Noland, NC Train Wreck, Jan 1922


Southern, No. 20, Crashes Into Mountain of Dirt West of Noland

Asheville, N.C, Jan. 28–Conductor James Rickard and 28 passengers were slightly injured when Southern railway passenger train No. 20 crashed into a mountain of dirt and rock that slid onto the Murphy division track, a short distance east of Noland, today.

Engineer F.W. Poindexter, driving the engine around a sharp curve, saw the slide coming and throwing on the emergency brake, he and Fireman Frank Pennington jumped to safety just before the pilot of the engine jammed into hundreds of tons of dirt that came crashing down the mountain side, covering the railroad track and the public highway for a considerable distance.

The injured, all citizens of Jackson and Swain counties, are:

Harrison Davis, forehead lacertated
W.N. Nesbit, left hip dislcoated
Conductor James Rickard, right arm and leg seriously hurt
Miss Mary West, face and teeth
G.B. Bradshaw, face and teeth
Charles Lockey, right eye injured

The remaining 11 sustained no serious injuries necessitating hospital attention.

A slide occurred at this same spot about a week ago and Engineer Poindexter stated that he had been watching for further trouble. This morning as his locomotive neared the place, he espied a tree moving down the mountain which warned him of the impending danger and probably served as a life saving signal to all on board the train.

The slides on the Murphy division of the Southern where the tracks parallel mountain streams and hug almost perpendicular mountain sides along the highest railroad point east of the Rockies, have been frequent during the past ten days, it is believed, as a result of heavy rainfall and swollen streams.

The Abbeville Press & Banner
Abbeville, SC
30 January 1922, page 3