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Dauphin County Pennsylvania News
1892 Harrisburg Train Wreck

 

New-York Tribune, New York City, NY, June 26, 1892
Eleven People Killed
Wreck on the Pennsylvania Road at Harrisburg.
Second Section of the Western Express Crashes into the First - A Score of People Seriously Injured - Responsibility for the Accident upon the Signal Operator.


Harrisburg, Penn., June 25. - The second section of the Western express on the Pennsylvania Railroad ran into the first section here last night, telescoping two cars and resulting in the death of eleven people and the injury of a score more.

The Western express leaving New York at 6:30 o'clock p.m. and Philadelphia at 9:20 is due in Harrisburg at 12:15 o'clock a.m. This morning, however, it was several minutes late leaving Philadelphia and had not made up the lost time when it reached here. It was made up of one baggage car, one express car, three day coaches, and the private car of George Westinghouse, the Pittsburg inventor on the air brake. Robert Pitcairn, of Pittsburg, was also with the Westinghouse party. As the train rolled into Harrisburg it was stopped a few minutes at Deck St., eat of the station, to allow some shifting in the yards, the flagman being sent back to signal the second section, which was following close behind. He was soon called in, and the train had but started when the second section dashed around the sharp curve a few yards away. Then came a horrible grinding and crushing sound, and immediately after the groans and shrieks of the injured and dying passengers. The wonder is that so many escaped from the terrible wreck.

It was but a few minutes until the industrial establishments in South Harrisburg supplied an army of willing men who did all in their power to rescue the imprisoned men, women and children, and alleviate their sufferings. The firemen and police force, under Mayor Fritchey's direction, also did excellent service and assisted in getting the injured to the City Hospital as soon as possible. The physicians and surgeons were also summoned and labored throughout the night to relieve the pain of the bruised and lacerated passengers. The total number of dead is eleven, as follows:

Adams, Richard, Harrisburg furniture dealer.
Blair, Miss Lizzie, Twenty-first and Dickinson Sts., Philadelphia.
Heebner, Mrs. Uriah - Norristown Penn.
Heebner, Winfield, son of the above.
Lee, Charles E., No 1 Windsor St., Allegheny City, supposed to be a telegraph operator.
Mason, Daniel, Hagerstown, Md., telegraph operator on the middle division of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Pomerene, the Rev. DaCosta, No. 3611 Hamilton St., Philadelphia.
Raymond, Robert S., Columbus, Ohio, horse dealer.
Smith, Professor G. L., of Baltimore
Whitlock, E. M., No. 1333 Arlington St., Cleveland, Ohio, chief clerk of a railroad company.
An unknown man, supposed to be a telegraph operator named Clark, of Allegheny City.

Among the injured are the following: W. R. Flunk, No. 411 Commerce St., Philadelphia, scalp wounds and contusions of the right hand and leg; F. G. O. Ehle and Thomas W. Farthing, of Buffalo, contusions of head and body, able to go out; Edward Timmins, travelling railroad agent, hurt about head and hand, not dangerously; John Aiken, Philadelphia, baggage master on the second section, slightly injured; Frederick Colburg, Brooklyn, terribly injured and can hardly recover; W. B. Parsons, New York, civil engineer, baldy cut about the face and head; Uriah Heebner, Norristown, Penn., lacerated wound of the scalp and painful cuts and bruises on the legs and body; Mrs. Whiteman, Pittsburg, ankle broken; Mary Granger, cut about the head and arms; J. J. Cone, Jersey City, severely bruised, but able to be about.

It was stated at the City Hospital this morning that eighteen of the injured passengers occupied cots in the institution and that, with probably one or two exceptions, all would survive. The hospital staff has been busy since an hour after the accident, amputating limbs, stitching great gashes and in every possible way ministering to the comfort of the victims.

Many of the slightly injured only stopped at the hospital long enough to have their injuries dressed, when they started for home or departed on the trains for their homes.

The story of the accident is brief. The first section stopped within a few hundred yards of the Union Station, and was just starting when the second section, a heavy train, made up of Pullman sleepers and one express and baggage car combined, plunged into the handsome private are of Westinghouse and drove it forward, crushing the three day couches ahead into kindling wood in the twinkling of an eye. Not a single member of the Westinghouse party was scratched. The porter, however, W. H. Woodyard, of Philadelphia, was slightly hurt. In the day coaches the awful carnage was taking place. Many passengers were half asleep and were awakened by the horrible crashing and grinding of the timbers, the breaking of glass and the hissing of escaping steam, while other never knew the fate which overtook them.

