Berthoud, CO Train Wreck, Jan 1890


Death of Engineer FRENCH and Fireman RICHMOND at Berthoud.

During the high wind which prevailed with such fury on Saturday of last week, freight train No. 325 due in this city at 4:35 p. m., was wrecked in a cut a cut a short distance south of Berthoud and Engineer JOHN FRENCH and Fireman JOHN RICHMOND were killed. The Denver News of Monday the 27 gives the following graphic account of the disaster.

The accident which occurred on the Union Pacific railroad about 4 o'clock Saturday afternoon near Berthoud, Colo., was much worse than was reported and resulted in the death of Engineer FRENCH and Fireman RICHMOND, who were on the engine of the ill-fated train. The accident was the result of the terrific wind storm. Freight train No. 325 left Denver Saturday morning. JOHN FRENCH was the engineer and JOHN RICHMOND was the fireman. The train consisted of eight cars and a caboose, and was running about fifteen miles an hour as it approached Berthoud. The wind was blowing a furious gale and the air was filled with clouds of dust. As the engine rounded a curve and entered a slight cut which was almost filled with sand, the engine seemed to mount the pile of dirt and the next moment plunged in the embankment and turned over, followed by five empty freight cars.

The two men met terrible deaths and suffered untold agony. Engineer FRENCH was caught under the tender and was horribly crushed. Both his hips were broken and one side of his breast was a mass of mangled flesh and bones. The fireman was pinoned [sic] against the head of the boiler and was fairly cooked to death by escaping steam. His cries were heartrending, and finally, when released death followed in a few moments. The engineer died twenty minutes later, before any medical assistance could be obtained.

JOHN FRENCH, the dead engineer, resided at the corner of Twenty-ninth and Market streets. He was only recently married. He was about twenty-seven years of age and has been running on the road many years.

JOHN RICHMOND, the fireman, was only nineteen years of age and lived at No. 2,663 Lawrence with his father, PETER RICHMOND. He has been firing on the road for two years.

Fort Collins Courier Colorado 1890-01-30