Roseburg, OR Train Wreck, Nov 1898

Trains Crash Together

Three Men Killed Outright and Two Fatally Injured

Roseburg, Or., Nov. 12. The worst wreck ever known on this division occurred about daylight this morning, two miles south of Roseburg. Two freights, the regular No. 225 southbound, and a long extra coming north, smashed together on a curve in a heavy fog. Engineer Sam Hendricks, of No. 225, and Fireman Wilhelm, of the extra, were caught between the wreck and almost instantly killed. Fireman Ed Riddle, Engineer Walter Drennan and Head Brakeman Charles Campbell, were all badly injured, the latter two doubtless fatally. Riddle lost a foot and suffered a broken left arm. Campbell's head was badly hurt, his right leg crushed, his left arm broken. Drennan received a cut through the skull over the left eye, about three inches in length, which exposed the brain. His leg was broken and he received many bad cuts and bruises.

One of the trainmen ran to town with the news and an engine and caboose were sent out after the three injured men, who were cared for by three physicians on arriving in the city. Some time was required to get Hendricks and Wilhelm from the wreck. The latter was pinned down in the cabin, the coals from the firebox burning off both his legs to the knee. The bodies were brought to the undertakers immediately. The necks of both men were broken.

The scene of the wreck defies adequate description. The boiler of the extra's engine had literally forced its length through the other engine its full length, but neither engine had left the track. They were both partly covered by wrecked freight cars, the engine of No. 225 was entirely covered, and a badly broken up box car surmounted the heap, apparently balancing on the smokestack. This part of the wreck caught fire once, but the flames were quickly extinguished.

It is stated that the wreck was due to a misinterpretation of orders on the part of Engineer Drennan of the extra.

Superintendent L.R. Fields happened to be in the city, and is looking after the dead and wounded men.

Coroner Twitchell has summoned a jury and will hold an inquest tomorrow on the remains of Wilhelm and Hendricks.

-- Cowlitz County Advocate, Nov. 12, 1898