Pontiac, IL Train Wreck, Dec 1897

Train Wreck In Illinois.

Pontiac, Ill., Dec. 19.-An open switch on the Chicago and Alton Railroad was the cause of a collision this afternoon between the St. Louis limited passenger, due here at 1:35 P.M., and a freight train on the side track.

The brakeman whose duty it was to close the switch was unable to move it. The passenger train was approaching. He jumped on the track and signaled for it to stop. The engineer applied the air brakes and reversed his engine, but it was too late, and the passenger train went crashing into the freight. Several trainmen and two passengers were hurt, but none fatally.

The New York Times, New York, NY 20 Dec 1897

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INABILITY
TO CLOSE A SWITCH CAUSES A BAD RAILROAD WRECK.

Pontiac, Ills., Dec. 19.-An open switch on the Chicago & Alton railroad was the cause of a collision this afternoon between the St. Louis limited passenger, due here at 10:45 P.M., and a freight train on the side track. The brakeman, whose duty it was to close the switch, was unable to move it, and the passenger train was approaching. He jumped on the track and signaled for it to stop. The engineer applied the air brakes and reversed his engine, but it was too late and the passenger went crashing into the freight. The seriously injured are: J.C. BUSHER, Boswell, Ind., trainman, arm broken and badly bruised about the head and face; J.W. JONES, Peoria, engineer, injured internally; JOHN WHITE, Bloomington, fireman, injured internally; L.J. SUTTON, Chicago, baggage man, slight bruises; A.G. HAINES, Atlanta, Ill., passenger, bruised; MISS MINNIE COUNTRYMAN, of this city, a passenger cut and bruised.

J.C. BUSHER was riding between the baggage car and tender. The two engines and two freight cars are total wrecks. The damage to the other cars can easily be repaired. The combination baggage and mail car was derailed and had to be left here, the mail and baggage being transferred to another car. The passenger train was delayed about three hours.

The Morning Herald, Lexington, KY 20 Dec 1897