The engineer, Hugh Kelly, and the fireman, Harry Neal, both of Philadelphia, sat in the cab of the locomotive which buried itself in the Westinghouse car. As their train rounded the curve at Dock St., they realized the awful blunder that somebody had committed, but it was too late to avert the catastrophe. As if by a miracle the cab in which they sat was not touched and they escaped to tell of their wonderful deliverance. Both were stunned by the tremendous concussion. Two of the day coaches were partly overturned and the helpless occupants creamed in their agony. Willing hands helped them to get out of the debris, and with blood streaming from their faces, they presented a ghastly spectacle.

The scenes in the cars immediately following the crash baffle description. The two coaches in which most of the casualties occurred were broken in pieces, and the occupants of the cars were thrown in every direction. Arms and legs were broken, faces were crushed and lacerated and scarcely a passenger escaped without cuts and bruises more or less serious. One man shot through the broken top of a car and landed alongside the track, not receiving a single scratch. There were many other remarkable escapes, the porter in the Westinghouse car being wedged between the locomotive and the side of the drawing room car. He crawled through a window not much hurt.

Colonel O. E. McClellan, superintendent of the middle division, was among the first at the wreck, and personally took charge of the work.

The railroad authorities this afternoon issued the following statement: "The cause of the accident has not been fully investigated, but the indications are that the engineer of the second section approached the block at Dock St., Harrisburg, without having his train under proper control according to rule."

The operator at the Steelton tower is also alleged to have permitted the second section to enter the block before the first had cleared it.

At the hospital there are also Mrs. Mary Jane Granger, of 2994 Almond St., Port Richmond, Philadelphia, who was on her way to Seattle, Washington, with her little daughter Mamie, aged about 8 years, and Lizzie Blair, whose death was instantaneous, to join her husband, who is employed on the steamship Seattle, plying on Puget Sound. Her injuries are about the head, chest and abdomen, but not of a serious character. Several ribs are also probably fractured. The girl Lizzie Blair had been brought up in the Granger family and had intended making her home with them in Seattle. Among the effects of Mrs. Granger was a purse containing $80 in money, which is yet missing. Little Mamie Granger's injuries may prove serious, she being considerably bruised about the head. The physicians express hopes of saving her life.

Lying on the cot in one of the side rooms down stairs is the badly-hacked-up body of Ferdinand Colberg of Brooklyn. Colberg is a big, heavy-set man, and his matted beard and stained shirt give ample evidence of the serious nature of the injuries he has sustained. His leg is broken and his face badly cut. He vomited a great deal of blood after a drink which was probably swallowed; the physicians do not think the man's lungs are affected. The chances are against his recovery. Captain Booth, of the United States Recruiting Station, this city, called this morning, thinking that the man was an officer of his regiment who had been in Brooklyn visiting his family, but a few questions with pilt to the resident physician, Dr. Milliken, satisfied him that it was not his brother officer, and he went away again feeling much relieved.

The wife of Prof. G. R. Smith of the Normal School at Baltimore, Md., who is at Canandaigua, N. Y., was immediately informed of her husband's serious condition. Professor Smith had his left leg cut off at the thigh and sustained a fracture of the left shoulder joint. He lived at No. 1214 Calver, St., Baltimore. He died this afternoon, making the eleventh death..

W. B. Parsens, aged about thirty-five, an engineer, has an office at No. 22 William St., New York. He is suffering from a severe contusion about the hand and wrist and will recover. Mary Ann Anderson, of Sap Ave., Jersey City Heights, is slightly injured. Miss Alma Karstetter, aged about twenty-eight, of Ickesburg, Perry County, has contusions of both ankle joints and lacerated wounds of arms; George Burnett, of Newton, N.J., a broken leg; W. T. Eastwick, Mellin St., Pittsburgh, has broken arms; W. R. Fluck, of Palmyra, N.J., H. B. Sensabaugh, of Mattoon, Ill., and John J. Cone, of Jersey City, are slightly injured. Percy M. Lanis, aged about 28, of 445 North Fifteenth St., Philadelphia, is slightly injured about the abdomen and ankle joints. Nearrie Golden, of Lehigh Ave., Philadelphia, is slightly injured. Maggie Smith, aged 25, of Safe Harbor, N.J. jumped from a car window and fell on her head producing a scalp wound. There are also contusions of the chest and limbs.

