Vaughn, MS Casey Jones Train Wreck, Apr 1900
DEAD UNDER HIS CAB
THE SAD END OF ENGINEER CASEY JONES
ILLINOIS CENTRAL WRECK
Southbound Passenger Train No. 1 Crashes Into The Rear Of A Freight -- Details of Accident.
Jackson, Miss., April 29 -- (Special) -- A disastrous collision occurred about 4 o'clock this morning at Vaughn's Station eleven miles north of Canton. The engineer, CASEY JONES, was instantly killed, and Express Messenger MILLER was hurt internally, but not seriously.
The south-bound passenger train No. 1 was running under a full head of steam when it crashed into the rear end of a caboose and three freight cards[sic] which were standing on the main track, the other portion of the train being on a sidetrack. The caboose and two of the cars were smashed to pieces, the engine left the rails and plowed into an embankment, where it overturned and was completely wrecked, the baggage and mail coaches also being thrown from the track and badly damaged. The engineer was killed outright by the concussion. His body was found lying under the cab, with his skull crushed and the right arm torn from its socket. The fireman jumped just in time to save his life. The express messenger was thrown against the side of the car, having two of his ribs broken by the blow, but his condition is not considered dangerous.
The other employees and all of the passengers were more or less jostled by the shock, some of them receiving bruises and slight wounds, none of which, however, were serious.
Every effort was made to stop the speeding train, but without success. Two flagmen were sent down the track with danger signals and torpedoes were placed on the rails as a warning, but the engineer did not seem to take any notice of the signals nor to realize the situation until within a short distance of the caboose, when he made a violent to put on the air brakes, but the distance was too short to avoid the crash. The freight boxes were loaded with bundled hay and the scattered coals from the engine soon set fire to the debris and it was feared at one time that the whole mass of wreckage would be destroyed, but the fire was finally extinguished without doing very great damage.
The train was what is known as the New Orleans fast mail, it was running on time and was in charge of Conductor Turner of Memphis. The indirect cause of the wreck seemed to be a lack of switching facilities at Vaughn's. Four long freight trains had gotten there and the siding was not sufficient to accommodate them. Traffic on the road has been unusually heavy since the recent floods and the delay in freight transportation has caused much inconvenience.
A wrecking train from Canton reached the scene soon after the accident occurred and the debris was cleared away and the track put back in shape in a few hours.
Engineer JONES had been in the service of the Illinois Central for many years and was highly esteemed as one of the road's safest and most capable engineers. He lived at Jackson, Tenn., where his remains were shipped. He leaves a wife and three children.
The Commercial Appeal Memphis Tennessee 1900-04-29