Silver Creek, NY Train Goes Through Trestle, Dec 1893
THROUGH THE TRESTLE.
AN EXPRESS TRAIN PLUNGES INTO A SWOLLEN STREAM.
SEVEN KILLED AND OTHERS HURT.
THE SUPPORTS OF A BRIDGE ON THE WESTERN NEW YORK AND PENNSYLVANIA ROAD HAD BEEN WEAKENED BY FLOODS - CARS PILED UP IN LITTLE SILVER CREEK.
Dunkirk, N.Y., Dec. 16. - A wreck occurred on the New York and Pennsylvania about six miles north of here, resulting in the loss of seven lives and the injury of others. The west bound passenger train ran over a trestle near Sheridan Crossing, which had been weakened by floods incident to the heavy rains. The trestle bore up when the engine passed over, but succumbed directly after, precipitating the tender, baggage car and smoker into the creek.
The other cars crowded them down and helped to crush them and their occupants. Fortunately the wreck did not catch fire, and the passengers were all rescued alive but one. Two of the crew were killed.
The Dead And Injured.
Following is a corrected list of the dead:
OSCAR PORTER, Brockton; MRS. PORTER, his mother, Brockton; GEORGE RYMAN, Fredonia; MRS. STOCKHELM, Dunkirk; WILLIAM McKANE, baggage master, Buffalo; HARRY HODGE, conductor, and two unidentified passengers.
Following is a partial list of the injured:
LOTTIE FREIDHOLM, Portland, severely; BEN ALVIN, Portland, severely; Engineer McLEAN, Oil City, slightly; Fireman MOSS, arm smashed.
A wrecking train was sent down from Buffalo. Doctors were sent from Silver Creek and Dunkirk to relieve the injured. The dead and the survivors were brought to this city.
High water has prevailed in the country districts for several days, and the streams have been greatly augmented within the last 24 hours by the heavy snowstorm which set in yesterday afternoon, and which was followed by a warm wave and later by a heavy rain. The freaks of the weather quickly reduced all the snow and ice to a floating mass. The little creek where the wreck occurred was swollen to several times its usual proportions.
Weakened By The Flood.
All night and throughout the day the increased stream washed against the abutments of the structure, and by nightfall the trestle had become very insecure. No warning of the weakened condition of the structure had reached the crew of No. 16 when it left Silver Creek. It made its way westward in the dark regardless of the storm. Engineer McKANE gave no thought to the little creek, and Conductor HODGE sat in the baggage car chatting with the baggageman. The train was running about 25 miles an hour when it struck the trestle.
Then came a plunge for the engine. The passengers felt a sudden shock and knew no more until the baggage car, the smoker and day car were piled up. The creek was not wide, and the debris formed an archway across which one can almost make a way to the other side.
The water put out the fire in the engine, and the sudden shock put out all lights in the cars. The smash had left the entire train in such a position as would have fed a flame quickly, but that added horror did not come.
The wreck occurred at an out of the way place, and accommodations are very limited. At the point where the wreck occurred the Lake Shore, Nickel Plate and Western New York and the Pennsylvania tracks run parallel along the shore of Lake Erie.
Wilkes-Barre Times Leader Pennsylvania 1893-12-16