The Rev. Da Costa Pomerene of Philadelphia, was a graduate of Princeton College, class of '84 and was about thirty-two years old. He had charge of a Presbyterian congregation at Salem, Ohio, and was the brother of Atlee Pomerene, City Solicitor of Canton, Ohio. He left Salem and was later engaged with the Presbyterian Board of Publication at Philadelphia. He was partially blind and his classmates in this city say he was a bright young man and always stood well in his class.

F. G. O. Ehle of Buffalo and two or three friends were in conversation when the accident occurred, and he says the scenes in the car were beyond description. Passengers were thrown violently forward and wedged in among the broken and splintered seats. Two men in the rear of the car were instantly killed and others were terribly injured. Ehle, who is a large man, was jammed into a small space, and was walking about the streets shortly after with a bandage tied about his head. His straw hat is streaked with blood, and a gentleman who sat near him, W. R. Fluck of 411 Commerce Street, Philadelphia, wears a linen duster that is crimsoned with his own blood.

The wrecking crews were put to work clearing away the debris, and by 8 o'clock this morning the tracks were open and trains were running regularly. The trunks and satchels in the baggage car of the second section were broken and twisted out of all semblance to their original shapes. Engineer Kelly was able to take his broken locomotive to the roundhouse. The wreck caught fire, but a few buckets of water extinguished the blaze.

Mrs. Uriah Heebner, The Rev. Dr. Pomerene, E. M. Whitlock, And Daniel Mason were all alive when taken to the hospital, but all died before daylight. Mrs. Heebner, with her husband and son and little granddaughter, Sadie Cox, aged five years, were going to visit friends at McKeesport. As the father lay upon his couch of pain this morning he anxiously inquired for his son, WINFIELD, who was at that moment in the hands of the undertakers. Beside him on the cot was his little granddaughter, sound asleep, the fatigue and excitement of the night having exhausted the child and she slept as peacefully as though at home.

Mayor Boody, of Brooklyn, received a dispatch from the superintendent of the Pennsylvania road yesterday, asking him to inform the family of Frederick Collburg or Coleburg, that he was one of the victims of the accident, and that only slight hopes of his recovery were entertained at the hospital.

The injured man proves to be Ferdinand Colberg, a paint dealer of No. 1079 Myrtle Ave. He attended the Democratic Convention in Chicago last week and was on his way home.

Responsibility for the Accident
Hayes, the Signal Tower Operator Committed to Jail
Harrisburg, June 25 (Special) - At the Coroner's inquest held this afternoon it was apparently shown by the testimony of H. L. Hayes, the operator in the Steelton tower, that he alone was responsible for the accident. The train hands gave their version of the affair, showing that they were acting according to rule and had performed their duty. Hayes testified that last night was his first night in the Steelton tower. He is employed as an extra man. He said that he used his good judgment in regard to allowing the second section on the block before the first section had left it, not having received word from the Dock St. operator concerning the first section having left the block. He said that he was familiar with the book of rules, and thought the first section had left the block, as it had passed his tower on time. The book of rules says that in all cases of doubt an operator is supposed to take the safe course. Hayes was much agitated, and in answer to the question, "Did you violate the rule of the company in regard to allowing two trains on one block?" aid "Yes." He said he used his judgment, now felt that it was very poor indeed.

He thought he was not wholly to blame. At the conclusion of his testimony Hayes was held for manslaughter and is now in jail. The inquest was adjourned until Monday.

The Survivors Tell of the Wreck
Terrible Scenes Witnessed When the Crash Came.

Pittsburg, June 15. - When the first section of the wrecked train arrived here there were many of the injured passengers on board. They all pronounced it one of the most terrible wrecks they had ever seen. Many told startling stories. F. W. Heaney, of Chicago, who is a commercial traveler, had his left hand badly crushed trying to rescue a man. He said: "I was in the smoker when the wreck came. We were all thrown out of our seats and stunned for a moment. Right ahead of me was a man who I believed was a foreigner. A double seat caught him and the heavy stove fell on him also, breaking both leges. In trying to push off the stove it caught my hand. When I got out I saw a woman taken from a parlor car with her head crushed horribly. Other dead and injured were on every hand. I had been in wrecks before, but never saw so much damage in so short a time."

John Coulson, of Chicago, had his arm hurt while jumping through a baggage car window. "The scene was frightful," he said, "I never heard such agonizing shrieks in my life as came from the second car, which was telescoped. It was completely broken up and not a single person in it escaped injury."

