Atlantic City, NJ Electric Train Wreck, Oct 1906 - No Indictment


Grand Jury Exonerated the Aged Operator and Mildly Censured West Jersey Railroad Company.

Special to The Inquirer.

MAY'S LANDING, N. J., Jan. 17.---The grand jury completed its labors late this afternoon and returned twenty-three additional bills, making a total of fifty. There were no indictments in the meadow thoroughfare wreck, but the grand inquest exonerated from all blame Daniel Stewart, the aged bridge tender, who was held by the Coroner's jury, and censured the railroad company for its faulty construction of the bridge. The presentment among other things says:

The grand jury was instructed by the court to investigate the drawbridge accident near Atlantic City, which occurred on Sunday, October 28 last. The jury, after most careful and thorough investigation, both by the examination of many witnesses and by personal inspection of the bridge, and after several days of deliberation, find no evidence that would warrant us to hold or even censure Daniel Stewart, the bridge tender, who is alleged to have had charge of the bridge.

"We do further find that the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad Company had been negligent by not seeing that the construction of the said bridge was safe for the traveling public. This jury examined the bridge and at the time of inspection found the same defective. We found that there were no mechanical signals at either end of the bridge to show that the rails were connected in their proper place. In other words, one rail or all the rails might be raised out of their proper positions and the white signal could be given to approaching trains in either direction that all was right, and further we believe that the railroad company should be instructed to have defective rails repaired at the earliest possible date, and we further recommend that the speed limit should not exceed eight miles per hour over the drawbridge."

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 18 Jan 1907