Skip to Content


What You'll Find Here.  Newspaper articles about Train Wrecks, Fires, Floods, Shipwrecks, Plane Crashes, Accidents and other disasters.  Most of these articles list the dead and injured or missing. Use the Search Box to search for your ancestors or Browse the articles by type of disaster, state or year.

Browse by State  AL | AK AR | AZ | CA | CO | CT | DC | DE | FL | GA | HI | IA | ID | IL | IN | KS | KY | LA | MA | MD | ME | MI | MN | MO | MS | MT | NE | NC | ND | NH | NJ | NM | NV | NY | OH | OK | OR | PA | RI | SC | SD | TN | TX | UT | VA | VT | WA | WI | WV | WY   Browse Canada

Stony Creek, CT Train Off Trestle, July 1874



Special Despatch to The Boston Globe.
New Haven, Monday, July 6.
An accident on the Shore Line Railroad, at Stony Creek, took place at 7 1/2, this morning, by which a train known as the short train, consisting of five cars -- three passenger, one smoking and one baggage car -- on its way to this city, was thrown from the track of the trestle bridge, near that place, and precipitated a distance of fifteen feet upon the marshes below. By the breaking of a forward coupling, the engine maintained its position on the track, and was uninjured.
The accident was caused in a peculiar manner. Ordinarily, the engine or some forward car throws the train off, but in this instance it was the rear car. The switchman was at his post, had turned the switch and fastened it, as he supposed, but the end of the rail had been worn off in such a manner that when the forward truck of the last car struck the rail, its weight was sufficient to force the switch open again, thus allowing the wheels to run from the track. In addition to this, the bridge is approached by a curve, the train was gaining speed, and this car bumped along on the timbers of the bridge approach, to the great consternation of the passengers, and finally, canting to one side, turned over and over, rolling down the bank, at the same time impelled forward by the force of the moving train. The next car was also affected, slipped from the track, turned a somersault, and fell to the marsh below, and so on to the number of five. Superintendent W. M. WILCOX was in the baggage car on his way to this city, as usual, to attend to the duties of his office. With him were several business gentlemen. This car's descent from the track was sudden and wholly unexpected. It struck the marsh below with terrible force, instantly killing MR. WILCOX, and seriously injuring Conductor RYLANDS and a number of others. The greatest excitement followed so soon as the frightened and horrified passengers, who had a moment before been quietly seated in the cars, could bring themselves to realize their perilous situation. Among these were MR. and MRS. B. E. BROWN, who were in the last car and among the first to know what had happened.

The Killed and Wounded.
Following is a list of the persons killed and injured:
W. M. WILCOX, superintendent of the road.
JAMES B. M. NAMAN of Burnside, left arm broken and head bruised.
MAGGIE GRIFFIN, New Haven, shoulder and foot badly injured.
JOHN BILLARD, New Haven, slightly injured.
JOHN GAY, Meriden, slight.
WILLIAM FIDGEWELL, Middletown, injured in back and side.
C. G. ADKINSON, Middletown, leg jammed.
GEORGE M. PRATT, Middletown, hand and hip injured.
LEVI E. COE, Meriden, bruised in leg.
MISS TUCKER, New Haven, hurt about the chin.
H. P. HART, Guilford, slight bruises on body.

Continued on Page 2.

article | by Dr. Radut