Tacoma, WA Train Derailment, May 1913
Three box refrigerator cars following the engine and filled with berries and vegetables from the south, were laid up on the bank but hardly injured. Following them came the steel baggage coach. Its weight apparently caused it to leap into the air and then come down with a crash and a dead stop. The rear end crashed into the steel smoking car behind and crushed into a tangled mass of steel the first 12 feet.
Here is where death laid a sudden hand on four. All were sitting in the front seats. They near had a chance. Passengers say they heard one agonizing cry and that was all.
Brakeman BOB McMURRAY of Seattle still held his brakeman's cap in his hand when the wrecking train jerked the baggage car out and exposed the dead. He had eaten his dinner and was sitting hat off, apparently.
"I had been sitting with him and just got up to go to the rear of the car for a drink," said Clarence Duthie of Sand Point, Idaho, after the wreck.
He escaped annihilation by about half a minute.
The others killed were passengers. They were crushed to death instantly and pinned under tons of steel. The front end of the smoker stood up in the air slightly and the baggage car was telescoped into it. Every window in the smoker was out, the trucks off and the track under it torn up into a ploughed field.
There were two coaches following that had their ends crushed and were off their trucks. No one was seriously hurt in either of the, however, excepting MRS. MAGGIE JORDAN of Hillhurst, who is soon to become a mother. She was coming to Tacoma to place flowers on the grave of her dead husband, who recently passed away.
The two rear coaches were hardly jarred. Passengers did not even know there was a wreck until they came out and saw.
Passing automobiles and a relief train from the city carried the passengers and injured to the city.
The work of rescue was done quickly as all the hurt were in the smoking car.
A crew of men began at once placing a new track and by 9 o'clock trains were going around the wreck.
Tacoma Times Washington 1913-05-13