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 Unexplained

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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Does anyone know if there is a list anywhere of all aboard when this happened? I am searching for a relative.


Just wanted to comment that I am one of the survivors of this train wreck. According to my parents, I was traveling with my mother and my grandmother on my dads side. I was two months old and in later years I was told of the train wreck. We were traveling to meet my father who was serving in the Marine Corps in California. Mother and grandma said they remembered the train stopping for a long period of time and then suddenly starting again and traveling on to California. My father heard of the wreck while he was waiting for us at the depot in California and did not know if we were part of the dead or alive until the three of us walked up to him at the depot. I am 72 years old now and with the internet available I searched for the story I was told as I was growing up. Thank you for offering the evidence needed to support the story I was told over the last 60 years.