March Run, PA Train Accident, Sept 1906

Reading Girl’s Shocking Fate

Hurled by Passenger Train Fifty Feet Onto Mass of Rocks.

Was On A Pleasure Trip

Only Few Hours Before She Arrived in Highspire for Visit With Relatives.

Saturday afternoon a few hours after seventeen-year-old Katherine Burtolette, of Reading, arrived at the home of her uncle, A.C. Hocker, in Highspire, the family started across the river for an afternoon in the York County hills. The party landed near March Run station, on the Northern Central Railroad.

Miss Burtolette and Austin Heicher, of Highspire, went on ahead and when they saw Mr. Hocker making his way across the river they decided to retrace their steps, and meet him at the water’s edge. But between them and the river was the railroad., and when they reached this their way was blocked by a freight train. As soon as this had passed the eager young woman stepped right across and into the front of a passenger train that was traveling the direction opposite to that of the freight.

Heicher, who was a trifle slower in starting to cross saw the passenger train and made a clutch for the girl but he was too late. She seemed to him to be whirled out of his hands and an instant later found her dead body lying among the boulders fifty feet from the spot where she was struck.

The body presented an awful sight. One side of the girl’s face was crushed in, several of her ribs were broken and she was torn and lacerated in a shocking manner. Both of her shoes were torn from her feet and fragments of her clothing were scattered all about.

The engineer, who stopped his train and returned to the scene of the accident as soon as that was possible, said that he felt sure as the engine rushed by that he had killed Heicher as well as the young woman.

There was a delay of about three hours before the relatives of the unfortunate young woman could take her body to Highspire. It was necessary to send nine miles for the permit to remove the body from York County.

Patriot, Harrisburg, PA 10 Sept 1906