Dubuque, IA Train Wreck, Sept 1887

Dubuque, IA Train Wreck, Sept 1887

Train Crews Mangled.

Dubuque, Iowa, Sept. 19.-Special Telegram.

During a dense fog this morning passenger train No. 4, bound south, and passenger train No. 3, bound north on the River division of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad collided at a sharp curve about two miles north of this city.

The train going north was in charge of Conductor Wolcott, of Savanna; Elmer Winchester, Dubuque, engineer; Ed. P. Cummins, Dubuque, fireman, and John Pernetta, lately of Milwaukee, brakeman. The south bound train was in charge of Conductor A.A. Clarke, Dubuque; Charles Fales, Dubuque, engineer; Will Richmond, Dubuque, fireman; Robert Mimmo, Dubuque, brakeman. Train No. 3 consisted of two sections, the first being an engine sent from the shop here up the Volga Branch. Orders were received by the north-bound train to pass No. 4 at Peru, about five miles north of this city. The order from Train Dispatcher Fowler, at la Crosse, simply mentioned No. 3, and Engineer Winchester called Conductor Wolcott's attention to the fact that both sections of the train should be specified to avoid accident. Train dispatcher Fowler was notified, and the order was changed, as was supposed No. 4 south-bound, passed the engine at Peru, and not being aware that No. 3 had two sections, dashed on toward Dubuque. The density of the fog prevented clear vision, and both trains came together with a frightful crash at a speed of twenty-five miles per hour before the engineers could set the brakes. The mail car of No. 3 was hurled down the embankment to the edge of the river, and the tender of No. 4 crashed into the combinations smoking and baggage car next to the derailed mail car, which in turn telescoped the first coach in the rear nearly its full length. Both engines were badly demolished, the mighty machines being merged into one shapeless mass of broken iron and shattered wood.

Five faithful employees were killed in the wreck, their names being as follows:

Engineer CHARLES FALES, taken from the wreck broken and bleeding, having been instantly killed.
Engineer ELMER WINCHETER was removed from under the heavy mass of iron with his leg cut off, right leg broken, skull denuded and face fearfully mangled. He lived a couple of hours.
ED P. CUMMINS had both legs broken, and only lived until noon.
JOHN PERNETTA, brakeman, was on the pilot of the engine when the collision occurred. He was instantly killed and his mangled body buried under the debris.
WILLIAM RICHMOND, fireman, was instantly killed.


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