Kalamazoo, MI Train-Trolley Wreck, May 1889

HURLED TO DEATH

An Engine Runs Into a Street Car Killing Six Ladies

A shocking accident occurred about 5:30 o'clock in the evening at the West Main street crossing of the Michigan Central Railroad in Kalamazoo, Mich. A street car containing eight ladies and two gentlemen was crossing the track when a switch engine dashed down upon it from the east side at a high rate of speed, and the driver being unable to get the car out of the way the helpless passengers were hurled to a terrible death. It was but the work of a moment.

The street car was carried almost to Academy street, the pieces flying in all directions, and the human freight being mangled in a frightful manner.

Those in the car were:

MRS. ALEXANDER HADDOCK, MRS. M. E. WATLES, MISS GERTRUDE TILLOTSON, MRS. GEORGE SMILEY, MRS. MIDDLETON, MRS. VAN ANTWERP, MRS. S. A. GIBSON, MRS. JOHATHAN BARNES, MR. L. C. LULL and DR. SUTTON. The first-named six were killed, two being found dead in the cattle guard, one in the creek near by, two on the track and MRS. MIDDLETON died an hour later. She was thrown in the roadway.

MRS. GIBSON was injured in the head and side and MRS. BARNES was bruised badly. The two male passengers escaped. The driver of the car escaped by jumping.

The switch engine was running at a high rate of speed. The gates at the crossing where the accident occurred are not used between 5:30 and 6:58 P. M., the gatekeeper going home at that time. This custom probably deceived the driver of the street car, who was a new man and probably supposed that the gates would of course be down if an engine were coming.

The Cranbury Press New Jersey 1889-05-17

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SIX WOMEN KILLED.

AN APPALLING ACCIDENT AT KALAMAZOO, MICH.

A STREET CAR STRUCK BY AN ENGINE.

THE PACKED VEHICLE COMPLETELY WRECKED, AND A HALF DOZEN LADIES LOSE THEIR LIVES -- SEVERAL WOUNDED.

A Terrible Catastrophe.
Kalamazoo, Mich., May 9. -- A terrible accident occurred here Wednesday evening. At about 6 p.m. switch engine No. 5 on the Michigan Central received orders to proceed to Oshtemo, the first station west of here, to aid the New York and Chicago Limited, which had met with an accident. At West Main Street crossing a city railway car was approaching. The driver, the gates not being lowered and seeing no signals, started to cross the track, when the car was struck squarely and carried a full block. There were a dozen passengers on board at the time, of which six were killed.
They were:
MRS. VAN ANTWERP.
MISS GERTIE TILLOTTSON.
MRS. ALEXANDER HADLOCK, wife of the professor of mathematics at Kalamazoo College.
MRS. M. E. WATTLES, wife of the former division superintendent of the Lake Shore Railroad.
MRS. GEORGE SMILEY, wife of a prominent citizen.
MRS. MIDDLETON.
The most severely injured are MRS. JOHN BARNES and MRS. S. A. GIBSON. A number of others were slightly hurt. L. C. Lull, the driver, and a boy on the platform escaped unharmed. All the dead were horribly mangled, the car being dragged nearly 100 yards. It is difficult to definitely locate the blame. The engineer claims that he was ordered to run faster than usual. Those who saw the accident say that the rate far exceeded that allowed engines to run inside the city limits. The gates at the crossing where the accident occurred are not used between 5:30 and 6:58 p.m., the gatekeeper going home at that time. The custom probably deceived the driver of the street-car, who was a new man, and who probably supposed that the gates would of course be down if an engine were coming.

Elkhart Sentinel Indiana 1889-05-09