Lakewood, NJ Passenger Car Falls Into Lake, July 1881



Long Branch, N. J., July 12. -- Nothing but one of those miracles so common in railroad history saved the accident which occurred at Lakewood, on the New Jersey Southern Railroad, this morning, from being a terrible disaster. The train which was the victim of the casualty left Sandy Hook about 6:30. Behind the locomotive were a baggage car
and a single passenger coach, and its route was by way of Manchester and over the Camden and Atlantic Road to Philadelphia. When it reached Lakewood, or, as it used to be called, Bricksburg, the hour was yet very early, and according to the statement of MARTIN ADDISON, the baggage master, there were not more than seven or eight persons on the passenger car. Between Lakewood and Manchester is a narrow stream of water, an outlet of the lake, that threads its way to Barnegat Bay. An ordinary trestle bridge, 20 feet high, spans it. Just before the bridge is reached by the south-bound trains a switch for the passage of cars to a neighboring factory is encountered. The locomotive and the baggage car passed over the switch in safety, but the passenger car was thrown by it from the track and hauled by the locomotive over the ties till the bridge was reached, a few yards beyond, and there the couplings that held it broke, and it was thrown headlong into the water-course. In its fall it tore away the braces of the bridge and wrecked that structure. The fall reduced the car to kindling wood, and all of the passengers in it were more or less seriously injured. ANDREW ROBBINS, the conductor, who was standing on the platform at the time, was thrown head foremost into the chasm and buried beneath the debris. When taken out he was still alive, but so badly injured that he can scarcely recover. Major PARMENTIER, the Assistant General Freight Agent of the road, was in the car, but escaped with a severe bruising that may leave him stiff and sore for many days, but does not imperil his life. MRS. ROBINSON, of Camden, was riding with her three children in the coach. The children escaped with a few slight scratches, but their mother was so severely hurt that she was unable to resume her journey. A gentleman named WOODRUFF, living in Brodgeton, was badly cut and bruised, but neither his wounds nor those of MRS. ROBINSON are thought to be dangerous. All the injured are at the houses of villagers. Wreckers were sent at once to the scene of the accident, and the bridge was repaired so that trains passed over it again this evening. The casualty is attributed to the accidental breaking of the switch north of the bridge, though there are indications that it had been carelessly left open.

The New York Times New York 1881-07-13