Rockingham, VT Train Wreck, Apr 1888
Engineer Pratt was found dead near his engine, his head having been completely removed. His body was placed in the baggage car of a relief train, which had arrived from Bellows Fall. The fireman was found between the tender and the burning baggage car. His position showed that the poor fellow must have been thrown completely over the tender in the fall of the train. His face was somewhat bruised, and he was dead. The body was placed beside that of the engineer, and both were sent to their house. Dr. Guildford, one of those on the Wagner car, rendered efficient service, and after an examination of the passengers, announced that none were seriously hurt.
The south-bound passengers were transferred to the relief train and proceeded to Bellows Falls, thence to Fitchburg and Boston. In the express car were Express Messenger Otis and Baggagemaster Simonds, both of Rutland, and a passenger named Michael Tynan of Bellows Falls, who had just entered the car on an errand. They all escaped serious injury, although badly shaken and scratched.
Those injured in the passenger car, so far as known, were: D. E. Burdick of Middlebury, Vt., sprained left ankle, scalp wound, back injured seriously; Mary Lovely, Essex Junction, Vt., cut in back of hand and arm, not serious; Mrs. Lewis Moore, Burlington, Vt., injury to left leg, and her child, Anna Moore, aged 5, injured in left groin; Mrs. Mark Gibson, Sheldon Springs, Vt., injury to head, shoulders, and hip. These were taken to their homes in a Pullman sleeper, under the care of Dr. John Mead of Rutland.
The passengers in the Wagner car were bound for Rutland, Burlington, and St. Albans. James Godfrey, soliciting freight agent for the Chicago and Milwaukee Railroad, was one of the Wagner car occupants. The entire contents of the baggage car----express matter and baggage---were destroyed.
From appearances the culvert was hardly large enough to carry off a body of water swollen by heavy rains, and the presence of so much water at the base of the embankment must have weakened the earthworks to such an extent as to allow a certain amount of displacement.
Moses Pratt, the engineer, was about 55 years old and one of the oldest engineers on the road. He leaves a widow and one married daughter. John Pratt, the fireman, nephew of the engineer, was about 23 years old, and leaves a widow.
The New York Times, New York, NY 8 Apr 1888