Fort Wayne, IN Train Hits Child Playing on Track, Mar 1917

Boy Ground to Death Beneath Wabash Train

Eight-year-old ARTHUR STEIGER Meets Death Under Engine’s Wheels.

Playing on Track

Children Caught on Trestle by Freight Train – Brother Carries Mangled Lad.

Caught on the White bridge, as the Wabash trestle near Pennsylvania avenue is known, when his companions fled from an approaching freight train at 5:55 o’clock Tuesday evening, ARTHUR STEIGER, 8-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Adam STEIGER, 2009 Pennsylvania avenue, was ground beneath the wheels. Both legs were mangled, one being cut entirely off just above the knee and the other hanging by a shred of flesh near the hip. The boy was taken to St. Joseph’s hospital and died there shortly after 9 o’clock last night.

When the accident occurred the child with his brother, Walter, and several other children, were on the tracks playing. They were on the trestle and when the west-bound freight approached all ran. Arthur fell behind and not until the train had passed did the other children know what had occurred. The little fellow had in some manner been caught beneath the heavy train and received the injuries which caused his death.

The brother, Walter, gathered the mangled little body in his arms and started for home, but before he reached the family home he met his father, a cement contractor, returning from work. The father carried the child into the home of a relative and called Dr. Morse HARROD. The Schone and Ankenbruck ambulance was also called, but before the ambulance arrived Dr. Harrod had come, and taking the bleeding little body in his arms the father climbed into the physician’s machine and a dash was made for the hospital. At the hospital the limb, which still hung by shreds of flesh, was amputated, but it was seen at once that the child could not recover. The shock and the loss of blood had been too much for the tiny body to withstand.

Talks to Father.

When picked up the lad was still conscious and was able to talk. As the father carried the mangled little body to the waiting automobile the child clasped him about the neck and painfully sobbed out his prayer for forgiveness for having gone onto the track after being told to keep away. On the way to the hospital the little victim talked, but did not tell how the accident occurred. As the automobile neared the hospital the baby complained of feeling sleepy. His body relaxed and his head sank on his father’s breast, and for the remainder of his brief stay on earth he was unconscious.

It is probable that the details of the accident will never be known, for the train crew did not know that they had hit the child. Not until informed of the accident this morning did anyone connected with the company learn of the occurrence.

The dead child is survived by the parents and four brothers and sisters, Walter, Marcella, Andrew and Irene. The mother is now seriously ill and it is feared the shock will prove serious to her. The body has been taken from St. Joseph’s hospital to the Schone & Ankenbruck undertaking establishment, and will later be removed to the home.

Children Play on Track.

Although parents in the neighborhood have constantly warned their children not to play on the tracks, the Wabash trestle has long been a favorite gathering place for youngsters. Older boys frequently gather and the little fellows follow their example. The place is unusually dangerous, for being a trestle there is only one way for children to escape from an approaching train, and that is to run for the end. It is likely that the STEIGER child in running for the end of the bridge stepped between the ties and was unable to escape from the oncoming train.

Funeral Friday.

Funeral services for the child will be held Friday morning at 8:30 o’clock at the residence and at 9 o’clock at St. Andrews’ Catholic church. Interment will be at the Catholic cemetery.

The Fort Wayne News, Fort Wayne, IN, 21 Mar 1917