Sloans Valley Station, KY Train Wreck, Oct 1890


Seven People Crushed to Death in a Kentucky Tunnel.

A disastrous collision occurred early in a recent morning on the Cincinnati Southern Railway, is a tunnel a quarter of a mile north of Sloans Valley Station, Kentucky. Seven men were killed and a number of others were more or less seriously hurt.
Following is a list of the killed:

C. L. DEEGEN, mail agent, missing; supposed to be burned to death; ______ GOULD, fireman, Ludlow, Ky.; JOHN F. MONTGOMERY, brakeman, Albany, N. Y.; _______ PAYNE, a commercial traveler for Pierson & Clark of Louisville; both legs crushed and died; JOHN PRINLOTT, engineer, Detroit, Mich; ED. RUFFNER, express messenger, Bond Hill, near Cincinnati; _______ WALSH, fireman, Somerset, Ky.

The trains involved were freight No. 22, north bound, and passenger No. 5 south bound, which leaves Cincinnati at eight P. M. Another passenger train leaves Cincinnati an hour earlier. Both these were held at Somerset, Ky., two hours or more on account of a freight wreck, which occurred south of that place. When the track was clear the foremost Cincinnati train started out from Somerset first and met an passed safely the north bound train. Then at a safe distance behind it the fated No. 5 started out.

Freight train No. 22 was side-tracked at Sloans Valley. When the first Cincinnati train passed south the crew of the freight appear to have overlooked the fact that No. 5 was to follow, and they pulled out and started northward.

Less than a quarter of a mile away they entered a tunnel which is one-sixth of a mile long. In the most hopeless place that trainmen ever meet death the engines of the two trains dashed into each other, and the cars, following, jammed into each other in a mass. Then came the added horror of conflagration.

The burning of the trains in the tunnel rendered it impossible to clear the track as readily as it could be done on open ground, the smoke and heat preventing men from entering.

The initial cause of the collision was a wreck which occurred the same night at Elihu Station, two miles below Somerset, Ky. A mixed train was stopping to leave a car, and had not yet got into motion, when a freight came up in the rear and struck the rear car, causing a serious wreck. Young MR. PAYNE, a commercial traveler for the firm of Pierson & Clarke, Lexington, Ky., had both legs crushed, and has since died.

Fortunately, the passenger train had not entirely gone into the tunnel when the crash came and so the three sleepers which did not leave the tracks served as a means of escape for the passengers. These sleepers were detached and drawn away from the burning train, but the baggage car, mail car and two coaches were burned.

The Cranbury Press New Jersey 1890-10-31

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