Ellerslie, DE Two Killed In Railroad Collision, Nov 1872
A DELAWARE CATASTROPHE.
DREADFUL COLLISION ON THE WILMINGTON AND BALTIMORE RAILROAD YESTERDAY.
HORRORS OF STEAM TRAVEL.
THE WASHINGTON AND NEW YORK EXPRESS DASHES INTO A STANDING TRAIN AT ELLERSLIE.
TWO PASSENGERS KILLED AND FIFTEEN OTHERS CRUSHED AND DISABLED.
A WRECKED TRAIN.
Wilmington, Del., Nov. 22, 1872.
A terrible accident occurred on the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, about two miles from this city, at an early hour this morning. Two persons have already died of their wounds, and of the wounded who are still living it is feared at least one other may die.
The half-past eleven P. M. train from Philadelphia had a locomotive attached which gave out at Chester, and another locomotive was procured at Lamokin. The second locomotive failed to make good time and the train was materially delayed. WHen it arrived at Ellerslie, three miles from this city, the conductor, ANTHONY RUE, fearing he would not reach Wilmington, sent back a flagman to signal the following train. There is a doubt whether the signal man went as far back as he could, but it is claimed by the railroad officials that he did, but did not start as soon as he should have started. The engineer of the northern bound express saw the flagman near Ellerslie, and as the New York express passed the Northern express he leaned out of the window and signalled the train with his lantern, but it was too late.
The Signal Seen, But Too Late.
Although the engineer of the New York express saw the signal and put down breaks, he could not do it in time to prevent the collision. There is a curve in the road at this place and the grade is a descending one. The New York express dashed around the curve with undiminished speed and struck the rear car of the half-past eleven train. As the engine struck the car it lifted it from the track and forced it through the next car, telescoping both, and crushing the passengers in the seats. One terrible scream arose from the occupants of the two cars and then succeeded by the groans of the wounded and deafening cries for help, while the ruins of the train and the mangled bodies of the dead and dying lay in one indescribable heap. There were a few uninjured in the two cars, and they, together with the passengers in the other train, proceeded to do everything in their power to aid the sufferers.
As soon as order was brought out of the chaos the following named persons were found among the dead and wounded. It will be seen that most of the victims are residents of Wilmington:
HENRY C. FRITZ, Superintendent of BUSH & Co's moracco factory, instantly killed; residence 826 Washington street.
GEORGE PALLETT (colored), of Salisbury, was injured so badly that he died by the time he was landed in the city.
MRS. HENRY C. FRITZ; both legs and one arm broken.
CHARLES E. FRITZ, clerk at BUSH & Co.'s; badly injured about the chest, no doubt fatally.
MRS. CHARLES E. FRITZ, very slightly injured.
FRANK MYERS, 3,808 Jefferson street; painfully injured in both legs.
SAMUEL R. LAWSON, storekeeper of the Philadelphis, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, residing at 335 East Eighth street; right leg broken.
WILLIAM R. BOWMAN, grocer, of Fourth and Lombard streets; painfully injured.
CHARLES L. KYLE, coach trimmer, residing at 833 Orange street, one leg slightly injured.
THEO. THOMAS, 908 King street, slightly bruised.
MILTON JACKSON, principal of TYLER & JACKSON'S Academy, both legs slightly injured.
MISS MERIDITH, a teacher in TAYLOR & JACKSON'S Academy, painfully bruised.
WILLIAM GORDON, teacher in TAYLOR & JACKSON'S Academy, slightly injured.
B. HAMMER, 732 Madison street, painfully bruised.
GEORGE A. GARRETT, proprietor of the Western Hotel, Fourth and Orange streets, who is painfully injured in both legs.
JAMES SHAKESPEARE, of Philadelphia, son of MR. SHAKESPEARE, of Dover, slightly injured.
LORENZO D. KERR, of Frenchtown, N. J., slightly scalded and collar bone broken.
The news of the accident spread rapidly, and citizens of Wilmington flocked to the scene of the disaster with bandages and dressings for the wounds of those who had escaped death.
By daylight the dead and wounded had been removed to this city, and the wrecking cars of the railroad company were at work clearing away the debris.
MR. FRITZ, killed, was an elderly gentlemen, formerly from Philadelphia. He has resided in Wilmington a number of years, and was superintendent of the morocco factory of WILLIAM BUSH & Co. He lived but a few minutes, though no appearance of wound could be discovered on his person. His wife, as stated, is very badly hurt. MR. FRITZ, the younger, is terribly hurt, and, as his physicians consider cannot recover. Various reports of his death were current this morning, but at eleven o'clock he was still alive; one leg is broken in several places, and a deep wound was made in his breast, which is regarded as necessarily fatal. His wife is not badly injured, but her anguish was so great as to overthrow her mental balance, and she remained throughout the night in a condition of terrible distress.
The New York Herald New York 1872-11-23