Eagleford, TX Train Wreck, Oct 1930

1 Dead, 3 Hurt In T. & P. Wreck

Fast Train Jumps Tracks at Eagleford; Fireman Killed

(By Associated Press)
Dallas, Oct. 12.-One man was killed and three persons injured today when Texas and Pacific No. 10 fast train, eastbound, was wrecked at Eagleford, Dallas County, six miles east of Dallas. R. A. Short, 34, of Big Spring, fireman, was killed instantly.

He leaped just before the engine crashed to the ground and crushed him. The engine piled up on its left side after leaping the track and dragging four of its seven cars from the rails. The cause of the derailment was unknown. None of the passenger coaches left the rails and so far as was learned, none of the passengers was injured.

T.B. Petty, 52, of Fort Worth, engineer, suffered numerous cuts and bruises on his body, legs and arms. He was brought here to a hospital.

Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Crockett of Irving suffered bruised and slight cuts when their automobile was struck by a portion of the railroad engine as it swung sideways from its tracks. They were treated here at a hospital and went to their home.

Witnesses said the accident occurred just as the train was rounding a curve and headed down grade along the several hundred yards of straight track leading into Eagleford. None of the crew or witnesses was able to offer an explanation of what caused the accident. The possibility was considered that there might have been a slight tail spread, since workmen had been digging at the side of the roadbed and throwing additional dirt preparatory to laying heavier rails.

One bystander said the engine ran for a distance with the wheels bumping along on the rails wit Hough fitting in the grooves, as they should. Then the engine left the rails and plowed along the ties cutting them for several hundred feet. Just before the engine got to the freight depot the front of the locomotive turned to the right and crumpled over. The fireman jumped just before it struck the ground but witnesses said there was so much of dust and splinters flying about after the crash that they couldn’t see what happened thereafter.

Fireman Short was found lying a few feet from the front baggage car, near the freight depot.

Engineer Petty, in a hospital here tonight, said he had no idea what might have caused the wreck.

“It all happened in the twinkling of an eye,” he said. “The train was running between 35 and 38 miles an hour when we rounded the curve in the track and started into Eagleford.

“There was a sudden derailment, accompanied by the scream of grinding wheels. Then a terrific crash came.”

“I was thrown between the cab ad boiler and over the boiler. I must have been stunned for I don’t remember very clearly what happened after that. I do remember crawling on hands and knees when I heard the roar of the steam as it escaped over on the side where the fireman sat. I didn’t see him after the engine was wrecked.”

Physicians believed Petty would recover. Until the extent of his injuries was learned, Petty was not told of his fellow worker’s death.

Short is survived by his widow, a son, Ben Eleroy Short, both of Big Spring; his father, E.A. Short, Weatherford; two brothers, Ben and Wilmer Short, both of California; and a sister, Mrs. M.R. McKenzie, Dallas.

Petty, at Fort Worth, had relieved C. G. Morris, regular engineer of the train, who lives here. Morris then boarded a chair car of the train and was en-route to Dallas as a mere passenger when the wreck occurred. He was one of the first to reach the body of Fireman Short. He has been an engineer with the line for 40 years and Petty has been connected with the T. & P. 30 years. He is regularly employed on a freight line and was substituting on the passenger train today.

“In my 30 years with the T. & P., this is the first accident I have been in,” Petty said, “and it is the first time I have ever been in a hospital also.”

San Antonio Express, San Antonio, TX 13 Oct 1930