Livingston Manor, NY Train Wreck, Jun 1909


Engineer and Fireman Crushed When an Ontario & Western Locomotive Leaves Track.


Many Passengers Thrown About and Injured In Two Vestibule Cars That Hang on Edge of Back.

Special to The New York Times.

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y., June 25.---Two men were killed and many passengers mostly residents of New York City going to the Catskills to spend the Summer, were injured in the wrecking of New York, Ontario & Western Train No. 3 near Livingston Manor late this afternoon. The engine and baggage car went down a ten-foot embankment, and Engineer Reuben Vandemark and Fireman Lester Dougherty were crushed to death.

Conductor Arthur Jones was in charge of the train, which consisted of seven vestibule coaches, a baggage car, and locomotive. The majority of the passengers had been left at Fallsburgh, Liberty, and Livingston Manor, and there were only about 100 on the train when the accident happened. About three miles north of Livingston Manor is White House Curve. The train was running about forty miles an hour when it rounded the curve, and the locomotive left the rails.

There was not an instant's warning, and Fireman Dougherty and Engineer Vandemark went down the bank with the engine. The combination mall and baggage car followed, rolling over several times. The two day coaches immediately following also jumped the track, but did not go down the bank. They turned sideways and stopped on the edge of the bank.

The passengers were thrown out of their seats and over seats. The windows of the car were all raised and many of the passengers climbed out of them. Others ran for the doors. Conductor Jones was in the second coach. He called out that the danger was all over and for every one to take his time in getting out. Women and children screamed, expecting every moment that the cars would go down the bank on top of the engine.

A member of the train crew started on foot for Livingston manor, while flagmen were stationed north and south of the wrecked train to stop other trains. A wrecking train with physicians from Livingston Manor was soon on the spot. The cuts and bruises of the passengers were dressed, and they were taken back to Livingston Manor.

After two hours work the wrecking crew recovered the bodies of Vandemark and Dougherty from under the engine and baggage car. The dead man lived at Middletown, Engineer Vandemark being a brother of Alderman Chester Vandemark of this city.

On July 2, 1907, Train 3 was wrecked at Roscoe, three miles north of the present wreck, when the engine went down the bank and four cars were derailed. A number of passengers were injured. On Oct. 13, 1906, the locomotive of Train 3 exploded near Luzon, Sullivan County, and three persons were killed and many injured.

The New York Times, New York, NY 26 Jun 1909