Bagley, UT Train Wreck, Dec 1944
Medical Corps Heroes
Medical corps detachments assigned to the army hospital cars were declared the heroes of the tragedy.
"Had it not been for their efforts, the toll undoubtedly would have been much higher," said one of the injured survivors, CLARENCE HEBERER, chief steward of the passenger train, of Alameda, Calif.
HEBERER suffered head lacerations and was knocked unconscious momentarily. He awoke to a "nightmare of screams and groans" which crescendoed out of the inkly[sic] blackness.
The temperature was 20 to 25 degrees, but when HEBERER gained the outside after edging his way through twisted steel and broken glass, he saw many passengers wandering about half-clothed.
The first rescue train left Ogden one and one-half hours after the crash. Rescuers arrived at the pile-up half an hour later to find passengers still milling about the scene doing what little they could to ease the suffering of the injured.
Cause of the Southern Pacific train wreck near Ogden yesterday, although officially unexplained, will not be officially known until the completion of an investigation launched upon the arrival of officials from the railroad office in San Francisco.
It is expected the investigation will require several days, after which an interstate commerce commission hearing will be conducted.
It was unofficially stated that the wreck occurred after a freight train had developed a hot box. The freight crew stopped the first train following it with signals, but additional signaling failed to stop the second, which crashed into the rear of the passenger train.
Meanwhile, almost normal operation of train service has been effected, officials said. The eastbound main is open and the westbound main is expected to be open late today.
Crews are about half way through the job of clearing wreckage from the tracks on the westbound main, it was reported.
Among the fatalities in the S. P. train wreck early Sunday was ROBERT ERICKSON SEAMAN, 15, son of WILLIAM ALBERT AND ELIZABETH HUNT ERRICKSON[sic] SEAMAN.
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