John Wheelman, of Brooklyn was on the train and said: "I, with a friend, was in the smoker and we were both half asleep. Suddenly there was an awful crash, and before we could realize what had happened we were thrown over five seats and alighted on a cushion, and neither of us was injured to any extent. My friend, Robert Dempster, was slightly bruised, and as for me, I was a badly shaken up man."

J. W. Wright of New York, was thrown over five seats and slightly cut. "I helped to carry out a number of corpses from the wreck," he said. "They were all so frightfully cut that they must have died instantly."

J. D. Ruffer, a New York insurance agent, was badly hurt about the head and breast. He said: "I was in the third car from the end of the first section and was asleep when the accident occurred. I was awakened by the awful crash and almost immediately was struck by a heavy timber, which held me down. In some manner which I cannot account for I extricated myself and crawled out of a window. The night was dark and the cries of the injured rent the air in a most sickening manner. The car in which I was caught fire, and I immediately set to work to extinguish the flame. I succeeded after a hard fight. Going to the part of the car where I had been seated, I found that I was the only one who had escaped. I took our four bodies within a few feet of where I had been sitting.

Norristown, Penn., June 15. - Mrs. Charles Cox received the terrible news this morning that her mother, Mrs. Catherine Heebner and her brother, Uriah Winfield Heebner, were killed in the wreck of the Western express at Harrisburg and that her father, Uriah Heebner, was severely injured. Mrs. Cox's little daughter accompanied her grandparents. The elder Heebner is an extra engineer in the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad here and the son was employed by the same company as a car inspector.

Altoona, Penn., June 25. - Railroad officials have informed friends of John Black, a machinist employed here, that he was killed in the Harrisburg wreck this morning. He was a native of Waterbury, Conn., and was twenty-four years of age.

Mrs. Parsons's Brother Goes to his Aid.
W. B. Parsons, the civil engineer of this city, who was in the wreck on the Pennsylvania Railroad yesterday morning, is not seriously injured. He is suffering from a slight contusion on the head and he has so far recovered that he will return to New York today. Mr. Parsons left home on Thursday morning for Marion, Ind. He is a brother of G. B. Parsons, of No. 505 Fifth Ave., and of Harry De B. Parsons of No. 237 Madison Ave. Harry De B. Parsons received a dispatch from him yesterday morning and went to Harrisburg to bring him home.
- Contributed by Robin Line


Charles Lee's Family Notified of his Death by Reading the Paper
Pittsburg dispatch. (Pittsburg [Pa.]), June 26, 1892
Notified by the Paper
Charles Lee Was Just Returning from a Trip for His Health

One of the victims of the catastrophe was Charles A. Lee, of 31 Windsor Street, Allegheny. Mr. Lee was the superintendent of Lindsay, McCutcheon & Co.'s mill on Rebecca Street. A month ago his health failed him and, acting on the advice of his wife, he went to Boston for treatment. His health rapidly improved during his sojourn in the East and he was on his way home when he met his untimely end.
Yesterday was a day of sadness for Lee's wife and two children. The house was crowded by sympathizing neighbors but the mother and children refused to be comforted. Mrs. Lee was completely prostrated with grief. "Mr. Lee," she said, "has been in poor health for some time. He went East to visit his relatives in New England and consult our old family physician. I received a letter from him Friday in which he stated that he was much better and would be home Saturday morning. Yesterday morning someone brought me a newspaper and I read my husband's name in the list of dead. That is all I know about the accident. I am waiting here for his body." Mr. Lee was a steady and industrious man, and very popular with his employers and the men who worked for him.


Robert Pitcairn Gives an Account of the Accident
Pittsburg dispatch. (Pittsburg [Pa.]), June 26, 1892
Pitcairn Was Dazed
He Tells His Experience of the Harrisburg Wreck


Robert Pitcairn, Superintendent of the Pittsburg Division of the Pennsylvania road, was one of the fortunate passengers on the ill-fated first section of the wrecked train who escaped unharmed. During his long and varied career as a railroad man Mr. Pitcairn has been the unwilling witness of many a "smash up on the road." But, in a interview with a DISPATCH reporter last night, said never before had he gazed on such a complete and absolute railroad wreck as that of Friday night.

Despite the fact that several hours had elapsed since the catastrophe Mr. Pitcairn was nervous and unstrung when seen at his home on Ellsworth Avenue last night.

"My story of the accident," said Mr. Pitcairn, "is very vague and disconnected, but I will tell you all I know. I was with Mr. George Westinghouse in his private car, the Glen Eyre. Ours was the rear car of the first section. There were three day coaches and a baggage car between the Glen Eyre and the locomotive.

