Erie, NY Train Wreck, Aug 1853

The Accident on the Erie & Northeast Railroad.

Under date of Erie, August 15th, 6 P. M., a friend writes us:
“I have just returned from the scene of the accident which occurred on the Erie and Northeast Railroad, at 10 o'clock this morning. Three first class passenger cars of the train from Buffalo were run off the track by the breaking of an axle, and the baggage car was somewhat injured. One wheel which broke, loose, ran through a fence, and stopped some six rods from the track, in an orchard. Sixty or seventy passengers were on the train, which at the time was running about forty miles an hour. No person was killed, though an elderly lady had her collar bone broken, and a brakeman was injured in his back and side. Several passengers were more or less hurt.
“The three cars are a perfect wreck, and the ground is strewn with the chips and splinters. One car, containing thirty seats, had but six whole ones left in it.”
The mail train due at Cleveland, last night, arrived at 5 o'clock this morning.

The axle tree was broken off just even with the wheel, and the iron at the fracture was bright, and apparently perfectly sound.
MR. AND MRS. O. A. BROOKS, of this city, were in the first passenger car, and fortunately escaped without serious injury, though a good deal bruised.
The first passenger car was turned completely round and dashed in pieces. MR. BROOKS picked himself up from a soft spot where he was thrown, a distance of perhaps fifteen feet, striking on his head. In this car were about twenty passengers, and but two injured seriously, and none thought to be dangerously hurt. The sympathies of the passengers were strongly enlisted in behalf of a lady from Illinois, who was hurt more than any one else, having her collar bone broken and being badly bruised about the head. She had a few days since accompanied a blind husband to Utica for medical aid, and on receiving a telegraphic despatch[sic] that her children at home were sick, she was hastening back, when this additional calamity happened her. She was brought to Erie, maintaining good energy, and in cheerful spirits, and her friends have been telegraphed to.
The three cars were all thrown from the track, and two are ruined. The wheel of the baggage car, when disengaged, rolled a distance of twelve rods or more, through a fence, and up an elevation, just grazing a woman who was standing near her door.
The officers of the Company did not allow the excitement of the moment to divert their attention from a business view of the subject, as they immediately set to work to get releases from all who were injured.
The accident, we are glad to say, was one against which human foresight could not provide. -- [Cleveland Herald, 16th.]

The Quincy Daily Whig Illinois 1853-08-23