New York City, NY Train Collision, May 1967
TRAINS COLLIDE, 6 CREWMEN DIE.
New York (AP) -- Two New York Central freight trains, one reportedly traveling a mile-a-minute, met head on in an upper Manhattan railroad yard Monday and burst into flames. Firemen said six crewmen perished in the twisted wreckage.
Six other trainmen were injured, thre superficially. Police said the northbound train was moving at 60 miles an hour and the southbound freight at 45 m.p.h. Freight cars were strewn like toys for an eighth of a mile.
The southbound track on Manhattan's West Side near 148th Street had been closed for maintenance work and both freights were on the northbound through track when they crashed.
The collision occurred near the Hudson River waterfront, about 30 blocks below the George Washington Bridge. The elevated Henry Hudson Parkway and Riverside Drive overlook the area.
The two engineers vainly made last minute efforts to halt their trains. But they met with an impact that shot the engines over a retaining wall and up an embankment. Motorists said the crash was followed by a "ball of fire."
Mrs. Adelaide Polite, attendant at a Riverside Park playground at 148th Street, said: "I heard a terrible explosion. I ran over here under the highway and saw the locomotives piled up and burning. I ran back to the police phone in the playground and called for help."
The trackage where the wreck occurred is devoted exclusively to freight trains, bringing meat, milk and other supplies into the city. There is no passenger service on the line.
The southbound train, headed from the Selkirk yards near Albany for the 33rd Street terminal, had a three-unit diesel and 16 cars. The other freight was bound from the 72nd Street yard for Albany with a three-unit engine and 60 cars. Each carried a crew of six.
The accident occurred at 9:56 a.m.
A railroad spokesman identified those killed as:
On the northbound train:
ROBERT ORR of Poughkeepsie, engineer.
CHARLES MEUSER, JR., of Highland, fireman.
HERBERT FIERO of Rensselaer, brakeman.
On the southbound train:
JAMES SCHULTHIES of Germantown, brakeman.
HOWARD BRUSO of Delmar, engineer.
FRANKLIN W. JENKINS of Ravena, fireman.
Their ages were not know immediately.
The four men taken to hospitals were ALBERT LE DUKE, 45, of Albany, who was in critical condition at Knickerbocker Hospital with second and third degree burns; HARRY KELLY, 53, of Slingerlands,
N.Y., who was in serious condition at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital with injuries of the arms and legs; LEO BALDUC, 53, of Albany, who was treated and released at Knickerbocker Hospital for shock and contussions; and ANTHONY PETRONIS, 49, of Coxsackie, N.Y., who was treated and released at Jewish Memorial Hospital.
Two other men were treated at the scene for minor injuries. They were JAMES SULLIVAN, 40, of Albany, and HOWARD BEACH, 49, of Troy.
The Post Standard Syracuse New York 1967-05-23