French Village, MO Railroad Accident, Apr 1873



St. Louis, April 4. - It appears that the accident on the St. Louis and Southeastern Railroad, which occurred at French Village on yesterday afternoon, was occasioned by culpable carelessness on the part of the conductor of a construction train. The passenger train was just about to take the side track to let the freight train pass, when the construction train, which had been passed by the passenger train at the dirt pile but a few minutes before, and its conductor must have known of its proximity, came thundering around the curve at a high speed, and plunged into the rear of the passenger coach. The conductor of the passenger train saw the construction train coming, and cried out for the passengers to jump for their lives. Many did so, but before all could escape the engine of the construction train had entered the passenger coach. The latter was immediately filled with steam, and a number of persons were more or less scalded.
MRS. JNO. B. LUCK or LUKE, of Morgan County, Missouri, while in the act of jumping from the train was caught between the cars and crushed to death, her husband with an infant in his arms reached the platform unhurt. A gentleman supposed to be JNO. H. WATTS, of Chester, Illinois, and a member of the Illinois Legislature, was caught between the platform of the rear car and the engine of the dirt train and literally torn in pieces. The youngest daughter of MRS. GRIFFIN, of McLeansborough, Illinois, received the hot steam full in her face and was horribly scalded about her head and upper part of her body, her eyes were put out and it is thought she can not recover. MRS. STEBBINS, of Milwaukee, was severely cut and bruised about the head and several other passengers were more or less injured.
The engineer of the dirt train, Michael Manning, fled as soon as he saw the result of his carelessness.

Knoxville Weekly Chronicle Tennessee 1873-04-09