Westfield Flats, NY Railroad Accident, Feb 1876

SERIOUS RAILROAD ACCIDENT

A SNOW-PLOW KNOCKS DOWN A BRIDGE AND RUNS INTO THE RIVER - SEVERL [sic] PERSONS INJURED - A BRAVE SUPERINTENDENT.

MIDDLETOWN, Feb. 3. - An accident happened at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon on the New York Midland Railroad, just east of Westfield Flats, fifty-seven miles west of this city. An engine driving a snow-plow, after opening the road, banked with snow in Sullivan County, was proceeding to Norwich ahead of the mail train. When within a few feet of the bridge over the Willwemac River, the plow left the track and knocked down the bridge. The plow and engine went into the river and turned over. In the plow, which was unbroken, were five men, who were bruised and cut, but not seriously. Reeves Hawkins, conductor, was cut on the head, face, and leg, and was bruised; John Minshall, master mechanic, was bruised on the back; Patrick McDermot, brakeman, cut on the head and had some of his ribs broken; George Gere, brakeman, was unhurt; Everett Vaughn, brakeman, had his shoulder dislocated. On the engine were four men, who, besides being cut and bruised, were more or less scalded by the escaping steam which filled the cab. William McCloud, engineer was scalded on the right leg; Edward Cooney, fireman, was scalded over the bowels; John Babcock, roadmaster, cut and bruised in the face and on the head. H. M. Flint, Superintendent, was most injured, and it is feared dangerously. He was badly scaled below the knees and on the hands, and he also inhaled steam. There was danger of the mail train, with its passengers, plunging into the wreck, but by the efforts of the master mechanic, who first freed himself, it was flagged and stopped. Superintendent Flint, after calling loudly from the cab window, "Flag that mail!" fell back exhausted. Some of the injured were taken with the passengers to Norwich on a special train sent to their relief from Walton. Superintendent Flint and others were taken to a hotel at Westfield Flats. A wrecking train, with physicians and medicine, went from Middletown this morning. The passengers will be transferred. The wreck will be cleared by night, and the bridge rebuilt in a few days.

The New York Times, New York, NY 4 Feb 1876