Montandon, PA Train Wreck, Jan 1908


Express, with Its Passengers, Crashes Into Engine.


Robert W. Burroughs, of Patent Office, Has Legs Larcerated in Accident in Which Dozen Others Are Injured---Says He Started Journey with Premonition of Disaster---Locomotives Disabled.

Sunbury, Pa., Jan. 1.---The Pennsylvania Railroad express, which left Buffalo at 9 o'clock last night and which was due in Philadelphia at 7:32 a. m. to-day, was wrecked at Montandon, ten miles west of here, early to-day, and more than a dozen passenger were injured. Among those hurt are:

D. F. Raiman, New York, back sprained.
Mrs. A. M. Pollock, Camden, N. J., hand and hip bruised.
Mrs. W. T. Coleman, Philadelphia, leg bruised.
Mrs. F. C. Nelson, Philadelphia, leg bruised.
George Benedict, Lebanon, Pa., leg bruised.
W. W. Mums, fireman, Lykens, Pa., hand and shoulder bruised and arm burned.
I. Gamble, engineer, Harrisburg, hand and face cut and arm burned.
J. A. Lerch, Berwick, Pa., side bruised and arm sprained.
R. W. Burroughs, Washington, D. C., legs hurt.
O. Stephens, East Emporium, Pa., leg bruised.
Mrs. Reno Mawrer, New Berlin, Pa., arm sprained.

The express, which carried many passengers, was approaching Montandon on time, when a light locomotive crossed from a siding to the main track. The engineer of the express was so close that he was unable to bring his heavy train to a stop, and it crashed into the shifting engine. Both locomotives were completely dis[ineligible] and a combination car, a day coach, and a Pullman sleeper so badly damaged that the passengers had to be transferred to other coaches and the wrecked cars cut out.

Washingtonian Tells of Crash.

Robert W. Burroughs, 208 F. street northwest, one of the passengers injured yesterday morning when the south-bound Pennsylvania express collided with a freight engine near Montandon, Pa., said last night he boarded the train at Olean, N. Y., Tuesday with a premonition of impending evil. Mr. Burrough's legs were lacerated and bruised. He will be unable to attend to his duties as legal reviewer in the law division of the Patent Office for some time.

"I felt that something wrong was going to happen after I had boarded the train. I noticed that the coach I was in, the second from the end of the train, did not ride smoothly, and I remarked that we would be lucky if we reached Washington safely, " said Mr. Burroughs.

"My fears, however, were dissipated before we reached Williamsport, Pa. We arrived there a few minutes late, and it was understood that the lost time would be made up in the twelve miles to Montandon.

Thrown to Floor of Coach.

"I was dozing in the day coach when the accident occurred. It was about 3:45 o'clock when I was awakened by the sudden slowing of the train. The engineer had applied the brakes. A second later the crash came. I was thrown to the floor of the coach between two seats. The car was well filled and several of the passengers were well shaken up.

"We ran from the car and found the collision was due to a train dispatcher allowing a freight engine to pull out on the main track, being under the impression it was clear. The engineer of the passenger train did not see the other engine in time to avoid an accident. When he saw the danger he applied the air brakes, but it was too late. He stood to his post, however, and although the engine was smashed to pieces, escaped injury.

"Two of the cars, the Philadelphia sleeper and day coach, were so badly smashed they were left at the wreck. The rest of the train was made up, and with another engine the trip was concluded. I think we were lucky to escape serious injury, as the train was going fifty miles an hour when the collision took place.

The Washington Post, Washington, DC 2 Jan 1908