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Rochester, New York Train Wreck

April 30, 1899


Disastrous Railway Wreck at Rochester, N. Y.


Three Persons Are Instantly Killed – Fifty or More of Those on Board Receive Serious Injuries.

Rochester, N. Y., May 1
– Three persons were killed, more than a dozen seriously injured and 50 less seriously hurt as a result of a wreck at 2:40 o’clock Sunday afternoon on the Rochester & Lake Ontario railroad, better known as the Bay railroad at Rosenbauer’s Corners, about one-half mile north of the city, when two cars on an excursion train filled with passengers left the track while rounding a curve at full speed, and were completely wrecked. The dead are: JOHN HELBERG, aged 20; J. TIERNEY, 24; unknown man.

There is a grade about 100 yards from the corner of North avenue and Ridge road, and when this grade was reached the speed of the train increased perceptibly. Down the grade swept the train, its speed increasing constantly. When the far curve was reached the engine rounded it with startling rapidity. Next to the engine was the closed carriage, divided into two compartments and when it reached the curve it veered over to the north and rode around the curve on the left wheels. It had gone but a part of the bend in the track when it left the rails and shot straight ahead. There was a sudden crash as the couplings between the engine and coach were severed, and then the coach again veered over and plowed through the earth for several feet before dropping on its side in the front of the Ridge Road hotel.

When the first coach left the track the engine sped on, and the other coaches were forced off the track. The closed coach, which was overturned, had a partition that divided the front part from the rear. The front apartment was a smoking compartment. In it were several men and, standing in the entrance, were two women and a little girl. These were thrown into a jumbled mass over against the roof of the car, and were pinioned under the seats and the partition of the car, which was torn to splinters. JOHN HILBERK was standing on the platform between the second and third cars when the crash came, and was caught between the two cars and crushed to death. His body was removed with great difficulty and sent to the morgue.

Daily Iowa State Press, Iowa City, IA 1 May 1899

Transcribed by Cheryl.  Thank you, Cheryl!    


The seriously injured are J. Tierney, aged 24, Julia Sullivan, 18, fractured collarbone, George Brasser, 36, compound fracture of the forearm; Emil Heingraber, 23, back badly injured, Otto Hahnke, 21, both legs badly bruised and bones of right hand broken; William Goodman, 22, severe scalp wound, Emil Schram, 18, small bones of right foot broken, John Biershal, 42, compound fracture of right leg; Emma Tensal [?], 17, nose broken and face terribly lacerated, James Lombard, internal injury which may prove fatal; J. F. Moore, E. L. A Borle, Oscar Dorsehal, William Doerrer, C. R. Hinehart, John Sullivan, Charles, Werner and Joseph Zimmer.  The latter two are very seriously injured and may die.

The Hopewell Herald, Hopewell, NJ 3 May 1899


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