Foster, NY Train Wreck, Feb 1872

Accident on the Allegheny Valley Road.

On Saturday, about 11:15 a. m., an express train ran off the track of the Allegheny Valley Road, about six miles below Foster, and the whole train went down the bank in the river, resulting in the more or less serious injury of over twenty persons. The wrecked train was the Kittanning accommodation, northward, which is due in this city at 12:20 p. m.

The injured men were found at Foster station, whither they had been removed as soon as a train could be procured form below to transport them.


The following is a list of the injured.

A. A. Richardson, Foxburg; injured in the head and breast seriously; recovery doubtful.

H. A. Coffin, St. Petersburg, seriously injured in the back and slightly about the head. Recovery probable.

T. Merwin, Foxburg, leg and knee, slightly.

Lewis Walthour, engineer, Brady's Bend, severely injured in back, one foot and head slightly injured. Will recover.

McConnell Tarr, conductor, Kittanning, injured internally in the breast, and a terrible lacerated scalp wound about eight inches long. Recovery probable.

Robert Bruce, brakeman, Kittanning, arm and chest. He assisted in taking care of the others, but was badly hurt.

Thomas King, Franklin, head and left hip, seriously. Is expected to recover.

Thomas Danaghey, Greenville, Pa., head and left hip slightly.

J. J. Haight, Pleasantville, Pa. Slightly.

Mrs. L. C. Hart, Pleasantville, Pa., head and face slightly.

J. G. Ball, St. Petersburg, Pa., slightly.

William McNulty, Scrubgrass, slightly.

H. S. Cate, T{ineligible}houte, slightly.

W. Wilkinson, St. Petersburg, slightly.

{two names, etc., ineligible}

William H. Fowler, Scrubgrass, slightly.

W. S. Grant, messenger boy, slightly.

Peter Cummings, team boy, slightly.

G. W. Rockwell, Oil City, two ribs fractured, injuries painful, but not dangerous.


The accident occurred about one hundred or one hundred and fifty yards below the mouth of May's Run, where the burning well is located, better known as Burning Station, and six miles below Foster Station. At that point the road curves toward the river, and runs along the hillside, about thirty feet above the water. The bank is very steep, rocky and covered with underbrush, with a few large trees.


The wreck of the train, when viewed by the Derrick reporter, was a sight never to be forgotten. The observer could only wonder how so many escaped with slight injuries, and that none were instantly killed.

The train must have made at least one and a half revolutions in its descent leaving the track it went over the bank and landed bottom side up thirty feet below. In the descent a large tree caught the first coach about the middle, broke it completely in two, and went down with the wreck.

Had it not been for the thick shore ice the entire list of passengers and employes{sic} must have been drowned. The water near the shore is from fifteen to twenty feet deep, and the entire train was saved by the ice from going to the bottom. The accident was bad enough, but had the river been free from ice, in all human probability every one but the fireman would have perished.

The accident unquestionably resulted from a broken rail.--{Daily Derrick.}

Jamestown Journal, Jamestown, NY 2 Feb 1872