Boonville, NY Train Wreck, Jul 1908

Boonville, NY Train Wreck, Jul 4, 1908 Boonville, NY Train Wreck, Jul 4, 1 Boonville, NY Train Wreck, Jul 4, 1


Passenger Train Collides with Freight Near Boonville, N. Y.

BOONVILLE, N. Y., July 4. -- Northbound passenger train No. 55 on the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railroad, collided head on early today one and one-half miles east of Boonville, with a south-bound freifht train.  Four persons were killed outright and one died later in a Utica hospital, while eight or ten were injured. The injured were taken to Utica.

The dead: A. Rieber, of Utica, engineer; S. G. O'Brien, of Utica, engineer; H. A. Hageman, of Utica, brakeman; J H. Michael, of Edison, fireman. George Dean, of Utica, passenger, died at St. Luke's Hospital, Utica.

The cause of the wreck has not been determined.

The north-bound passenger train left Utica at 4:10 o'clock drawn by two passenger engines, owing to the heavy grade. It was made up of eight cars, five of them Pullmans. A combination smoker and baggage car followed the engine. It was in this car that most of the injured were.

Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 5 Jul 1908



Ten Others are Badly Injured as Result of Collision Near Boonville


List of Dead Includes Joseph Michael of Adams and F. W. Burnet of 757 Davidson Street, Watertown -- Woman Operator at Lyons Falls Made Error, Supt. Christie Says.

Four lives snuffed out in the twinkling of an eye, two terminated at the end of hours of torture, 10 other persons maimed and mangled, some of whom are so seriously hurt that death may result: three locomotives, one combination, one baggage and four freight cars twisted and torn and fit only for the scrapheap; thousands of dollars' worth of personal baggage ruined -- this, in brief, is the result of a head-on collision between a north-bound passenger train and a south-bound freight one and one-half miles north of Boonville at 5:32 Saturday morning: one of the worst wrecks in the history of the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg division.

According to Supt. Christie the wreck was caused by an error in a train order written by a New York Central telegraph operator, a Mrs. E. R. McLane, at Lyons Falls, and is explained in the statement that she substituted the works "fifty-five" for the words "fifteen" in re-writing the order.  The woman on whom the responsibility for the awful disaster is placed formerly resided in this city, living in Factory street. She had been in the employ of the New York Central only since July 1.

That the fatality list was so small is due only to the fact that the passenger train was not running to exceed 20 or 25 miles an hour and that the freight was not making more that ten miles an hour.

Among the dead are F. W. Burnett of 757 Davidson street, this city. Mr. Burnett was the fireman on one of the two passenger engines. His injuries were a compound fracture of the left thigh, left arm fractured and internal injuries.  Death relieved his suffering at St. Luke's hospital in Utica at 10:30 last night.

Mr. Burnett is survived by his wife, Mrs. Luella Burnett and little daughter, Edna.  Upon receiving news of her husband's injuries, Mr. Burnett and daughter went to Utica yesterday morning.