Atlantic City, NJ Electric Train Wreck, Oct 1906 - Survivor Stories

Emley is entirely recovered, but the little girl is under a physician's care. Her first child-like regret, as firemen draged[sic] her from her uncle's arms into a boat, was that her camera had been lost.

"Everybody in the last car would have been drowned like rats in a trap but for Wood, a brakeman," said H. B. Josephs of 211 South Fourth Street, Camden. "When he knew the train had left the track Wood jumped to the rear end of the coach and threw open the vestibule. Probably a dozen beside myself got out that way. I sank like a stone as I stepped from the platform, but rose quickly to the surface and hugged a piece of debris until they rescued me."

When the train plunged overboard several women screamed, the Camden man says. Some one in the rear of the car shouted, "It's all right." Then the car sank and turned over, and a fight to escape ensued. Josephs, suffering from shock, is in the City Hospital.

"I didn't suspect we were off the rails until the train plunged from the bridge," said John E. Kelly of Second and Kerlin Streets, Chester. "There wasn't the slightest commotion in the first car during the time the train was bounding over the bridge structure. That's not so strange, however, considering the way we were bounced about all the way down every time the motorman put on a little extra speed.

"I was in the front seat of the car and when we went overboard I was thrown forward upon the seat back of the closet. My head struck the window, and something told me to drive my first[sic] through the glass. I did so and managed to drag myself out. I rose quickly and somebody grabbed my collar. It was light enough in the car even after we were under water to see passengers hurled in every direction. I think the car turned over.

"The motorman had not the slightest chance of escape. He had shut the door of his box as we were running out of Camden, and pulled down the front door curtains, so we had no idea of what was happening till the car plunged overboard."

Many Women Lost.

Kelly believes there were more women than men in the front car.

J. P. Ackley of this city fears his brother, Charles S. Ackley, a real estate broker in Camden, and his wife are among the victims of the disaster. They had advised him of their intention to come to the shore on the 1 o'clock train, and the fact that telegraphic efforts to find them at their Camden home have been futile seems to confirm his fears.

Ernest Neice, a Philadelphian, who saved his own life at the expense of a broken arms, is half hysterical at the home of his brother here to-night over the death of his six year old son.

They were both in the second car. Neice and the boy became separated when the train plunged overboard and Neice was forced by the jam behind him through an open window. He floated to the surface and was rescued by a brawny-armed fireman.

"Let me go!" he shouted. "Let me get my boy!" They told him it was madness to think of going back, but Neice fought them until his strength gave out.

The New York Times, New York, NY 29 Oct 1906