San Mateo, CA Train - Auto Wreck, May 1907

Autoist Is Killed By A San Jose Train

The train that leaves San Jose for San Francisco at 4:10 p. m. killed A. H. WHITNEY, a mile south of San Mateo about five o'clock last evening. The victim was crossing the track in an automobile which was struck by the train. He was terribly mangled his head being severed.

AUTO ON FIRE

An account of the accident is given in the following dispatch from San Mateo:

A. H. WHITMAN [sic], superintendent of the Leslie salt works, was struck by a railroad train and killed instantly at 5 o'clock last evening, a mile south of San Mateo while trying to cross the track in his automobile. His head was severed from the body and the auto was thrown on the pilot of the locomotive, where it caught fire and continued to burn until the train was brought to a stop just below the city limits.

WHITNEY was on his way from San Mateo to the salt works and approached the railroad crossing in his runabout as a southbound freight train appeared. Whitney stopped at the crossing while the train passed.

He had not noticed the northbound San Jose local, which was coming at a high rate of speed.

STARTED TO CROSS

As soon as the freight had passed he started to cross and just as he reached the second track the oncoming locomotive struck the automobile and hurled Whitney from his seat. The wheels of the engine and coaches passed over his body, mangling the trunk and severing the head.

The runabout was tossed back on the engine, exploded and caught fire. The train sped on with the flaming car until the engineer succeeded in stopping the train at the outskirts of the city.

SECOND TRAGEDY IN FAMILY

A. H. WHITNEY was a brother of ARTHUR WHITNEY, owner of the Leslie salt works. He was well known both in San Mateo and San Francisco. The body will be taken to the old family home at Petaluma. A brother of WHITNEY met with a violent death some years ago. He fell through a skylight as the result of a misstep.

WHITNEY leaves four sisters, MRS. CHARLES WHEATON and MRS. LEWIS SPEAR of Alameda, MRS FREDERICK HERWITT of Napa and MRS. GEORGE MORROW of Oakland.

The Evening News, San Jose, CA 23 May 1907