Adeline, LA Circus Train In Accident, Oct 1922 - 3 Die in Wreck


Express Train Crashes Into Wortham Shows Special.

(By the Associated Press.)

New Orleans, La., Oct. 31.---Three dead, four seriously injured and two slightly hurt was the human toll taken in the rear-end railroad wreck early today when the fast Sunset Express New Orleans-San Francisco Southern Pacific passenger train tore into the Wortham Carnival Shows circus special 25-car train en route from New Orleans to New Iberin, La.

The dead and injured were members of the circus. No one on the passenger train was injured.

The wreck occurred near Adeline, La. Both trains were proceeding westward on a portion of the road that is double-track. The locomotive of the passenger train ploughed through two of the sleepers on the rear end of the circus train before it was brought to a standstill and according to the stories told by the injured, the circus performers, who were asleep, were hurled from their berths as the Pullmans burst open from the terrific impact. Immediately following the crash calls for assistance were sent to nearby towns and ambulances and physicians were hurried to the scene.

Passengers on the Sunset Express aided the train crews in chopping open portions of the Pullmans where other circus folk were trapped and crying out for rescue, as fire was feared.

According to the survivors, the circus train was proceeding westward under orders. When it reached Adeline it was ordered to allow a freight train, going east, to pass. The brakeman lighted his red flares and went back to the circus train. When the Sunset Express pulled in behind the engineer saw the flares and stopped his train until they died down and then proceeded. He did not see the rear end lights of the circus train until almost on top of it.

Belleville News-Democrat, Belleville, IL 31 Oct 1922