New York City, NY Grand Central Station Wreck, Aug 1902

THIRTEEN HURT AT GRAND CENTRAL STATION.

BOSTON EXPRESS CRASHES INTO BUMPERS AT END OF TRACK.

BRAKES REFUSED TO WORK, AND ENGINE WAS REVERSED JUST IN TIME TO AVERT SERIOUS DISASTER.

New York City, N. Y. -- Thirteen persons were more or less badly hurt in the New York Central Station yesterday afternoon when the Boston express which arrived at 1:58 o'clock crashed into the bumper of track No. 4. Those who were hurt,
and most of the other passengers, were on their feet, and all were thrown violently forward by the shock. The most seriously injured were:
JAMES H. BENTON, seventy-three years old, of 462 "O" Street, Washington, D.C.; cut over the right eye and his nose was broken.
Countess H. de la G. NICOLAI, of 831 South Broad Street, Philadelphia; suffered from a blow in the chest and shock.
WILLIAM H. JACKSON, twenty-eight years old, of 37 West Thirty-Second Street; severely cut on the left temple and right knee.
Countess H. de la G. NICOLAI, who is the widow of a former member of the French Embassy at Washington, and MRS. BENTON were sent in ambulances to the Flower Hospital. MR. JACKSON was sent home in a cab.
V. L. ADAMS of 321 Newkirk Street, Stamford, Conn., was hurt about the head, but refused to go to a hospital. The other passengers who suffered from the collision were cut by the broken glass of the windows, which shattered through the cars. Their wounds were dressed by ambulance surgeons summoned from Bellevue, Flower, and the Presbyterian Hospitals, and they went on to their several destinations without giving their names.
The Boston train is a very heavy one and does not switch its engine, as is done with the lighter trains. In addition to the baggage and mail cars, there are two parlor cars, a buffet car, and smoking car.
As the train swung into the station the engineer, CHARLES GREGORY, applied the brakes and, finding that they did not work, reversed his engine.
He did everything in his power to stop his train, and managed to slacken its speed to such an extent that what might have been a serious disaster was averted. The only damage to the locomotive was the smashing of the cow catcher.
The passengers who were not hurt looked upon the incident as a joke, apologized one to the other for the rudeness of their bumping, and joined friends waiting for them. While several of them were still chatting and planning for their future movements the ambulances came clattering up, and it was then realized that the jolt had not been a joke to all those on the express.
Station Master Stevens, hearing the crash, had immediately sent the calls for ambulances. He refused to talk about the accident other than to say that no one would have been hurt if the passengers had waited for the train to come to a stop before standing in the aisles of the cars.
Mr. Stevens acknowledged that the accident was due to the fact that the airbrakes would not work.
Asked if this was a common occurrence, he said it was very unusual. Questioned as to what might have happened if in the event of the signals being set against the train the brakes had failed to work, he refused to answer.

New York Times New York 1902-08-23