Washington, IN Engineer Humphrey Crushed by Engine, May 1908

The Washington Democrat newspaper, Washington, IN
Tuesday 5 May 1908; Front Page, Column 1

Engine of B. & O. Southwestern Train 12 Turned Completely Around and Ditched When It Struck Landslide at Sparksville


Enos Humphrey, engineer, hips crushed, probably fatally injured.
Harvey Pratt, fireman, slightly injured.
One Passenger slightly injured.
Track at Sparksville will be cleared late this afternoon.
Not known when tracks at Caseyville, IL, will be in condition.
Washouts of five to fifteen hundred feet in several places. All trains detoured.
Property loss of at least $20,000.
The latest word by the B. & O. Southwestern at 3 o'clock this afternoon is that Humphrey shows some improvement and there are chances for his recovery. However, his condition
is extremely serious. Mrs. Humphrey was taken to the bedside of her husband on a special train, leaving here at 12:15.
Enos Humphrey, engineer of this city, was injured seriously in the wrecking of B. & O. Southwestern train l2 at Sparksville, twenty miles west of Seymour, about fifteen minutes after 4 o'clock this morning.

Word from Mr. Humphrey's physician at Seymour, where the wounded man was taken, received at noon told that the chances for the engineer's recovery were bad. Mr. Humphrey was caught beneath the overturned engine and his hips crushed.

The wreck occurred about three fourths of a mile out of Sparksville. East of Sparksville is an incline along the side of a hill and a little farther a decline along side of another hill. It was on the decline where the wreck occurred. In times of heavy rains, sand and rock from the hill wash down on the road bed. Train 12 likely was making good time when it struck the landslide at this hill, the accident overturning the engine and ditching three coaches.

Train 12 left St. Louis Monday night in charge of Conductor Kelso and notwithstanding the storm reached here on time. The engines were changed at the shops and engine 1472 in charge of Engineer Enos Humphrey and Fireman Harvey Prall was used leaving here,(sic) When just east of the depot at Sparksville the engine ran into the
landslide and jumped the track turning completely around and heading west. Three of the cars, the mail, the express and the combination coach and baggage followed the engine and turned over into the ditch. Engineer Humphrey was taken to Seymour and his wife went to that place this afternoon.

Trains Are Detoured.

All trains are being handled over the Southern Indiana between Seymour and Bedford and over the Monon between Bedford and Mitchell. It is not expected to get the track clear before late this afternoon or perhaps tonight. Superintendent J. B. Carothers and Trainmasters J. R. Sanford and L. E. Wood were on the train en route to Cincinnati to attend a meeting of officials relative to a new time card. They immediately took charge, of the wreck and the work of relieving Engineer Humphrey. The ladies coach, the chair car and the three sleepers of the ill fated train were left on the track undamaged. They were taken to Mitchell and sent forward by way of the Monon and Southern Indiana to Seymour and on to Cincinnati.

It is expected that the track at Sparksville will be cleared late this afternoon. Immediately after word of the wreck reached this city a relief train and a wrecker were sent out. A crew of negroes who have been at work on the track a few miles east of this city were picked up and taken to the scene of the wreck.