Keysville, VA Train Collision, Oct 1903

FOUR KILLED IN THE CRASH.

FEARFUL RESULT OF HEAD-ON COLLISION.

AN ENGINEER DEAD; ANOTHER INJURED.

ONE FROM RICHMOND; THE OTHER FROM MANCHESTER.

THE FLAGMAN AND FIREMAN INJURED.

FAILURE OF THE SOUTHBOUND TRAIN TO TAKE THE SIDING AT MEHERRIN CAUSE OF THE WRECK -- ROAD BLOCKED BY RUINS FOR NUMBER OF HOURS.

In the grim dawn of yesterday morning two passenger trains of the Southern Railway, laden with precious human lives and running at a rate of abut thirty miles per hour, crashed head-on into each other with terrific force at the seventy-one mile post, on the Richmond and Danville line, killing four men of the crews of the colliding trains, injuring five others and entalling a property loss exceeding forty thousand dollars. Fortunately none of the passengers was killed, and but one seriously injured.
The Killed:
Engineer E. H. ATWELL, of Manchester, on train 18.
Fireman PINCHION (colored), of No. 18; home, Richmond.
Flagman LOUIS S. DILLON, on train 18; home, Keysville.
Postal Clerk N. E. WILLIAMS, of Davidson County, N.C., on No. 11.
The Injured:
Engineer CHARLES D. FARMER, of train 11, fracture of left leg, ankle dislocated, shoulder badl bruised and scalp wound.
J. DORSEY TYLER, a passenger on train 18; painfully bruised and scalded.
Fireman W. J. JACKSON (colored), of No. 11; injured about the head and body; will probably die.
W. T. BEDFORD, a passenger on No. 18, arm broken and badly bruised about head and body.
MRS. W. J. RUDD, a passenger on No. 18, slightly bruised.
The scene of the disastrous collision was about half way between Meherrin and Keysville, and the time of the dreadful crash about 6:15. The trains in collision were southbound passenger train No. 11, and northbound local train from Keysville to Richmond, known as No. 18.
The scene of the wreck, in a deep cut, having a sharp curve in it, was horrible beyond description, immediatly after the wreck. Persons who saw the great mass of debris in the early hours of the morning will never forget the harrowing experience.
After the awful impact and amid the escaping stam and the groans of the dead and dying, it was discerned that he engine of No. 11 had climbed entirely upon the top of the dismantled and demolished locomotive of No. 18. Heaped upon this confused mass of twisted and disorted metal and broken and shattered wood were the wreckage of the baggage and express and mail cars, with mail partially burne or scattere in every direction. Amid the noise of the hissing steam and above its din could be heard the agonized cries of the dying and injured.
Train No. 11 consisted of locomotive, and tender, mail car, combination baggage and express car, two passenger coaches and a Pullman car. No. 18, which had left Keysville but a few moments before the clash, consisted of locomotive and tender, combination baggage and express car and two passenger coaches. Train No. 11 was manned by Engineer CHARLES D. FARMER, one of the most experienced men on the road; Fireman W. J. JACKSON (colored), of this city; Postal Clerk N. E. WILLIAMS, and Conductor A. T. ATWELL. On the other train were Engineer E. H. ATWELL; Fireman DANIEL PINCHIUN; Conductor W. J. RUDD and Flagman D. S. DILLON.
From what can be learned the wreck was clearly the fault of the running crew of the southbound train, No. 11, which was running on time of No. 18 after leaving Meherrin. No. 11 is due to leave this city for the south via Danville at 11:20 p.m., but it was delayed nearly five hours in getting away Sunday night because of the derailment of two oil tank cars anda box car in front of it at Granite, seven miles from Richmond, Sunday night.

The Times Dispatch Richmond Virginia 1903-10-20