Cascade Locks, OR Dreadful Train Accident, Jan 1890
A scene of the wildest confusion then ensued, which is best told in the language of Brakeman BEN EMERICK, who escaped by jumping from the gangway in which he was standing.
"I was standing on the engine at the time, and the first I knew of the accident was, that I felt the tank going down as we were crossing the bridge. I jumped from the engine towards the hillside, and landed forty feet below in the water. My escape from instant death was miraculous. I was washed down stream and hurled against the caboose, which was standing on its end in the water, the other end leaning against the broken bridge. The tender had been thrown from her trucks. There were three or four feet of water in the creek, and it was running very strong. How I crawled out, I do not know, for I was stunned by the shock from my jump. After I got out I saw that the engineer and fireman were safe. I also saw my partner, SEALEY, standing about thirty yards below the bridge, on the bank, and apparently in a dazed condition. I called to him and asked if he was hurt. He told me to come down and help him up, that his leg was broken. I knew I could not get him up alone as I told him I would go to the Locks for assistance. I looked about to se if there were any others, but could see none of the rest of the crew.
I started for the locks for help, and returned with an engine, a caboose, and what assistance in the shape of men I could get. I could hear the groans and yells and cries of pain proceeding from the men imprisoned in the car, and it was simply awful. The engineer had brought his bell cord across the creek, and with that he got out a few of the injured before help arrived. After help arrived we removed all the injured to the locks, where they were placed in the government bunk house, and went back for the dead, whom we laid out on the floor of the depot. In the meantime a relief train had been telegraphed for from The Dalles. It reached the Locks at about 11 o'clock at night, having been delayed by a severe landslide six miles east of the Locks. Drs. Doane and Rhinehart, who had started with the train, got off and walked these six miles rather than wait for the clearing of the slide. Dr. Logan, the company's surgeon, came later when the track was cleared. Everything was done for the injured that could be done, and the doctors and the ladies and other residents of the Cascade Locks, including Dr. Caudians, are entitled to great credit for the noble work they performed in ministering to the unfortunates."
All the dead were taken away shortly after the accident except WILLIAM COLE, a section man, who was buried beneath the corner of the caboose, and whose body it was impossible to remove until 11 o'clock yesterday morning, when it had to be pulled out with ropes.
There is some speculation as to the precise cause of the men's deaths, but there can be no reasonable doubt that when the car was dumped into the ditch the sudden concussion, and the hurling together of shovels, pickaxes, crowbars, a trunk weighing 200 pounds, the stove and thirty-two struggling, frantic men, were the occasion of the deaths. It is claimed by one or two with whom the reported talked that the men were drowned, but the mutilation of limbs, the bruises on the heads and bodies of the dead -- one man having the long handle of a shovel thrust through his body -- prove conclusively that they were killed by the crush.
Names of the Killed.
The following is a complete list of the killed who were taken from the caboose. As it was impossible for The Oregonian's representative to reach Cascade Locks, other particulars as to the ages and nativities of the victims cannot be given:
JERRY CASEY, section foreman, Cascade Locks.
FRED MARITHOUGH, section foreman, Viento. He died seven hours after being taken from the wreck.
ANDREW FROST, section laborer, Cascade Locks.
THEODORE SKOLOHINE, section laborer, Cascade Locks.
AUGUST CARSON, section laborer, The Dalles.
CHARLES RESTOFF, section laborer, The Dalles.
JOHN SCHRADER, section laborer, Cascade Locks.
HENRY KROUCHE, section laborer, The Dalles.
WILLIAM COLE, section laborer, Cascade Locks.
Of these CASEY, FROST, CARSON, KROUCHE, MARITHOUGH, and COLE were married men, most of them with two or more children. COLE leaves a wife and three children and his wife is on the eve of again becoming a mother. Whether or not the other three were married could not be ascertained. The bodies of AUGUST CARSON, CHARLES RESTOFF and HENRY KROUCHE were removed to The Dalles for burial.