Big Tree, CA Train Wrecked, May 1880



Fatal Accident to an Excursion Train.
By Associated Press to the Herald.
San Francisco, May 24.
A Santa Cruz dispatch says a local train on the South Pacific Coast Railroad, which ran today between there and Big Tree switch carrying passengers to the Independent Rifle picnic at that place, met with a terrible accident at that place at 3:30. Three open cars with high railings outside and ends with seats, loaded with about 125 persons left that place for this city. The train was pulled by No. 3 engine, one Elliott being engineer.
On the way down all went well till No. 7 tunnel was passed, the said tunnel being located just above and overlooking the powder works. As the cars passed through the tunnel the speed of the engine was increased it being down grade. Just as the curve in the road was reached the first car jumped the track to the left and the second to the right, the third car remaining on the track. The people in the first two cars were thrown into heaps inside towards the bank in a confused mass, the cars passing over those who were across the track. Those on the third car were uninjured, merely being knocked off their feet. Those not hurt immediately set to work to assist the wounded, and to look after the dying and dead. Word was immediately sent to this place and Felton for assistance, which was promptly rendered. A gloom of sadness tonight is cast over our city. Every hotel is being turned into a hospital to receive the wounded, which will number upwards of forty. Already thirteen are reported dead and others will die before morning.
A number of San Francisco people were on the train at the time of the accident. It will be impossible to give a full list of the wounded tonight as they are being cared for by all parties, and spread in various parts of the town. Some of the dead have not been identified. Physicians are heroically working to relieve the sufferings of the wounded, assisted by Sisters of Charity. No service was held at the churches on account of the disaster. The following is a list of those dead and wounded as far as can be learned:
L. FALK, of Santa Cruz.
MRS. CASTELLO, of Santa Cruz.
MRS. C. D. HUSEY, of Santa Cruz.
JOSY DORSEY, of Santa Cruz.
FRANK BUTLER, of Santa Cruz.
JOHN STAUB, of San Francisco.
WALTER HOYT, of San Francisco.
GEORGE HENER, of San Francisco.

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