New River, TN Railroad Wreck, Apr 1921



Somerset, Ky., April 7 - Four persons are dead and thirty are in a local hospital as the result of the derailment just north of New River, Tenn., yesterday afternoon at 2:45 o'clock of six cars on train No. 2, the Royal Palm Limited, of the Queen & Crescent Route of the Southern Railway System. Several of the injured may die.
Two of the victims were dead when taken from the wreckage. Two others died on a special train on route here.
MR. and MRS. W. H. PERKINS, of Louisville, were injured, but were able to go to a hotel after their injuries were dressed. MRS. PERKINS, however, is suffering greatly from the shock. Her husband is a traveling salesman for Bayless Bros. & Co., 794 West Main Street. They were returning to Louisville after a trip through the South.
When news was received at division headquarters here and at Harraman Junction, Tenn., calls were made to Knoxville and a number of other nearby cities for all available doctors and nurses. These were brought to the scene in special trains, and some of them accompanied the injured here.
The wreck was caused, it was stated by railroad officials, probably by a buckling track or spreading of the rails. An investigation already is underway, it was stated.
Three day coaches and three Pullmans were derailed. The dead were in the day coaches, which were overturned. The Pullmans stayed upright.

Relief Train From Somerset.
New River is only a hamlet, and, as no physicians were available, the work of rendering first aid to the injured progressed slowly. A relief train was sent from Somerset, Ky., sixty miles from the scene of the wreck.

Two Instantly Killed.
RAMISH and BUSSEY were killed instantly. PARKER died while the relief train was on its way to Somerset, while COOK lived only a short time after he reached the hospital at Somerset at 8:30 o'clock. The facilities of Dr. Beard's Sanatorium were not ample to care for all the injured, and at least fifteen were taken to private homes.
All the physicians of Somerset joined in treating the injured.
Four of the injured are in a serious condition, according to physicians at the hospital.
They are:
E. W. RAINWELL, Ashland, O.
HUGH JOHN, Flint, Mich.
MRS. W. A. MOLDER, Birmingham, whose husband also was hurt.

Scene Was Appalling.
MR. PERKINS discussing the wreck, said:
"We were in the second day coach. The passenger who occupied the seat directly in front of me was killed. I don't know how we escaped. The whole side of the car was smashed in when we hit the ledge. We were sitting on the right side, where most of the passengers were hurt."
"It was all over, of course, before we realized what had happened. The scene was appalling. I cannot describe it."

The Hartford Herald Kentucky 1921-04-13