White River Junction, VT Train Wreck, Sept 1907


Confused Orders and Caused Collision on the Boston & Maine Railroad.


Passenger Car Telescoped in Crash with Freight in New Hampshire and Occupants Crushed to Death.

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt., Sept.15.---A head-on collision between the south-bound Quebec Express and a north-bound freight train on the Concord division of the Boston & Maine Road occurred four miles north of Canaan Station early to-day, due to a mistake in train dispatcher's orders, and from a demolished passenger coach there were taken out twenty-seven dead passengers, and twenty-seven dead passengers, and twenty-seven others, more or less wounded. Nearly all those who were in the wrecked car were returning from a fair at Sherbrooke, Quebec, 160 miles north.

The conductor of the freight train was given to understand that he had plenty of time to reach a siding by the night operator at Canaan Station, receiving, according to the Superintendent of the division, a copy of a telegraph order from the train dispatcher at Concord, which confused the train numbers 30 and 34. The wreck occurred just after the express had rounded into a straight stretch of track, but owning to the early morning mist neither engineer saw the other's headlight until it was too late.

The identified dead are:

BARRETT, Miss, Manchester, N. H.
BLAKE, Mrs. F. C., South Corinth, Vt.
BRIGGS, Mrs. E. T., West Canaan, N. H.
CONGDON, J. L., Somerville, Mass.
DUNCAN, JOHN G., Bethel, Vt.
GIRON, Mrs. ALVINA, Nashua, N. H.
INFANT CHILD of Irving Gifford, Concord, N. H.
PHELPS, FRED M., Ochiltree, Texas.
ST. PIERRE, Miss ANNIE, Isle Verte, Quebec.
WARREN, Mrs. A. E., Haverhill, Mass.
WEBSTER, Mrs., a dressmaker living in Massachusetts.