Echo, PA Trolley Cars Collide, Aug 1916
25 KILLED WHEN TROLLEYS CRASH.
RUNAWAY TELESCOPES OTHER CAR AT FOOT OF HILL.
63 OTHERS WERE INJURED.
WHOLE FAMILIES OF DOUBLY CELEBRATING GROUPS DEAD AND MAIMED -- MOTORMAN DIES IN TERROR.
Johnstown, Pa., Aug. 14. -- On their way to two great family reunions twenty-five persons were killed and sixty-three others injured in a head-on collision of trolley cars on the Southern Cambria Traction line, at a point between Echo and Brookdale.
It was a disaster unique in some respects. The motorman of the second or runaway car that caused the collision, being unable to control his trolley on the steep hill, seems to have fainted or fallen dead at his post after waving his arms and wildly yelling. His car, running at least forty miles an hour, crashed into and telescoped the other, coming toward him at fifteen miles an hour around a curve at the foot of the hill, and what was left alive of the human freight was crushed into compact masses at the ends of the cars opposite to the impact.
The cars in the collision were the one southbound from Ebensburg, and another from Johnstown, carrying excursionists to the reunion of the RIBBLETT and CONNER families at Woodland Park, and the majority of the injured are members of these families.
Running past the Southern Cambria car barns at forty miles an hour and passing a switch with undiminished speed, the southbound car brought about the collision. The exact circumstances leading up to the wreck will probably never be known, but it is quite certain that Motorman ANGUS VARNER lost control of his car, or that he fainted or was stricken dead at his post.
In the flight of the runaway the conductor on the rear end attempted to bring the car to a standstill by pulling the trolley pole from the wire, but the speed was too great. The runaway dashed around a curve a short distance from Echo, and it was there that the collision occurred. The force of the impact was terrible, and both cars were badly telescoped and the crash was heard more than a half-mile away, residents of the neighborhood say.
A portion of the roof of the Johnstown car was hurled seventy-five feet, and the steel and wood were crushed as though they were paper.
The dead are:
TAYLOR THOMAS, motorman, Johnstown.
ANGUS VARNER, motorman.
MRS. JOHN LENTZ, Jamison, Pa.
JOHN LENTZ, Jamison.
Their son, aged about seven, head cut off.
FRANK RIBBLETT, fifteen, Pole Hollow.
BENJAMIN F. RIBBLETT, Coopersdale.
MRS. B. F. RIBBLETT, sixty, Coopersdale.
JOSEPH RIBBLETT, Coopersdale.
MARY CATHERINE RIBBLETT, West Taylor, died at hospital.
MRS. DARRELL DISHONG, Tanneryville.
GEORGE EAST, sixty-four, West Taylor.
MRS. GEORGE EAST, sixty-five, West Taylor.
GEORGE GOOD, Johnstown.
MRS. GEORGE GOOD, Johnstown.
ANTONIO COMANGELO, St. Michael.
DAVID DISHONG, sixty-nine, Tanneryville.
DARRELL DISHONG, Tanneryville, died at hospital.
ELLA DISHONG, died at Mercy Hospital.
CHESTER DISHONG, died at Mercy Hospital.
JAMES ANDERSON, Swissvale.
GEORGE BOOLDS, Hagerstown, Md.
STEPHEN KUCH, Johnstown.
J. REESE, Johnstown.
MRS. ROBERT McLAUGHLIN, Johnstown.
The efforts of residents of the neighborhood to extend aid to the unfortunates bordered on the heroic, and were most effective. All the dead and injured had been taken from the wreckage before aid could arrive from Conemaugh or Johnstown.
The injured and dead alike were placed on the slopes beside the tracks, side by side, one of the maimed resting his head for a time on the lifeless form of another.
Gettysburg Times Pennsylvania 1916-08-14