Pawtucket, RI Train Wreck, Aug 1853



Providence, R. I., Aug. 12.
A frightful railroad collision took place on the Providence and Worcester Railroad about eight o'clock this morning, near Pawtuxet [sic].

It occurred between the regular up train from this city and an excursion train from Wieting's. The excursion train was out of time, and met the up train at Valley Falls.

The collision was terrific. The train coming down suffered most, the cars being driven together, two of them being completely interlocked. The engines were totally demolished.

The number of persons killed is twelve, as far as ascertained, and probably three times that number are seriously injured, besides a very large number bruised and slightly wounded. The up train received but little damage, and no person was injured to speak of.

The collission[sic] occurred at a sharp curve, beyond Central Falls; the down train was behind time, and proceeding at the rate of forty miles an hour to reach the switch, from which there is a double track to Providence.

In one minute the train would have reached the switch; the up train waited the usual time at Pawtuxet, and then, having the right to the road, proceeded at a slow rate around the curve.

The cause of the accident is said to have been owing to the variation of two minutes in the watches of the engineers.

REV. MR. PENNY, Episcopal clergyman officiating at Grace Church, Providence; MR. WOOD, Northbride; JOHN H. PERKINS, fireman, of Uxbridge. He leaves a wife and two children. MRS. PLANT, wife of GEO. PLANT, af[sic] Whitesville; PETER PLANT, son of GEO. PLANT; MRS. MALLORY, wife of S. S. MALLORY, of Central Falls; A. CHARLESWORTH, of Whitesville; THOMAS BROWN, of do; WILLLIAM FULLERTON, of do; MRS. CAROLINE RICHMOND, wife of JOHN RICHMOND; PETER ROGERS, of Milford; MR. ROGERS, brother of the above.

FRANCIS REED, of Whitesville; GEO. PLANT, of do; HESEA BALLOU, of Worcester; EDWARD GREEN, engineer of the up train, badly - several ribs broken; SAMUEL WINSLOW, of Whitesville, badly; DANIEL GANTY, of do, slightly; MARTIN C. JEFFERSON, brakeman, leg and arm broken; MOSES BALLOU, badly; MRS. GLADDING, wife of CHARLES GLADDING, of Pawtuxet, slightly; JOHN MARSHALL, of North Uxbridge, leg broken; GEORGE BOLTON, of Whitesville, do; JOHN CRASE, of do, badly bruised; SCHUYLER WHITE, of do; MR. SOUTHWICK, Superintendent of the road, and others, names not ascertained yet.

The first car of the excursion train was smashed to pieces, the tender having been driven through it. Most, if not all, of the passengers in this car were either badly wounded or killed. A large number who escaped serious injury were cut by the splinters.

The second car was not much injured, but was driven through into the third car about half its length; the five rear cars were only partially damaged. In the first passenger car there were only twelve or fifteen passengers, three or four of whom were killed outright, while nearly all of the remainder were more or less injured.

In the third car the effects of the collission[sic] were frightful - some of the passengers were killed instantly, and others received serious, if not fatal injuries. The car leaped over the second, and killed three persons who were attempting to escape by the windows.

The train from Providence consisted of only two cars - being one first and one second class car - nearly all the seats in which were broken up. None of the passengers however, were dangerously injured, although about half of them were badly cut and bruised. There were, in all, about fifty passengers in this train.

The dead were horribly mangled. Nine of them were deposited side by side at Valley Falls, and presented a melancholy spectacle.

The spectacle was a most horrid one. The broken cars, the crushed engine, the dead and dying, are said to have furnished a scene never before witnessed in these regions.

MRS. CAROLINE R. E. DIKE, who was taken to the house of MR. George Jenks, died in great agony.

One poor boy had his arm torn out from the socket. The dead and dying were principally conveyed to the Valley Falls, and the wounded to Providence.

At last accounts two brothers, named BATON, were dying. A MRS. MALLORY and a man names ROGERS, both of Whitesville, were dead.

The third car on the downward train was driven over and into the one preceeding it some twenty feet, and crushing everything human, and the killed and wounded had to be dragged from beneath it.

A MR. GOULDTHWAIT was taken to the dwelling over the railroad station at Central Falls, where he was cared for, but it is doubtful if he can long survive.

The Quincy Daily Whig Illinois 1853-08-19