Wellington, OH Train Derails, Four Die, Jan 1960
TRAIN DERAILED AT 80; FOUR DIE; 50 INJURED.
155 PASSENGERS ABOARD N.Y.C. SOUTHWEST LIMITED.
Wellinton, Ohio (AP) -- A 10-car New York Central train, being detoured around a waiting freight, hurtled off its rails at 80 miles an hour here Sunday night. At least four persons were killed and more than 50 were hurt.
About 155 passengers -- some headed as far east as New York City -- were aboard the St. Louis-to-Cleveland Southwest Limited when it was wrecked in this village of 3,000 about 37 miles southwest of Cleveland.
There was an unconfirmed report there may have been a brake failure.
The train's three-diesel power unit flattened an unoccupied signal tower at the track intersection. Then the train crumpled.
Leaking diesel fuel caught fire almost immediately and the smoke mingled with the mist and the flame in a frightening scene.
W. B. SALTER of Indianapolis, general manager of the southern district of the New York Central, told newsmen it appears from speedometer tapes that the train was moving about 80 m.p.h. when it left the tracks.
SALTER also said it is his understanding the limited was moving across a crossover near the Nickle Plate intersection when it derailed. He said the passenger train was being routed sround a freight train ahead of it.
Two cars took the brunt of the smashup. One was a combination baggage-passenger coach which spun sideways across the tracks and was smashed broadside by the coach which followed it. Most of the dead and seriously injured were removed from these two cars.
TRAIN WRECK A NIGHTMARE
Survivors Have Most Frightening Memories.
Wellington, Ohio (AP) -- The glare of flames crackling outside their darkened, crumpled train coaches presented for many survivors of Sunday night's wreck their most frightening memories.
"The women in our car," said ANN MORRISON, of Denison, Tex. "were too scared to yell. We were only gripped by the desire to get out of that car before we roasted."
MISS MORRISON, New York bound for a vacation, was in a coach more than half way from the front of the train.
The sight of human beings held fast by twisted wreckage spurred MARGARET BROWN, 33, of Lyndhurst, a Cleveland suburb, to get her two boys and herself out of their coach. They had been ini Marion, Ohio with relatives and were returning home.
"Suddenly there was a teriffic screeching sound," MRS. BROWN related, "then a lot of bumps, and I yelled, 'Oh my God, it's happening.'"
The BROWNS were in the first coach. The boys were hurled to the floor.
"Things were flying through the air," MRS. BROWN said. Then the lights went out.
By the light of flames outside, MRS. BROWN saw other passengers pinned in strange, twisted positions.
"I told my boys to crawl out and not look back," she said.
The bravery of CHARLES H. TAYLOR of Bellefontaine, Ohio, an engineer for the New York Central was related by other passengers. He and his wife were on the first leg of a pleasure trip.
TAYLOR organized the women and children in the combination baggage-passanger car and led them to safety despite flames in the car ahead.
"People were screaming all around," TAYLOR'S wife said. "It was something you never forget."
Adirondack Daily Enterprise New York 1960-01-11
Coroner PAUL KOPSCH of Lorain County said bodies of these persons had been recovered:
PHIL J. LEHMAN, 46, of Cleveland, a fireman on the wrecked train.
GEORGE P. RUMMEL, 55, of North Butler, Ind., an off-duty conductor.
KENNETH HALE, 42, of Route 1, Rosedale, Ind., an off-duty conductor.
AUDRY G. COX. 64, of St. Paris, Ohio, was dead on arrival at Allen Memorial Hospital in Oberlin.
Listing taken from Portsmouth Times Ohio 1960-01-11