Pottstown, PA Train - Automobile Wreck, Oct 1907


Reading Train Smashes Machine to Pieces in Pottstown.

Five Occupants Tossed High in the Air and Hurled Fifty Feet From Tracks.

Pottstown, Pa. -- Four persons from Kimberton, a village near Phoenixville, were killed and another was fatally hurt when the Reading express from Philadelphia to Pottsville, passing through this city at great speed, ground an automobile to splinters at the Keim street crossing, not far from the Pottstown station.

The dead are: MRS. A. WAYNE EMERY and her baby girl, VELVA; JACOB REESE, her brother, and MRS. REESE. A. WAYNE EMERY, owner of the machine, forty-five, has a broken thigh and fatal internal injuries.

The party visited MR. EMERY'S sister, MRS. JOSEPH MARCH, of this place. They left for Kimberton shortly before 5 o'clock p. m. and were speeding at a lively rate down Keim street to cross the Reading tracks when the accident occurred.

Train No. 7 reached the crossing simultaneously with the party and struck the machine fairly on the side. The two men were hurled high into the air and dropped at the bottom of one embankment along the tracks at the place, fifty feet away. The little girl, torn from her mother's arms, landed near them. The women were carried on the cowcatcher until the train was stopped, three or four blocks away.
Workmen from adjoining plants, many of whom had seen the collision, hurried out, but all the victims were past aid except MR. EMERY and the little girl. They were taken to the Pottstown Hospital. MR. EMERY remained conscious most of the time, but could not talk coherently. The bodies were placed on the train and brought into town. The automobile was destroyed.

The Keim street crossing, a grade affair, has proved a deathtrap many times. It is approached by a slight rise, preceded by a long, heavy down grade, and the only protection is a gong rung mechanically by a passing train. The supposition is that MR. EMERY had been running too fast, the crossing being a constant temptation to autoists to speed down grade.

The Cranbury Press New Jersey 1907-10-18


Surviving relatives

I am a new fictional writer and I was wondering if there are any living relatives related to the victims from this train wreck. I live in the Pottstown area and the story that I'm drafting does involve an incident with a train. I wanted to use an actual event as a backdrop for my story. I don't want to offend any living relatives who may have had family involved in this disaster. I would appreciate any feedback from some one who could provide any information. If permission is required to use this story, I hope someone could lead me in the right direction. My story does take place in the present, but there are pieces of this story that will help build my story line.