Shushan, NY Train Wreck, Mar 1873

Dispatch to the Associated Press.

RUTLAND, Vt., March 30.---An accident attended with fearful consequences occurred to the night express-train over the Rutland and Washington division of the Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad, due here at 1:40 Sunday morning. It appears that the surface water had undermined the track at a point about one and a half miles south of Shushan Station, and when the train reached this point, between 11 and 12 o'clock the track appeared to be all right but as soon as the locomotive struck the treacherous spot, the track and ties sunk, precipitating the locomotive, baggage-car, passenger and sleeping coaches off the track and down the embankment. The locomotive went down on the right hand side forty feet, turning completely over. Henry Conner, engineer, Patrick Manahan, fireman, Mr. Ryan, another engineer, and Fred. Downs, a conductor, were on the locomotive at the time. Downs and Monahan were instantly killed. Henry Conner had two or three ribs broken and was considerable bruised, but will doubtless recover. Ryan's injuries are not serious. The baggage-car, passenger and sleeping coaches went off on the opposite side of the embankment from the locomotive, which on this side was but a few feet high. The cars were badly wrecked. The baggage-car took fire, and the through mails were about half burned up, catching, probably, from the stove. The passengers in the two rear cars were all shaken up badly, barely any escaping without some scratch of bruise.

The following is the list of those materially injured:

Dr. S. S. Fitch, of New-York, badly bruised, but it is thought not dangerously.
J. Houston, St. Albans, Vt., head cut badly.
John Jordan, Saratoga, N. Y., head injured and otherwise badly cut.
M. Fairchild, Salem, N. Y., legs hurt and cuts around the head.
Philip Lefebre, residence not given, scalp cut and bad foot wound.
Miss N. L. Cushman, Middlebury, Vt., hurt in the hips.
G. D. German, Lafayette, Ind., injured in the leg and breast.
Among the employes[sic] the following were injured:
D. C. Pierce, conductor, hurt in the back, and he also received severe scratches and bruises.
Robert Wallis, brakeman, had his hand injured.

The colored porter of the sleeping car received a severe scalp wound.

The injured will, it is thought, recover. When Conductor Downs was found he was lying in the water and mud under the casing of the dome of the locomotive, with his neck broken. Fireman Monahan was found in the mud under the front of the locomotive, and it was necessary to dig some little time before his body could be got out. Monahan was out oiling the valves when the accident occurred. The passengers, and what was left of the mails on the unfortunate train, arrived here about noon today. The road is now all clear, and trains will run regularly on Monday.

The New York Times, New York, NY 31 Mar 1873