Torresdale, PA Wagon And Train Crash, Jan 1912
SIX KILLED AT ROAD CROSSING.
FIVE WOMEN AND ONE MAN DASHED INTO ETERNITY.
ON THEIR WAY TO EARLY MASS.
EXPRESS TRAIN GOING SIXTY MILES AN HOUR RUNS DOWN LOADED CARRY-ALL IN PHILADELPHIA SUBURB.
Philadelphia, Jan. 15. - Because the grade crossing over the Pennsylvania Railroad at Linden Avenue, Torresdale, was unprotected five persons were dashed to instant death, and another died without regaining consciousness, a few minutes later.
The dead were in a depot wagon, on their way to early mass, when an express train going sixty miles an hour struck the team. The sextette consisted of five women employed as servants by two Torresdale families and the driver of the wagon.
CHARLES DAVIDSON, fifty years old, driver;
ROSE GALLAGHER, eighteen;
MARY RODDY, twenty;
NELLIE O'CONNOR, nineteen;
BRIDGET MALLOY, forty-two;
AGNES GARRITY, twenty-two.
For two years it has been DAVIDSON'S custom to drive the five girls to early mass at St. Dominic's Church, Collegeville, near Holmesburg. He reported at the Massey and Biddle homes, where the girls were employed, as usual with the depot wagon. The cold was bitter, and the five young women huddled together in the closed vehicle, leaving everything to the driver. Davidson, too, was well bundled up and had his collar turned up about his ears.
As the team approached the crossing, a freight train was passing and Davidson waited for it to get by. Bundled up as he was, in the early morning light, and with the freight train before him, he failed to see the express come thundering along. When the freight had passed Davidson started across and drove directly in front of the express. In an instant the flyer struck the team and the debris and bodies were scattered along the road for seventy-five yards.
Engineer F. L. Bradbury reversed his engine and threw on the brakes, bringing the train to a standstill as quickly as possible. The six bodies were picked up and placed in the baggage car, and the train backed to Pearson, an abandoned station near the scene of the accident, where it left three of the women. Thinking that the other two and the man might still be living they were taken in the train half a mile further on to Torresdale Station, where Dr. John Bacon pronounced two of them dead. The third died in a few minutes. Strange to say the horse escaped unhurt and as soon as he felt the wagon wrenched from him, he dashed away and, after a run of two miles, was captured.
The Sheboygan Press Wisconsin 1912-01-15