Pilot, NV Train Derails, Smashes Houses, Apr 1946



Pilot, Nev., April 6 (AP) - Smashing several nearby houses to kindling, the Western Pacific railroad's eastbound Exposition Flier hurtled off the tracks in northeastern Nevada mountain country, leaving two passengers dead and 58 persons hurt today.

A half dozen children were trapped in one house as one heavy coach ploughed into it, but they escaped with minor injuries. Three of the eight frame houses at this tiny loading station were smashed to wreckage as 10 coaches followed the locomotive off the rails yesterday.

Killed were MIKE DRENSKY, 1455 Market Street, Denver, and ANTHONY BARCIKOSKI, a soldier from Camp Beale, Calif., reported en route to his home at Burton, Ohio.

Only 10 Seriously Hurt.
Only about 10 of the injured were reported seriously hurt. Among those hurt were A. L. LAURIE, a Pilot telegraph operator, and his wife, whose house near the tracks was wrecked by one coach. The home of G. A. NUSSE, a section foreman, also was wrecked.
NUSSE and his brother, V. A. NUSSE, a Western Pacific brakeman, had left the house a few minutes earlier.

From another smashed dwelling a woman was reported to have struggled to safety through a window after a section of the building collapsed.

Several of the heavy coaches were flung crosswise of the tracks and some were bent into a curve in the middle like children's toys.
MRS. ELLEN FERGUSON of Cave Junction, Ore., who was visiting the LAURIES, related that she and her daughter, ECHO, 2, and two LAURIE children, were standing on the porch as the train approached.
As the derailed coaches spun off the tracks and one ripped into the house, she and the children were showered with shattered wood and other debris.

MRS. FERGUSON said that as she saw coal and wreckage flying through the air, she swept the children to the ground and the next thing she remembered she was crawling from the wreckage.
She then freed the frightened children who suffered only slight injuries. Besides her daughter, they were JOAN LAURIE, 2, and EILEEN LAURIE, 3.

Father Asleep.
LAURIE, the children's father, was asleep when the coach struck the house and was injured as he was thrown from his bed. His wife, BETTY, suffered a fractured ankle.
MRS. BILLIE WEBB, 29, a telegrapher, was sleeping in another house when a section of the smashed locomotive struck the building and knocked it from its foundation. She escaped with a shaking up.