Laurel Hill Long Island, NY Deadly Rear End Collision, Aug 1893
THE LAUREL HILL CRASH
SCENES AT THE WRECK ON THE LONG ISLAND ROAD.
SIXTEEN BODIES RECOVERED.
The List of the Wounded Will Reach at Least Forty Persons -- The Injured Reported as Resting Comfortably With the Exception of Several of Those More Seriously Hurt.
Long Island City, L. I., Aug 28 -- The scene at the wreck at Laurel Hill, on the Long Island Railroad, yesterday was horrifying in the extreme. Relatives and friends of the victims are standing around the temporary morgue while others and seeking among the dead and injured for missing friends.
Many reports as to the cause of the accident were prevalent, but it seems that the real cause was the blocking of the Manhattan Beach train at the junction Saturday night when the Rockaway Beach train, coming at a high rate of speed, ran into the tail end of the Manhattan Beach train, ploughing clean through the last two cars. Everybody in these cars were either killed or injured. The third car was thrown completely off the track.
The accident, it is said, was due to the negligence of the tower man at Laurel Hill, who let the Rockaway train in on the section.
The Manhattan Beach train left the beach at 11:15. It was composed of five cars, all full. The Rockaway train also consisted of an engine and five cars.
The train's passed Bushwick Junction very close together. As they approached Laurel Hill the Manhattan Beach train was stopped by a block signal.
It hardly came to a halt before the signal was clear and the train had started on again.
But before it was fairly under headway the Rockaway Beach dashed into it.
The force of the blow was so great that it broke the first train in two beyond the second car and drove the three remaining cars and the engine ahead rapidly.
The engineer of the first train, named DONALDSON, pulled his throttle open, sent the rest of his train ahead, and never stopped until the train had got into Long Island City.
He did not know that he had lost his two cars, and he wasn't waiting to find out. What he knew was that his train had been run into, and he wasn't waiting to get a second bump.
The engineer of the Rockaway train is named CORNHITE. He and his fireman jumped and escaped uninjured.
Their escape was simply a mater of wonder, for the engine went right into the back of the car ahead, splintering one side of it entirely and dropping the other side of it to the right of the track.
The seats and roof shot into and over the engine, breaking all its light parts, filling the front of the boiler full of wreckage and finally flying over the top of the boiler.
The roof of that car drove into the front of the front car of the second train carrying with it the doors and door frames and wrecking the whole inside of the car as far as the cross seats.
It left two corpses on top of the locomotive. They were black and mangled. Others were strewn all along the side of the train. The last to be removed were those on top of the engine.
The collision occurred on a curve in a heavy fog.
Physicians and ambulances were summoned from Brooklyn to Long Island City and received the wounded and conveyed the sufferers to hospitals upon their arrival upon a special train.
Sixteen dead bodies have been taken from the wreck and are awaiting identification.
The injured will number at least 40 people. The following is the list as far as obtainable:
MARTIN COX, 441 East Fourteenth street, New York.
JOHN BOYLE, 41 First street, New York.
S. STACEY, 119 Pleasant avenue, New York.
GEORGE HAMMILL, 81 Webster avenue, Jersey City.
HENRY FINLEY, conductor of the Manhattan Beach train.
KATE DORKEN, too badly hurt to give her residence.
WILLIAM LIVINGSTON, 62 Lorimer street, Brooklyn.
THOMAS F. CAFFREY, 414 East Fourteenth street, New York.
EUGENE MATATHEW WEISS, 237 West Sixteenth street, New York, bruised and crushed.
MRS. CLARA E. HESKER, 101 West Fifty-second street, New York, head and body hurt.
H. G. KIMBALI, 122 Lincoln place, Brooklyn.
THEODORE GRAVEN, 1,696 Broadway, New York, head crushed.
JAMES BRADY, 258 West Seventh street, New York, body crushed.
WM. LYNCH, 985 Park avenue, New York, proprietor of the Vendome Hotel billiard room, badly injured about the body.
H. A. BUCK, West FIfty-first street, legs crushed.
AUGUST JACOBSON, 428 Fourth avenue, New York, legs badly crushed and injured about the body.
FRANK J. LARKIN, 7 Ninth avenue, New York, seriously.
AARON WEINSTEIN, 847 East Fifty eighth street, New York, both ankles crushed.
THOMAS MORRIS, 2,325 Bristol avenue, Morrisama.
A. W. YOUNG, 223 Hancock street, Brooklyn.
MISS ADA CLIFT, 226 Prospect street, Long Island Bity[sic].
MORRIS FROHNSTEIN, 165 East One Hundred and Sixth street.
R. McPHERSON, 925 Boulevard, Astoria.
Most of the injured are reported as resting comfortably at the hospitals, but it is feared that several of the more seriously wounded will be added to the death list.
The Evening Democrat Warren Pennsylvania 1893-08-28