Volland, KS Trains Collide Head-On, Jan 1907

TRAINS MEET TODAY HEAD-ON.

THIRTY PERSONS LOSE THEIR LIVES IN A COLLISION.

CARS CATCH FIRE AND MANY PERISH IN THE FLAMES.

PEOPLE INJURED AND HORSES DESTROYED IN A NEW YORK FIRE.

Topeka, Kan., Jan. 2 -- Many passengers, mostly Mexicans, were killed and more were seriously injured in a head-on collilsion early today, five miles west of Alta-Vista, between two Chicago-El Paso passenger trains on the Rock Island railway. The cars went into the ditch and several of them caught fire. Many bodies of the victims were consumed by the flames. The injured were brought to Topeka on a relief train. It is reported the collision was caused by carelessness of the agent at Voland. Most of the killed are believed to be Mexican laborers who were in a smelting car on No. 29. Officials of the Rock Island in this city estimate the number of dead at thirty and the injured at forty. Ten bodies were taken from the ruins of the smoking car. Nine of these were Mexicans and one a white man.
A special train bearing twenty-eight injured, many of them Mexicans, reached Topeka about 10 o'clock. Twelve bodies were left at Alma. The injured presented a pitiable sight. Nearly all of them were covered with blood from various injuries and many were suffering intense pain. Operator JOHN LYNES has been captured and is being brought to jail at Topeka.
Dead:
WILLIAM THOMAS MILLER, Iowa.
Nearly all of the remaining dead were Unidentified Mexican laborers. Any identification seems unlikely at this point.
Injured:
MRS. EMID MYERS, Davenport, Ia., head and body bruised.
ANNA VINTAND, Stockton, Ia., head and internal injuries.
EMID MYERS, Davenport, Ia., head and body bruises.
G. H. DAUCHEY, assistant engineer, Rock Island road, Topeka.
W. J. WEST, Ottumwa, Ia., ankle injured.
GUS ROADANTIER, Davenport, Ia., right arm broken.
WILLIAM GAINES, conductor, broken collar bone.
W. P. BEEL, Davenport, Ia., fingers broken.
JAMES BEATTY, Takins, Ia., head cut.
W. H. CAMERON, Kansas City, left eye injured.
ALBERT LINK, porter, Topeka, left leg cut off below knee.
R. SUNKERMAN, El Paso, Tex., badly shaken up.
R. A. HICKS, Kansas City, abrasion of right knee and internal injury.
MRS. Q. D. RIPPS, McPherson, Kan., hips and arms injured.
WILLIAM DOUGLASS, Nevada, Mo., right and left collar bones broken.
C. HARRISON, baggageman, Kansas City, hurt internally and head cut.
W. A. WILLETT, Peabody, Kan., wrist burned and rib broken.

Waterloo Daily Courier Iowa 1907-01-02

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WRECK VICTIMS.

FORTY-NINE ACCOUNTED FOR AT TOPEKA. INQUEST TODAY.

Topeka, Kan., Jan. 3 -- It is still impossible to say exactly how many persons perished in the Rock Island train wreck at Alma yesterday. The conductor says there were seventy-six Mexicans on the train and it is feared that forty-four of these were killed, together with four passengers, all men, and the negro porter, making the total of dead forty-nine. The coroner's inquest will be held at Alma today. As far as known none of the women on the train was even seriously injured.
Rock Island railroad officials today insisted that but thirty persons were killed and thirty others seriously injured. They declare the statement attributed to the conductor that he had tickets for seventy-six Mexicans is a mistake. There are twelve of the seriously injured in hospitals here.

Waterloo Daily Courier Iowa 1907-01-03

Comments

Volland KS trains collide - victims

My Great-grandfather, John Henry "Hank" Sayre, New London, Missouri, traveling to Amarillo, Texas, was also killed in this head-on collision. He had apparently left his seat with his traveling companion to go forward to the smoking car which was completely destroyed by fire. I expect he was one of the victims whose body was burned beyond recognition. He was later identified by his traveling companion.