Voss, MN Train Crashes into Wagon, Feb 1909


A Northern Pacific Train Crashes Into Wagon at Crossing at Voss.

Frank Suda and Andrew Kuchar Fail to Hear Train Approaching or Misjudge Speed -- Coroner's Inquest is Held and Verdict is returned in Accordance With Facts -- Both Men Survived by Families -- Details of Accident.

Frank Suda, a farmer and Andrew Kuchar, a mail carrier, were instantly killed by the southbound Northern Pacific flyer at Voss yesterday forenoon at 11:46.  The two men drove on the crossing right in front of the engine despite the warning whistle and noise of the approaching train.

There were two engines on the flyer, the track being heavy in places on account of drifting snow.  Engineer H. Secord and Fireman Ed. Fanning, both of Grand Forks, were on the first engine and Engineer Montgomery, of Grand Forks, was in charge of the second.  Fireman Fanning saw the men driving on the track and warned the engineer at once.  Engineer Secord used all the means at his command to bring the train to a stop.  The engine crashed into the wagon and completely demolished it.  The horses had crossed the tracks and escaped death.

At the time of the accident the train was running at the rate of 35 miles an hour.  The train slows up to some extent but does not stop at Voss.  It was only two minutes late when the accident occurred.  It arrived in Grand Forks half and hour late as a result of the accident.

The body of one of the men was thrown to one side of the track and that of the other remained on the pilot.

Inquest is held.

The inquest was held yesterday afternoon and it developed that there was no negligence on the part of the railway employees. Coroner Altendorf and Sheriff Aarnot arrived in Voss soon after the accident.  It was shown that Suda had brought a load of wheat to the elevator and had purchased a small load of coal.  He was asked to haul from the depot some baled hay which had been shipped in.  Kuchar had put his horses n the barn having a couple of hours to wait in Voss, and he accompanied Suda.  Suda had on a heavy overcoat and was wrapped up so that he could not easily hear the noise of the approaching train, but his companion had on no overcoat.  Before they left the elevator they asked about they flyer and were informed that it was just about due.

Some boxcars stood on both sides of the crossing and the view of the approaching train was hidden.  It was evident that the men misjudged the speed of the train and thought that they could cross ahead of it.

A verdict that the death was due to the victims being struck by a train was rendered.

Both Married Men.

Suda and Kuchar were both residents of Vesleyville. Kuchar was married and is survived by a wife and daughter living at Minto and another residing at Virginia, Minn.  Suda has a wife and several children.

Mr. Secord has been in the railway service for 33 years and it was the first time an engine in his charge killed anyone.

Grand Forks Daily Herald, Grand Forks, ND 16 Feb 1909