Robert Pitcairn's Story of the Wreck
"The train was late when it left and it failed to make up any of the lost time during the run to Harrisburg. Just behind us was the second section, composed almost entirely of Pullman sleepers. A half hour or more before our section arrived in Harrisburg I retired to my stateroom. I was completely fagged out, and quickly fell asleep. Before I closed my eyes, however, I remember noting the fact that there were but two other men in the car besides Mr. Westinghouse and myself. They were the porter and the cook. The former was at the forward end of the car and the cook was in the rear pantry. I bade Mr. Westinghouse good night and remember nothing more until I awoke with a start to find myself on the floor of the car, which was filled with smoke and steam. For a moment or two I was too dazed to move or realize what had happened. Then I scrambled to my feet only to be confronted by the headlight of a locomotive which showed dim and ghastly through a jagged seam of splintered woodwork and debris. I groped my way to a window, the glass of which had been shattered by the crash, and with considerable difficulty crawled through this aperture in the damp night air. Close beside me stood Mr. Westinghouse who had made his escape in a similar manner.

"When I looked around me I was a horrible sight. Propelled by the terrific shock the Glen Eyre had ground her way through the day coaches in front and they appeared to be completely telescoped. The front of the locomotive of the second section was driven into the rear end of the private car and over its cab and tender stood a baggage car. It was a chaotic blending of pulseless machinery, shattered wood work, twisted metal and debris. Overhead and all about the wreck hung a cloud of steam and smoke. This curtain of mist half revealed, half concealed the awful picture of death and suffering. I heard the groans of the dying and the shouts of the rescuers, but I was that dazed and bewildered that I can give you no coherent account of what followed. I see by the papers that it was raining furiously at the time, but I did not notice it; in fact, I thought at the time that the night was clear.

"After a time, how long I do not know, for all my sense of time had left me, I was led to the Harrisburg station. About 3 o'clock in the morning a train was made up and a number of the passengers, including Mr. Westinghouse and myself, boarded it and made a fresh start for Pittsburg. We arrived here about 10:30 o'clock this morning and I came directly home, where I have been ever since.

"I cannot tell you how the porter and the cook escaped, but I believe that they both got out safe and south. Yes, I escaped without a scratch. I was badly shaken up and even now I am stiff and a trifle sore. Mr. Westinghouse had much the same experience, but I believe that he is all right.

"No, I can't tell you who or what was responsible for the collision. The scene of the accident was about a quarter of a mile east of the Harrisburg depot. I have always thought, and still think, that the block system used by the road is almost perfect, and I do not believe that it is responsible for the dreadful affair. However, I decline to express any opinion at this time as to the cause. A rigid investigation of this accident will be made, and the responsibility placed where it properly belongs."

Mr. George Westinghouse spent a quiet day in his house at Homewood. He received no injuries worth mentioning, and will start this morning for Chicago. The car Glen Eyre is a complete wreck.


Interviews with the Injured Returning to Pittsburg Area
Pittsburg dispatch. (Pittsburg [Pa.]), June 26, 1892
Injured Return Home
Mrs. Weidman, of Homewood, Was More Frightened Than Hurt


The operators at the Union depot had received no further information last evening about the terrible wreck at Harrisburg. The account in THE DISPATCH of yesterday covered the important particulars. Mrs. Weidman and her two daughters, May, aged 20 and Belle, 23 years old, and Fred Kline and his wife, were here in the accident, reached the city on the mail train last evening. They were in the second coach, and all were more or less injured. Mrs. Weidman is the wife of the foreman of the Twenty-eighth street round house and she lives at Homewood. The lady with her daughters got off at this station. At first it was reported that Mrs. Weidman was fatally hurt, but she was more frightened than anything else. She and her daughters were badly shaken up and bruised, but they are not disabled to any extent by their injuries.

Fred Kline and his wife were on their way to Glenshaw to work for J. T. Armstrong. Kline's left shoulder was badly bruised, but in other respects he is all right. His wife was fortunate and escaped with a few scratches. Kline said he received the fight of his life, and he hoped he would never again have such a fearful experience. He saw a lady enter the toilet room shortly before the wreck occurred and when he rescued her body the head had been cut off. He said it was an awful sight and the spectacle still haunts him. The poor woman was Miss Blair. Kline claims his wife and he were the only two persons that escaped death in the second coach.

Calvin Fiscus, of Wilkinsburg, was on the train. He was reported killed, but it was a mistake. Fiscus arrived home yesterday.


