Buffalo, NY Lake Shore Train Wreck, Mar 1890
Detail of the Disaster
A List of the Killed and Wounded in the Lake Shore Wreck
An Investigation Into the Cause of the Crash Falls To Fix the Responsibility.
Tales Told by Passengers Who Escaped From Destruction-Censure for the Railroad Company Freely Expressed.
Buffalo, N.Y., March 7. - [Special.]-The names of the seriously injured in last night's wreck on the Lake Shore road are HENRY BUBRICH of Rochester, injury to knee; GEORGE E. MARTIN, of Boise City, Idaho, chest bruised; Rev. JOHNSON MEYERS, Cincinnati, cut in head and leg; L.H. FISHER, Boston, right ankle dislocated and head cut; F.A. COOMBS, 877 North Twenty-fifth street, Philadelphia, side and head cut; JULIA HEALY, Boston, head injured and collar bone and right arm fractured; J.C. ARMSTRONG, 136 Fulton Avenue, Rochester, head cut and leg injured; Mrs. J.D. BANCUS, Saratoga Springs, fracture of skull (has since died); W.W. BRANCH, Charleston, West Va., left arm broken; CHARLES BARCH, New York City, left ankle sprained; H.T. JAEGER, 161 South Goodman street, Rochester, ankle sprained, L.F. HAUPT, 264 Summer street, Buffalo, badly cut; GEORGE F. ALLEN, general northern passenger agent of the Lake Shore railway, leg fractured; HENRY OIRICH, Rochester, knee sprained; J.D. BANCUS, Saratoga Springs, face and leg cut; JULIUS SIEGEL, New York City, left arm broken; GEORGE S. THOMPSON, ankle sprained in jumping from the train; J.E. MINNICK, Philadelphia, arm crushed.
E.E. STEWART, 180 State street, Rochester, with his wife and eighteen-months-old baby was in a day coach when the crash came. Mr. STEWART was instantly killed, Mrs. STEWART died before she could be taken from the wreck and the baby was uninjured. A complete list of killed cannot be learned but it is positively known that seven are dead, six of whom were instantly killed. J. SWAIN, negro porter, of Cincinnati, had been identified among the dead.
The hero of the accident was Waldron, one of the colored porters of the Wagner cars. He was the first man to jump into the wrecked car. He seized the lamp, which was burning in the debris, and threw it from the window, thus preventing a terrible fire. Conductor Hest, conductor of the Wagner car, also distinguished himself for bravery and presence of mind. Julius Siegel was buried for over an hour in the ruins, pinned down by heavy timber. He heard the groans of Mrs. Stewart, who had been sitting in the seat in front of him, until death put and end to her agony.
The wounded were brought to this city and taken to hospitals. The relief train arrived in Buffalo at 3:30 a.m. with all the killed and injured.
The wrecked train, drawn by a regular engine, but minus the shattered sleeping car, Salina, and the wrecked coach, started from the scene of the crash at 2:40 o'clock this morning and arrived at the central depot at 3:30. The sleeper Auburn was filled with injured passengers and contained one corpse, Mrs. J.D. BAUCUS, of Saratoga. There were four bodies in the baggage car, which came in at 4:10 with the second section of the wrecked train, those of the colored porter, SWAN, Mr. and Mrs. STEWART, and an unknown Italian.
The wreck occurred at a spot where there is quite a downgrade, and as the train was running at a good rate of speed it is remarkable that the collision was not more serious and that more cars were not derailed. The scene around the wreck was a terrible one. The telescoped cars were a mass of twisted iron and broken timbers, and along the track were strewn pieces of iron, splintered doors and window frames. The train was made up of a through St. Louis car to New York, and a car back was a second class excursion from Cincinnati. There were four sleepers, the Salina, Auburn, Buffalo and Malone. There was also a dining car named Cleveland and two passenger coaches and two baggage cars. The Salina was from St. Louis, and it had twelve passengers. The steam coupling broke in pulling out of Dunkirk. The air did not seem to work and it was a sudden bunch that caused the break.
One of the saddest incidents of the accident which was that which befell JOSEPH D. BANCUS, a bright young lawyer of Saratoga Springs. A week ago Mr. BANCUS was married to a handsome young lady of Rome, N. Y. The happy couple had spent their honeymoon in the west and were returning home on the Salina. When the accident occurred, lady was pinioned in the wreck. Her body was horribly bruised and her skull badly crushed. Her husband was injured about the legs and head. Mrs. BANCUS was taken into a sleeper and surgeons set about mending her wound. Portions of the skull had to be taken out, but medical skill proved unavailing. The young wife died at 2:50 o'clock, Mr. BANCUS is completely prostrated. His injuries are not serious.
Another sad and one of the most pathetic incidents of the disaster was the miraculous escape of Baby Stewart of Rochester. Mr. STEWART and his wife were in the telescoped passenger coach with the eighteen-months-old daughter clasped in its mother's arms, when the two sections came together. The mother and father were instantly killed, being discovered on the floor of the car covered with debris and crushed almost beyond recognition. In the arms of the mother Baby Stewart was found, prattling and crying, "Mamma! Mamma!" But the mother was cold in death, and strong men wept while the little thing was lifted from the embrace of the dead mother.
Two more bodies have been identified as those of JOHN W. FLYNN of Canton, O., a traveling agent of Lantz Bros. & Co., of Buffalo, and JOHN T. POWER of Pittsfield, Mass.
Omaha Daily World-Herald, Omaha, NE 8 Mar 1890
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