efforts of fellow-employes (sic) to take the burden off his shoulders. When questioned about the wreck he refused to talk.
The passengers from the observation car said that to them it had seemed as if the train played “snap-the-whip” with the car, which was jerked from the rails and bumped along the ties for a hundred yards or more before it turned over.

The New York Times, New York, NY 10 Aug 1901