Paso Robles, CA Train Derails, Sep 1941


Paso Robles, Sept. 19. (AP) -- Twelve cars of the Southern Pacific luxury train, the Lark, flagged down by a soldier's flaming jacket, were derailed early today when a fast freight crashed into the rear end of the passenger train which had halted to avoid striking a stalled taxicab. No one was seriously hurt.
Several hours after the accident state highway patrolmen arrested Charles C. Callender, 39, of San Miguel. Patrol Sergeant Forrest Underwood said he would be charged with wrecking the train.
Callender, who had left the scene of the accident when patrolmen arrived, was in bed at home when arrested. Underwood said the cab driver had been en route to San Miguel with three soldiers, had mistakenly turned on to the railroad track at a crossing and had stalled his machine in a cattle guard.
The three soldiers, who were held temporarily for questioning and then released, said they worked for 45 minutes trying to free the taxicab. When they heard the approaching train one ran up the track set fire to his jacket and brought the flier to a halt.
Callender traced through a card left in the taxicab, was lodged in jail at San Luis Obispo.
MRS. PAULINE McCRAE, wife of DR. HERBERT McCRAE, Santa Barbara physician, was bruised and shaken. She and her husband were taken to Compton by ambulance.
Several other passengers were treated for minor injuries by army physicians from nearby Camp Roberts.
SPROUEL KELLY, brakeman on the Lark, and L. E. MILLS, fireman of the freight train, were treated at Paso Robles Hospital.
MRS. GENEVA ALGER of Burlingame, an expectant mother, was taken to a Paso Robles hospital. She was not hurt.
Several hundred feet of track were torn up. Trainmen said a by-pass track probably would be laid by 11 a.m. to permit resumption of traffic.

Bakersfield Californian 1941-09-19