Kingville, SC Train Crashes Off Bridge, Sep 1869
Cause of the Accident.
From the testimony of three witnesses, which is appended, it appears that a large tree, three feet in diameter, had fallen across and broken a portion of the trestle. The night being dark, the engineer did not observe the gap, and before he was aware was himself in the midst of the ruins of his own engine. But for the presence of mind of the conductor in promptly ordering the brakes to be put on, the whole train would have gone into the swamp, and, doubtless, have caused much loss of life among the passengers.
The conduct of the conductor, Mr. Evans, the express messenger, Mr. Symmes, and the train hands, Messrs, Maguire and Sayle, was, to say the least, most gallant, and won the admiration and praise of the passengers. All that could be done for the accommodation of the passengers and to prevent the destruction of property was done by them.
A special train arrived from the scene of the accident at eleven o'clock yesterday morning, bringing the bodies of the two victims. Coroner Whitting had been notified that they would be brought to the city and he summoned the following names parties as jurors to hold an inquest: F. W. Bolger, W. H. Forbes, H. C. Mosoley, J. Churchill, P. Patine, J. W. Zehe, E. S. Wingate, P. J. Huison, L. L. Bryant, J. B. Miller, Wm. Theeman and S. W. Jackson.
The train stopped at the upper depot and the coffins were placed upon the platform, the lids removed and the jury allowed to look upon the bodies. The lids were then replaced and the jury repaired to a waiting room of the depot, where they received testimony.
The verdict was rendered about one o'clock and in a very few moments after the examination of the last witness. It is as follows: "We, the jury, find that the deceased came to their deaths by the accidental running off of the engine and train in Congaree Swamp, caused by the accidental falling of a tree across the track on the morning of the 18th of September."
The Charleston Daily News South Carolina 1869-09-20