Sunal, NE Train Collision, Jan 1899


Omaha, Jan. 9. -- A special to the Bee from Sidney, Nebr., says:
There was a wreck on the Union Pacific at Sunal, fifteen miles east of here, at 4:35 o'clock this morning, which resulted in four deaths and eight people being injured.
The dead are:
Engineer DELL BONNER, fatally hurt, died during afternoon.
Fireman, JOHN COLEMAN, Creston, Iowa, instantly killed.
Unknown Old Man.
The injured are:
Engineer FALL, badly scalded, but not fatally.
Engineer REESE, cut on head.
Chinaman, name unknown, scalp wound, chest injured.
Cook on dining car, arm broken, name not given.
H. P. THEY, Chicago, head and face scorched, legs bruised.
JOHNSON, fireman, Council Bluffs, scalp wound, face badly bruised.
MRS. A. M. STARZELL, Rawlins, Wyo., leg injured.
GEORGE J. HUNT, of Omaha, superintendent Belmont Canal Company, left leg fractured, abdomen injured, badly bruised.
The trains which collided were the fast passenger westbound No. 3, which left here yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock and which was running as a double-header, and eastbound passenger train No. 2. The eastbound train had stopped to take the sidetrack to allow the westbound train to pass, and had not been able to get on the siding when No. 3, running at the rate of forty-five miles an hour, crashed into it. The engines were piled up in a mass of scrap iron and the cars, which were badly broken up, immediately took fire. The passengers who were not injured at once set to work to rescue those in the wreck, and, with the exception of MISS ARMSTRONG and the unknown man, none were burned. The bodies of these two were badly charred.
Relief trains were immediately sent to the scene of the wreck and the injured taken to Sidney, where they could be cared for, and it is not thought that any of them except Engineer BONNER, who died this afternoon, are fatally hurt.
Four cars were entirely consumed by fire and several others were so badly broken up as to be practically valueless. The three engines, which were among the finest used by the road, are practically scrap iron.
A new track was built around the wreck and traffic was delayed only a few hours.
Trainmen at the wreck do not attempt to account for the accident, and the officials at headquarters profess to be equally ignorant. The only solution they offer is that possibly the engineer of the westbound train may have fallen asleep at his post. All the employes involved are among the oldest and most trustworthy in the operating department of the road.

San Francisco Call California 1899-01-10