El Reno, OK train wreck, Jan 1912




Accident Occurs Near El Reno While Cars Are Running Almost Full Speed.


EL RENO, Ok., Jan. 3. - Blocking of a switch by ice caused a head-on collision on the Rock Island, between El Reno and Reno Junction, at 7 o'clock this morning between passenger trains, the Firefly, train No. 31, southbound, and train No. 41, westbound, resulting in the death of James Potter of Chickasha, engineer on the southbound train, and injury to forty passengers. Many of the passengers sustained only slight injuries. The trains were almost at full speed and came together in a dense fog, when the automatic switch near the junction would not work, owing to ice, which made both trains going in opposite directions on the same track. Both engines were badly damaged, the baggage cars on each train were telescoped by the mail cars, and those occupying them miraculously escaped death. The injured were taken to hospitals here.

The Dead and Injured.

Engineer Potter was known as "Lucky Jim" and had been in more wrecks than any other man in the Rock Island's employ. The dead:

J. J. POTTER, of Chickasha, engineer of train No. 31.

The injured:

George Hilliwell, Custer, nose cut.
Will Leighton, Calumet, knee hurt.
H. W. Site, Keel, badly injured on head and breast.
Mrs. H. W. Site, Keel, mouth injured.
F. D. Clappe, Wichita, Kan., chin injured.
C. E. Blackhart, Geary, back wrenched.
Jack Gunter, Foss, head hurt.
Mrs. I. C. Clinkenbeard, Whitewater, Mo., arm bruised.
E. A. Bailey, Guymon, chin cut.
T. J. Mabray, Clovis, N. M., leg bruised.
Rev. T. C. Fletcher, Little Rock, Ark., head injured.

The foregoing passengers on train No. 41, and in addition the following members of the train crew were injured:

Joe Bergold, engineer, badly bruised; W. G. Waggoner, baggageman; Fireman Shock and Henry Johnson, porter, all of Shawnee.

Other Train's Injured.

The following were injured on train No. 31:

T. P. Brackett, Oklahoma City, nose bruised.
C. M. Calmes, Clinton, back and neck hurt.
Ed Parsley, Chillicothe, Mo., head injured.
J. T. Taylor, Topeka, Kan., finger broken.
R. C. Crosswhite, San Antonio, Tex., head and arm bruised.
George Ringham, El Reno, head bruised.
Joe Darney, Cullicane, Kan., body badly bruised.
C. A. Plummer, Wichita, Kan., knee injured.
D. C. Spelco, Randlett, elbow bruised.
Ben Cossairt, Shawnee, lip cut.
Frank Koch, Breckenridge, arm and leg bruised.
Ida Hannan, Chickasha, knee and tongue cut.
V. D. Wassel, Enid, head cut.
C. E. Near, Eldon, Mo., knee and lip cut.
Fred Benonine, Kingfisher, sprained ankle.
Mrs. Flo Priton, Lee's Summit, Mo., badly bruised.
M. H. Pearson, Kansas City, back hurt.
Thomas H. Lawrence, Auxvasse, Mo., head cut.
B. V. McCoskey, Kansas City, back, head and shoulders injured.
J. Warrenberg, Chickasha, fireman, badly injured.
B. W. Goodman, Fort Worth, conductor, right hand hurt.
P. J. O'Malley, Fort Worth, brakeman, slightly injured.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 4 Jan 1912