Rockfish, VA Trains Collide, July 1903
W. A. WARD, the Union News agent on the train, whose home is in Washington, was in the fatal coach but escaped. The shock of the collision threw him through the window, breaking his left arm. The special train which went from here to the scene of the wreck returned to the city about 8 o'clock, bringing some of the dead and most of the wounded. Thirteen of the injured were taken to the university hospital, where their wounds were dressed. Most of the immigrants were Austrians and were bound for points in far distant as California.
SHARPE'S Narrow Escape.
H. A. SHARPE, of Knoxville, Tenn., narrowly escaped death. He and MRS. SHARPE were returning from their bridal trip, having spent their honeymoon in Washington. MR. SHARPE was in the smoker engaged in conversation with C. O. OWEN when the collision occurred. OWEN was killed instantly, his body falling on SHARPE.
W. B. BRUBECK, of this city, a doctor of the local freight, is reported in a critical condition. After witnessing the awful sight he is said to have become suddenly insane and when found was 5 miles from the wreck.
The freight train was in charge of Conductor BRUBECK and Engineer HALE, and at the time of the accident was on the return run from Lynchburg to Charlottesville. Rockfish Station is midway between between these points and the track there is a single one. Engineer HALE had orders to get out of the way of the of the fast passenger train but for some reason which has as yet been explained.
The trains came together with a horrible crash and a fearful scene of panic ensued when the occupants of the cars realized what had occurred.
Train No. 35, which ran into the freight, and which left Washington this morning at 11:15, was made up of an express car, a baggage car two day coaches and two Pullman cars. The Pullmans formed an early morning New York connection at Washington for Atlanta and the south. The train arriving here at 10:32 a.m. from Boston also connected with No. 35. No. 35 was in charge of Engineer DAVIS and Conductor MAYS. One of the passenger cars of the train was a second-class day coach and the other a vestibuled car.
Engineer McCORMICK, who was a passenger on the freight train, was going to Charlottesville to take a train south at the time he met his death. The engineer of the freight escaped without injury.
It is estimated here that there were in all probability 120 passengers on the train, including those from Boston and intermediate stations.
Atlanta Constitution Georgia 1903-07-08