Red Butte, UT Train Wreck, Feb 1889

A fearful wreck.

On the S.L. & F. D. R. R., Instantly Kills Two Men.

A terrible accident occurred on the Red Butte branch of the Salt Lake & Fort Douglas Railway, Tuesday afternoon at 3:25. A rock train was leaving the stone quarries of Red Butte Canyon, containing eight loaded flats. On the train, beside the conductor, engineer, fireman and another man named McCARTY from Spanish Fork, were two young men from Salt Lake city named JOSEPH A. YOUNG and GEORGE WALKER, who had gone up on the train for the purpose of visiting the quarries. In coming down on the steep grade, it being about 318 feet to the mile, at the curve where the accident occurred, the brakes were applied for the purpose of hitching on the caboose. The train continued at the same speed notwithstanding the engineer's efforts to slow up. The truth at once dawned upon the crew – the train was beyond their control. The wheels slipped along the frozen rails as if on ice. The crew believed however that the train would keep up until a level piece of track was reached. The conductor, knowing that it could not safely pass the sharp curve intervening , shouted several times to the crew to jump, himself setting the example, landing in the snow. The breakman followed, struck a brakebeam and fell in the snow, bruised. As he jumped, GEORGE WALKER leaped from the car he occupied just as it left the track. As he landed in the snow a huge rock from the ditched car alighted on his head killing him instantly. JOSEPH YOUNG and the engineer went down in the wreck.

The scene as described by those who witnessed it was awful. The engine left the curve while the tender took another direction. Upon this were heaped the flat cars and the rocks in fearful confusion, the cars shivering to fragments.

The engineer, MR. McDONALD, was pulled out from under the engine, with a cut on his head and other injuries on the body. McCARTY was picked up from among the rocks bruised and bleeding with several ribs broken. MR. YOUNG was discovered near the engine in a mangled condition. From his lower jaw, which was torn away, to hisknees, he was literally crushed into a shapeless mass, while one leg was broken. He had also been killed instantly. A surgeon, with assistants, was summoned from Fort Douglas, who came immediately and rendered all assistance possible.

Daily Enquirer Utah 1889-02-01