Lerdo, CA Train Derailed, Jan 1917
The Southern Pacific announced that the uninjured passengers from the wrecked train were being taken to Los Angeles on train 60, which was following it.
Dr. Robert J. Douds, district surgeon for the Southern Pacific, said that as far as he could determine there were five or six dead. He placed the number of injured at 27, saying 25 were taken to Kern County Hospital and two to Mercy Hospital.
He said two or three were dead in one coach and rescuers had been unable to extricate them.
"The halls are full of injured and we are working on them desperately," said an attendant at the Kern county hospital here. Names of the dead and injured were not yet available. One of the injured was a youngster whose leg was severed in the wreck.
Ambulance crews, sheriff's deputies and others worked feverishly to exticate the injured and rush them to hospitals.
A Southern Pacific dispatcher said the train, Owl No. 58 which left San Francisco at 6:30 o'clock last night and was due in Los Angeles at 8:25 a.m. today, usually travelled at 60 miles an hour along the stretch where the wreck occurred.
Sergeant L. E. Pryor of the Bakersfield sheriff's office said six ambulances had been sent to the scene at Lerdo, a small railway station near Minter Field, wartime training field for aviatioin cadets.
The engineer, H. P. LAWRENCE, and the conductor, GEORGE COCHRANE of Los Angeles, were unhurt as the locomotive and three baggage cars behind it were not derailed. Seven passenger cars of the 15-car train remained upright.
Southern Pacific officials said the train carried approximately 200 passengers.
State Highway Patrolman Jack Bordeau said two soldiers on the train, MARVIN STANSBERRY of Moulton, Iowa, and ORVIS HUMPHREY of Kidder, Mo., rescued many persons from overturned cars by stamping out windows and lifting out the injured.
LESTER FORD, porter on one of the overturned coaches, said most of the injured were in one of the coaches which completely left its trucks and hurtled into a potato field.
"I heard a roaring and grinding as the car I was in started rolling up track in front of it," he added.
The car rolled about 300 feet into the potato field before it turned over, he said. The passengers seemed dazed, Ford added, as they wandered about the scene. There was very little panic but he heard screams of some of the injured.
San Mateo Times California 1947-01-17