Valley Falls, WV Express Train Hits Open Switch, Nov 1888

A BRAKEMAN'S CARELESSNESS.

B. & O. LIMITED EXPRESS RUNS INTO AN OPEN SWITCH -- SEVEN MEN KILLED.

Wheeling, W. Va., Nov. 16. -- Limited express train No. 5, coming west on the Baltimore & Ohio road at 8:30 o'clock, ran into an open switch at Valley Falls, nine miles east of Wheeling, and collided with the engine of an east-bound freight which lay on the siding. Both engines left the track, the mail and baggage cars of the passenger train telescoped, but the other cars were protected by vestibule connections, and suffered no damage.
EDWARD DWYER, engineer, and JOHN SHAY, fireman, of the passenger train, both residents of Wheeling, were instantly killed. Postal Clerk HALL, of Woodfield, O.; WILLIAM CLINTEN, engineer of the freight train, and a brakeman named CONLEY were also killed. Two unknown men, tramps, were found dead in the wreck. The fireman of the freight train, named BAKER, had left his engine and gone into a field. A flying beam hurt his legs badly, but he is not seriously injured. Clerk SCOTT, of the postal car, escaped through the window with no worse injury than bad cuts about the face and head.
The passenger train was late, and was coming down grade at a speed of thirty-five miles an hour when the accident occurred. The freight received orders to side track, and CONLEY, the brakeman, opened the switch, but forgot to close it after the freight train ran on the siding. He locked the switch open and climbed on the freight engine, where he lost his life. The nearest telegraph station was a Grafton, eight miles east, and thr surviving trainmen had to walk there. The train was not able to proceed until after 2 a.m. The bodies of the killed were brought here.

Hamilton Daily Democrat Ohio 1888-11-16