Croton, NY Railroad Collision On Hudson Line, Dec 1851




On Thursday night about seven o'clock, a fearful collision occurred on the Hudson River Railroad, by which a number of passengers on the trains were seriously injured, and several of the cars dashed to atoms. We yesterday made every exertion to obtain full particulars of the accident, and are now enabled to lay before our readers the details of the railway disaster. It appears the 4 o'clock P. M. train out of New York for Poughkeepsie was stopped on the track, between Croton village and Congress Landing, by the conductor, MR. CAREY, who requested two laboring men to pay their fare from the former to the latter station, which they refused to do, and he [the conductor] accordingly rang the engineer's bell to stop the train, with a vew of ejecting the obstinate passengers from the cars, the order was promptly obeyed by the engineer, but unfortunately the two disorderly fellows made resistance, and the train under charge of MR. CAREY was detained about half an hour, at which time an extra locomotive and tender, that was sent up the road, came along at rapid speed an ran from of the passenger-train, throwing the rear car off the east track to the west one, thus causing a tremendous crash and shocking the passengers to such a degree that several of them were rendered insensible. Following, this smash up, along came the Albany Express train, (MR. MORGAN, Conductor,) that left our city at 4 o'clock, P.M., which, according to directions, received at Croton, by the conductor, was switched off on the west track when approaching the place of the previous collision; this train of course ran into the cars that were turned over by the locomotive striking the 4 o'clock train.
The next train of passenger cars that left our City, was the one at half past five o'clock for Peekskill, (MR. NICHOLS conductor), which ran at the usual speed, and upon reaching the Croton station, MR. NICHOLS, the conductor, was instructed to switch off his train on the west track, as the trains ahead of him were jammed together on the other track. MR. NICHOLS informed his engineer of the instruction he received, and the train was accordingly swiftly carried along with the iron horse, but the same fate that befel the preceeding trains, befel, the latter one, here three passengers trains, and one extra locomotive were all tumbled in a heap, and three or four of the cars were completely demolished, and others more of less damaged.
Annexed, we give a list, as far as could be ascertained of the passengers who were injured:
Passengers Injured.
JAMES H. GILBERT, residing at Haverstraw, N. Y., (proprietor of a brick-yard,) was dreadfully injured about the head, arms and breast, and is not expected to live.
DAVID MUNN, of Haverstraw, N. Y., was pitched upon his face, and fractured his nose.
MRS. KNIGHT, residing at the above village, was also seriously injured and conveyed to the ferry, thence to her home.
MR. DEAN, a resident of Delaware Co., had his left arm crushed, which was subsequently amputated.
JOHN DAVENPORT, a merchant residing at the city of Troy, N. Y., was severely injured, and is now lying at Peekskill, beyond all hope of recovery.
ROBERT CASE, residing at Newburg, Orange Co., N. Y., had his thigh fractured.
HENRY MECHAN, residing at Cold Spring, was thrown from a car, a distance of some 30 feet, and received a serious fracture of the skull.
Several other passengers were slightly injured, and such of those who were more severely bruised and mangled, were conveyed to Paulding's Hotel, at Peekskill Village, where they are lying under medical treatment procured by the railroad company.
The terrible collision which befel the first train, was wholly caused by the carelessness of the Conductor or somebody else, in not having the signal light shown on the rear car of the train, that was stopped by Conductor COREY, and resulted in the serious accident above mentioned. We shall allude to the matter at a future period.

The New York Times New York 1851-12-06