Lumberton, NC Truck And Train Collision, Aug 1933

TRAIN - TRUCK CRASH FATAL TO SEVEN.

LUMBERTON CROSSING IS SCENE OF HORROR.

FOUR MORE MAY DIE; TRUCK DRIVEN INTO TRAIN.

VICTIMS RIDING TOBACCO TRUCK.

Lumberton, Aug. 22. -- (UP) -- Seven people were killed or died within a few minutes, and five others were injured, four seriously, here at 8:30 a.m. today when a truckload of tobacco from Deep Run crashed into the side of Seaboard Air Line passenger train No. 14, at the Fairmont Road crossing.
All the dead and injured were passengers on the tobacco truck.
According to the best identification obtainable from the injured, the dead are:
JESSIE DAVENPORT.
LOUIS DAVENPORT.
WESLEY DAVENPORT.
BURCHARD SMITH.
DICK HARPER.
WALTER SMITH.
CLYDE TAYLOR, all from the Deep Run section. Deep Run is 10 miles from Kinston in Lenoir County.
The injured:
FURNIE DAVENPORT in a very serious condition.
ZEB BROWN, with serious head injuries.
MILLARD DAVENPORT, with a gash on his face.
WOODROW TAYLOR, head injury, probably a fracture, and a broken arm.
WOODROW TAYLOR is in Thompson Memorial Hospital, the other injured in Baker Sanatorium.
The accident occurred on the southern edge of Lumberton.
Bodies of three of the occupants were strewn along the railway track in bits for 300 yards. Two of the injured died by the time they reached the sanatorium. Two more died soon after their admittance.
HAYWOOD SMITH, driver of the truck, which had started to Fairmont with tobacco, was the least injured of any. He could remember the names of only part of those on the truck, but had names of the others on a notebook in his pocket.
SMITH said his view of the train was obstructed by houses and that he did not see it until too late to prevent a collision.
Three ambulances were brought into use in hauling the dead and injured to the hospital.
Thousands of people gathered about the scene.
Captain Buck Williams, conductor of the train, signaled the engineer who brought it to a halt a short distance below the scene of the wreck. Later, the train proceeded to Wilmington.
The train operates on the Wilmington-Hamlet line.
Three members of the DAVENPORT family were killed and two were injured. The only information available here was that one of them was the father and the rest his children and brothers.
H. A. Oliver, business manager of the Lumberton Robesonian, who visited the scene just after the wreck occurred, painted a picture of horror, saying "parts of three bodies were strewn all along the track. There was a head cut off, and the rest of a body farther down the line. They were literally torn to pieces."
SMITH, the truck driver, also was rushed to a hospital for treatment.
He was not arrested and authorities planned no action until survivors were better able to talk.
Word also was awaited from relatives of the dead.
"The first time I glimpsed the train, it looked like the radiator of the truck was going right into the side of it," SMITH, the 26-year-old driver of the tobacco truck, said from his bed at Baker sanatorium.
The train was "really balling the jack," the driver said.
He stated he was looking at a negro standing in the road waving his hand for him to stop, shortly before the tragedy occurred.
Small houses by the track obstructed the view, SMITH said.
The entire party left Depp Run in Lenoir County at 4 o'clock this morning. All except SMITH and WESLEY DAVENPORT were interested in the tobacco.

Revised List of Victims.
RIding with SMITH in the cab were FURNINE DAVENPORT, 58, and LOUIS DAVENPORT, 32, son of FURNINE.
JESSE DAVENPORT, 26, WESLEY DAVENPORT, 14, and LOUIS, all three, were sons of FURNINE DAVENPORT.
WALTER SMITH, 20, and BURCHARD SMITH, 23, were brothers of HAYWOOD SMITH.
WOODROW TAYLOR, 20, one of the injured, is a brother of CLYDE TAYLOR, 12, who was killed, ZEB BROWN is 28, and HARPER, 19.
The nine men and boys who were not in the cab were riding on the rear of the truck.
FURNINE DAVENPORT, the father, with a cut throat and internal injuries, was in a dying condition this afternoon.
BROWN has a scalp wound and a broken left arm. MILLARD DAVENPORT was cut on the head but did not sustain a fractured skull.
HAYWOOD SMITH was cut about the face and sustained a bruised leg. He will be able to leave the hospital in a day or two.
Six bodies were held at the Biggs funeral home and one at the Stephens funeral home.
The tobacco on SMITH'S truck was removed to the Hobgood Warehouse here.

Burlington Daily Times News North Carolina 1933-08-22

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