Westport, MN Train Wreck, Aug 1909


Passenger North-bound Strikes Open Switch and Runs into Cars

A wreck occurred on the north line of the Milwaukee Friday which injured Engineer O. E. Ladd, damaged the engine which he was running and estroyed a gasoline motor car. The accident occurred at Westport, and was caused by an open switch, said to be due to the carelessness of the section foreman. The latter had the gasoline motor car on the main line shortly before the passenger arrived from this city about 8 o'clock this morning. As train time approached he ran the car onto the side track on which the other cars were standing, but forgot to shut the switch behind him.

The passenger came down the steep grade and flashed out of the cut which is located on a curve at that place and though the power was cut off, and the reverse applied by Engineer Ladd the distance was too short and the train went through the switch. The engine struck the motor car and then pushed on to the next car. The motor car was damaged considerably, and exploded. The engine of the passenger was also smashed some and another was sent up to take the train to Edgeley. The fireman jumped when he saw the open switch but Engineer Ladd remained with the engine and did his best to stop it. When the engine struck he was thorwn from the cab and was badly shaken up, besides injuring his right leg considerably. No passengers were hurt and no damage done outside of that above stated.

The Aberdeen American, Aberdeen, SD 5 Aug 1909