Connellsville, PA Train Wreck, Mar 1907


Passengers in Wreck See Engineer Die in Fire.


Fireman Fatally and Ten Persons Seriously Hurt—Had Plunge Been to Right of Track Instead of Left Coaches Would Have Gone Over 50-foot Embankment Into Creek.

Connellsville, Pa., Feb. 28.—Baltimore and Ohio train No. 14, westbound, running eighteen minutes late and forty miles an hour, was wrecked to-night near Indian Creek, seven miles east of here. The entire train, consisting of a combination smoking and baggage car, two day coaches, and the private car of Robert J. Finney, superintendent of the Pittsburg division of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, left the rails and, after running for 200 feet along the ties, was thrown into a ditch at the foot of the mountains, where the wreckage was completely burned. Had the train gone over the side, it would have plunged down a fifty-foot embankment into the water.

The engineer was killed, the fireman fatally injured, and the baggagemaster, express messenger, conductor, and thirty-seven passengers injured seriously.

Wylie Irwin, Pittsburg, Pa., the engineer, was caught under the wrecked engine and burned to death before the eyes of the passengers, who were powerless to liberate him.

Fireman Fatally Hurt.

The seriously injured:
T. D. Frederick, Pittsburg, fireman; fatally.
P. R. Burton, Pittsburg, baggagemaster
J. M. Smith, Cumberland, Md., express messenger
Thomas McGovern, Pittsburg, conductor.
C. S. Shipley, Charleroi, Pa.
B. O. Hull, Garrettsville, Ohio.
Mrs. J. W. Tissue, Morgantown, W. Va.
J. A. Roman, Baltimore
Miss Jessie Cochran, Dawson, Pa
A. Lape, Dawson, Pa.

There were forty-one passengers on the train, including a party of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad officials, who were on a tour of inspection. When the train was three miles east of Indian Creek the engineer began to speed in an endeavor to make up eighteen minutes lost early in the trip. The train was making about forty miles an hour.