Owego, NY Train Plunges Into Washout, May 1929
2 AUBURN MEN KILLED, 6 HURT AS TRAIN HITS WASHOUT.
HEAVY FREIGHT CRASHES INTO 12-FOOT HOLE.
BOTH ENGINES OF DOUBLE-HEADER TRAIN PILE UP, VICTIMS TRAPPED.
IN ELECTRICAL STORM.
Bodies of Z. B. THRALL and F. W. YOUNGS Removed Three Hours Later.
Owego, May 3 (AP) -- Two men were killed, two were seriously injured and four others were shaken up and bruised when a double-header freight train on the Lehigh Valley railroad struck a washout about two miles west of Owego early today.
The dead were Z. B. THRALL and FLOYD W. YOUNGS, engineer and fireman of the first locomotive. Those seriously injured were B. M. FLUMMERFELT, engineer and WILLIAM SULLIVAN, fireman, of the second locomotive. HARRY STEVENS, trainman, Conductor C. R. QUINN, flagman E. L. SHUTTER, and Trainman C. S. WRIDE were injured. All were believed to be from Auburn.
The wreck occurred shortly after 2 o'clock this morning as the 58-car train was running at reduced speed through a light rain. Earlier in the morning a downpour has washed out a section of the track causing a pit about 40 feet long and about 12 feet deep.
Both locomotives piled up in the ditch, four of the cars leaving the tracks. STEVENS escaped death by a _______________ from the wreckage and crawling to safety.
THRALL and YOUNGS were killed almost instantly. FLUMMERFELT and SULLIVAN were taken to a hospital at Sayre, Pa., but the extent of their injuries could not be determined definitely.
The train left Auburn at 10:10 last night during a heavy rain. The wreck occurred after 2 o'clock. During those hours a severe lightning storm struck the Central New York section. The Owego washout was the only one reported throughout the section.
THRALL'S body was recovered shortly after 5 o'clock while YOUNGS was not cleared from the wreckage until about four hours later. Although both bodies were completely under water watches in the pockets of their clothing had not stopped running.
Both engines were partially submerged but no explosion occurred. The first engine lay on its side while the second piled at right angles. The road was tied up and it was believed traffic would be rerouted until the washout had been repaired.
After the wreck QUINN rescued a telephone kit from the caboose and notified officials at Auburn. A wrecking crew was sent to the scene and it was necessary to remove the top of the locomotive to retrieve the bodies.
The Syracuse Herald New York 1929-05-03