Garret, PA Train Wreck, May 1908


Twenty Persons Injured, Three Seriously, on B. and O.

Special to The Inquirer.

CONNELLSVILLE, Pa., May 29.—Plunging over an embankment at Garret, Pa., fifty-three miles east of Connellsville, soon after noon today, the observation car of the limited express on the B. and O. Railroad, bound from Chicago to New York, scattered passengers pell-mell, and caused injuries to twenty persons. Three may not recover.

Some of the Injured.

Among the injured are:

Frank Sweeney, 78 Hammond street, Port Jervis, N.Y.
S. M. Johnson, Connellsville, Pa.
L. I. Sanford, La Grange, Ill.
Mrs. A. V. Owen, 1800 West Fayette street, Baltimore
J. W. Stevens, Connellsville, Pa., fatal

Sweeney was seriously hurt about the head, but his injuries are not necessarily fatal. He was taken to a hospital at Cumberland, but the other injured remained on the train and proceeded to Baltimore.
Calls for physicians were sent to Connellsville, Cumberland, Rockwood and surrounding towns.

The train was running on schedule time when the observation car, which was attached to the rear of a train of eight cars, left the rails at a sharp curve, plunged along the tracks and heaved its whole length over a steep embankment.

With a sound like the crack of a whip the coupling snapped, and the observation car was hurled down a declivity. A number who were seated on the platform under a wide spreading awning were pitched far into the air, alighting clear of the wrecked car, but among stones and cinders, receiving painful injuries.

Others were thrown in a heap to the floor and showered with broken glass.

The engineer felt the jolt as the observation car broke away from the train, and realizing that something had happened he applied the emergency brakes, bringing the train to a sudden stop.

The resulting jolt threw the passengers in the other cars from their seats and there was a wild rush for the doors. Women screamed and fainted and a panic of serious proportions was only averted by the conductor and brakeman pushing through the cars and reassuring the excited passengers.

As soon as the travelers learned what had happened they left the cars and assisted in rescuing the injured passengers from the overturned observation car.

Meantime word of the accident was sent to Connellsville, and a relief train asked for. The physicians who were summoned from nearby towns soon arrived and gave temporary relief to the sufferers.
When the special train arrived the victims had been made as comfortable as possible under the circumstances.

Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 30 May 1908