Greenville, NC Train Goes Through Trestle, June 1926

TWO PERSONS KILLED WHEN TRAIN GOES THRU TRESTLE.

NORFOLD AND SOUTHERN EXPRESS WRECKED NEAR GREENVILLE -- ENGINEER AND FIREMAN DIE IN DEVOTION TO DUTY.

Greenville, June 11. -- Two persons were instantly killed warly this morning when the east bound Norfolk Southern night express crashed through a burning trestle over Chicod creek, about 10 miles east of this city.
The dead are J. R. SLADE, engineer, 42, Norfolk, and BILL HARRINGTON, fireman, 30, Berkley, Va. Passengers and other members of the train crew escaped serious injuries, only two receiving minor hurts.
The entire train, with exception one Pullman coach, was precipitated through the trestle to the marsky lowland 30 feet below. Wrecking crews have continued work since early today in an effort to clear away the twisted and burned mass of wreckage and rebuilt the 150-foot span which collapsed under the burden of the engine and five coaches. Until this is accompliched all trains will be diverted to the Atlantic Coast Line tracks from this city to Parmele, thence to Washington.
The trestle is located on the center of a complete "S" curve, and the train was rounding the curve just 200 feet distant when the engineer saw smoke rising from beneath the trestle. Members of the train crew state that MR. SLADE applied the emergency brakes and used every other effort to bring the train to a standstill. The entire train had almost cleared the burning span when the collapse occurred. With the exception of the Pullman which remained on the tracks every coach was completely demolished as well as burned into ashes.
A thrilling story of heroism and devotion to duty centers around the tragic death of the engineer and fireman. Both remained at their post when they knew that certain death lay beneath the screen of smoke obscuring the burning trestle. They were both thrown clear of the cab as the engine hurled through space to the lowland beneath. The bodies were caught under the tender and it required two hours to extricate the dead men. They were frightfully mangled, the body of Engineer SLADE being almost severed at the waist, besides having other injuries of fatal nature.

Robesonian Lumberton North Carolina 1926-06-14