Worcester, MA Train Wreck, Aug 1922

ONE DEAD, ONE DYING IN RAILROAD WRECK

Fourteen Hurt in Boston and Maine Accident Ascribed by Some to Faulty Engine.

WORCESTER, Mass., Aug. 8.---One dead, one dying, fourteen hurt and bruised and scores shaken up were the toll of the worst railroad wreck in the history of Worcester this afternoon, when the locomotive hauling the Boston and Albany Berkshire express into the Worcester yards suddenly reared into the air near the Putnam Lane Bridge, staggered on a few yards, whipped about in a half circle and toppled over, piling upon itself the passenger-laden train behind.

Fireman H. E. Russell of Natick was hurled twenty feet to instant death and Engineman Robert C. McDonald of Ashland was shot thirty-five feet through the air, receiving injuries from which he is expected to die.

Seven fire companies, five ambulances, twenty doctors, a dozen workmen and policemen were on the scene within a few minutes in response to emergency calls broadcast by the central exchange of the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company.

Mrs. McDonald, wife of the engineman of the train, arrived in Worcester tonight and told the police and hospital authorities that her husband had complained before leaving on the trip that he had a premonition something would happen to the engine. According to the police, Mrs. McDonald said her husband worked on the engine several hours before leaving Boston and made not attempt to hide his fear that the locomotive was not in good condition.

Three separate investigations into the cause of the accident were started within a few hours. Associate Medical Examiner Ernest L. Hunt filed a notice for an inquest into the death of Russell. Detective Captain James J. Casey detailed Detective Lieutenants Swan and Henry to investigate, but up to late tonight they had not completed their work and would make no statement. Officials of the railroad also started an inquiry and later laid the blame to an obstruction on the tracks.

Among those taken to hospitals suffering bruises and other injuries were:

J. P. Clough, Worcester;

Bessie Galvin, Medford;

Mrs. Charles Corson, Springfield;

Alice Brady, Holliston;

Berton Sargent, Wakefield, American Express Messenger;

Mrs. John Murray,

Isaac Asher, Worcester;

Joe Ricardi, Worcester;

Sam M. Polis, Worcester;

Thomas J. O'Connell, Worcester;

Harold M. Render, Worcester, and

Wolfe Burwick, Worcester.

BOSTON, Aug. 8.---An obstruction on the track caused the derailment of the Berkshire Express near Worcester Station, the Boston & Albany Railroad said in a statement issued tonight.

"Investigation on the spot discloses that the locomotive evidently struck some obstruction in the rock cut east of Worcester, which derailed the forward truck of the engine," the statement said. "The engine ran a considerable distance with the pony truck off the rails, until the truck collapsed, derailing the locomotive and the first three cars, the last car remaining on the track."

The locomotive, according to the railroad's statement, was a Pacific engine of modern type, which had received its regular periodical overhauling and repairing last April. Before going into service for its run today, the locomotive was inspected at the roundhouse at Allston by a qualified inspector and found to be in good order, it was stated.

The New York Times, New York, NY 9 Aug 1922