H. S. Hayes, Tower Operator Arrested in Serious Mental Health Distress. Updated list of the Deaths
The evening herald. (Shenandoah, Pa.), June 27, 1892
The Harrisburg Wreck
Young Hayes, the Blundering Operator, Nearly Insane - Another Death.


Harrisburg, Pa., June 27 - H. S. Hayes, the young operator at the Steelton tower, who is supposed to have been the responsible party for the disastrous wreck which took place in this city early Saturday morning spent a very restless night in dreadful suspense, lying on his cot and sobbing bitterly.

Yesterday his father, accompanied by John A. Shartzer, the young man's uncle, went to see the prisoner. At the sight of his father he broke down, and it required the aid of opiates and the whole forenoon to quiet his nerves. Several physicians say that he is liable to become insane if confined much longer. Representative Tinksberry of Columbia County offered bond for his release, which was refused.

Several members of the coroner's jury state that many new points will be brought out at the hearing today which may change the situation. The points to be tested are the unusual high speed of the second section, being claimed that 15 minutes were made up on about 33 miles; the duty of the brakeman who went to flag the second section, and whether he should not have remained until the second section arrived; whether a freight train had any business on a passenger track when there is a freight track, and the employing of such an inexperienced operator.

The jury held an inquest over the remains of Fred Coleburg of Brooklyn, who died late yesterday afternoon from ugly cuts about the head. His wife arrived early in the morning but her husband was unconscious and could not speak.

Hayes in his testimony before the coroner said he was an extra operator and worked for the first time at the Steelton tower Friday night, although he had been in the employ of the company for over a year. He used his good judgement he said and allowed the second section to pass through because he knew the other train had plenty of time to get out of the block. Before the second section arrived he tried several times to get the Dock Street tower, but the wire was open and he could not get them.

Hayes is a young man 22 years of age and a resident of Newberrytown, York County, where his parents reside. He was brought up on a farm and always used to hard work.

Several years since he received the aid of a relative and obtained an education. His mother is in a feeble condition, and fears are entertained that he and his mother may lose their reason through this mishap.

The injured in the hospital are doing as well as could be expected under the circumstances. Several have been taken home by friends and others have left alone.

The following is a corrected list of the identified dead:
Adams, Richard, Harrisburg, furniture dealer.
Gingerich, Kate, Norristown, Pa.
Hebner, Mrs. Uriah, Norristown, Pa.
Mason, Daniel, Hagerstown,Md.; Telegraph operator.
Pomarine, Rev. Dr. De Costra, No. 3611 Hamilton Street, Philadelphia.
Raymond, John, Harrisburg
Whitlock, E. M., No. 133 Arlington Street, Cleveland.
Raymond, Robert C., Columbus O., horse dealer.
Black, John, Altoona
Lee, Charles E., No. 1 Windsor Street, Allegheney
Blair, Miss Lizzie, Philadelphia.
Norstom, Mrs.
Norstom, Charles, aged seventeen.
Herta, Prof., Baltimore
Coleburg, Fred, Brooklyn


Hayes, Brow and Kelly Charged with Gross Negligence
The evening herald. (Shenandoah, Pa.), June 29, 1892, Image 3 The Harrisburg Wreck
Hayes, Brown and Kelly Guilty of Neglect - The Company Censured

Harrisburg, Pa., June 29. - The coroner's jury investigation as to the cause of and who was responsible for the recent railroad disaster in the city, rendered the following verdict:
"First, we find that H. S. Hayes, the Steelton operator, was guilty of gross neglect in allowing second section of No. 9 to run the block before the first section had left the block between Steelton and dock Street towers.
"Second, Robert M. Brow was guilty of grossly neglecting his duty as a flagman in not going back far enough and placing caps on the track and remaining until second section arrived to flag it.
"Third, that the engineer, Hugh Kelly, is charged with gross neglect in not having his train under full control on approaching Dock Street Tower and running past danger signal into the first section, causing the wreck.
"Fourth, we censure the Pennsylvania Railroad company for allowing a local freight train on the time of an approaching passenger train."

Pittsburg dispatch. (Pittsburg [Pa.]), July 06, 1892, Page 10, Image 10
Hugh Keely, engineer of the second section, Robert M. Brown, flagman of the first section, and H. S. Hayes, operator at Steelton, all of whom are charged by the Coroner with responsibility for the western express wreck waived a hearing at Harrisburg yesterday morning and gave bail for trial in September.

 


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