Metz, CA Passenger Train Derails, July 1910
TRAIN LEAPS TRACK, KILLING TWO AND HURTING TEN.
PASSENGERS' LIVES ARE SAVED BY STEEL COACHES.
CREW MEETS DEATH IN ENGINE.
FIREMAN AND ENGINEER INSTANTLY KILLED IN WRECK OF OVERTURNED LOCOMOTIVE.
EXCESSIVE SPEED GIVEN AS CAUSE OF DISASTER.
SPECIAL CARRYING CONVENTION DELEGATES TO THIS CITY JUMPS FROM RAILS AT CURVE.
SIX COACHES WHIRL OVER ON THEIR SIDES.
Excessive speed is a restricted speed district was responsible for the wreck of a special train bearing 110 delegates from eastern points to the American chemical society convention in this city, at a point near Metz Station on the Southern Pacific coast line, at 5:45 o'clock yesterday morning. Two persons, the engineer, L. H. DIXON of this city, and fireman, E. ERNST of San Jose, were killed instantly, and 10 others were more or less badly injured. The train left the track while traveling at a speed estimated to have been at least 45 miles an hour. Many of the passengers had left their berths and they were thrown to opposite ends of the cars when the crash came.
The special train was being run as a second section of the Los Angeles-San Francisco fast passenger, known as "The Lark." Many women were in the train. Special trains were rushed to the scene of the accident from Salinas and from this city, and the injured passengers, together with the other members of the chemist special, reached here about 6 o'clock last night. The injured members of the train crew were cared for temporarily at Salinas and San Jose.
Nearly a score of physicians and nurses were rushed to the wreck, but physicians on the train had administered to those badly in need of treatment before the doctors from Salinas arrived.
Metz Station, where the accident occurred, is eight miles south of Soledad and takes its name from the Metz ranch. The track turns sharply in several places at this point and is considered one of the most dangerous places on the crest ine of the Southern Pacific. There is a warning to go 25 miles an hour, which was not heeded, according to several of the passengers. The derailment occurred on the reverse curve near milepost 156. The engine and six cars left the track and went over on their sides. The engine was badly broken up. The combination buffet and baggage car, diner, a tourist sleeper and three standard sleepers crushed into the overturned engine, three sleepers remaining on the track.
The buffet car and tourist turned over and were badly damaged. Passenger trains in both directions were held until late in the evening before the wreckage was cleared sufficiently for them to proceed. The total damage is estimated at between $16,000 and $18,000.
A wrecking crew worked all day in clearing the wreck and repairing the torn up track. Division Superintendent T. Ahern reached the scene of the wreck as soon as a special train could take him from San Jose to Soledad, and he immediately began an investigation into the cause of the disaster. Although it was the opinion of prominent railroad officials yesterday that the wreck was due to excessive speed, no official statement to that effect could be procured.
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