Adamsville, AL Train Accident, Apr 1948


Adamsville, Ala., April 26. (AP) - An engineer and woman passenger were killed and 31 other persons were injured when a Miami-Chicago passenger train plunged down an embankment near here yesterday.
One of the injured was in a critical condition. Three were hurt seriously.
The locomotive and tender, a combination baggage and dormitory car and two Pullman cars of the Illinois Central Railroad's Sun Chaser plunged down the steep 100-foot embankment. Adamsville is about 15 miles northeast of Birmingham.
Twenty-three baseball players from the Sheboygan (Wisconsin) Indians and the Cairo (Illinois) club of the Brooklyn Dodger training camp at Vero Beach, Fla. proved themselves heroes by rescuing passengers from the wreckage and administering first aid.
The dead were identified as W. B. JAMES of Haleyville, Ala., the 48-year-old engineer, and MISS EMMA DAHNKE of (144 W. 74th Street), Chicago, a passenger.
ERNEST MAYHALL of Birmingham, the train fireman, suffered critical burns. MISS LOUISE DAHNKE of Chicago, 45-year-old sister of the dead woman, was reported seriously injured. MRS. EVA L. HEWEN, 89, of (154 S. Halifax), Daytona Beach, Fla., and MRS. ELIZABETH B. PAVER of (1600 Hinnman Avenue), Evanston, Ill., also were critically hurt.
Injured passengers were high in their praise of the ballplayers. One woman told how several players used sheets to pull her small girl from a coach. Several of the injured were carried up the embankment by means of sheets tied together.
The players applied first aid until doctors arrived.
Her face streaked with dirt and soot and her hands and arms covered with bloodstains, Miss Fern Hays, a nurse from Miami, Fla., said, "It was the worst thing I ever saw."
The Sun Chaser makes three trips weekly from Miami. Many of the passengers were vacationists returning to Chicago.
The cause of the wreck has not been determined.

Escanaba Daily Press Michigan 1948-04-26