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Wilmer Station, PA Train Wreck, Sept 1902


Two Vestibuled Trains Crash Head On, and Trainmen Are Victims, While Passengers Escape.

Pittsburg, September 19 – Five trainmen were killed and two seriously injured as a result of a head-on collision between Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburg and Pittsburg and Western passenger trains at Wilmer station, on the Pittsburg and Western Railroad, about 10 o'clock to-day. A number of passengers were cut and bruised by flying splinters and broken glass, but none was seriously hurt. The dead are:
GEORGE CHUGERTY, brakeman of a local freight train, who had been riding on the engine of the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburg train. At 1 o'clock this afternoon his body was still pinned under the engine.
THOMAS E. DUGAN, fireman of Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburg train.
FAY D. MOSS, a boilermaker, who had been traveling of the Pittsburg and Western engine.
WILLIAM GRAHAM, fireman of the Pittsburg and Western train.
The following are seriously injured:
H. E. CHAMBERS, engineer of the Pittsburg and Western train, taken to the Allegheny Hospital: may die.
C. W. CROSSMAN, express messenger, Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburg train, brought to hospital: will recover.
The accident, it is alleged, was due to the failure to flag the passenger trains. The Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburg and the Pittsburg and Western Railroads occupy the same tracks to Butler, Pa. About a half mile this side of Witmer Station is a long curve. A freight train became disabled on the westbound track on the curve this morning, and, as work is being done on a new tunnel, it necessitated all trains being run on the other track. By some mistake, it is said, the trains were allowed to come together instead of holding the one until the other had passed.
The impact was terrific and both engines were wrecked and the baggage cars reduced to kindling wood. The passengers were thrown from their seats and cut and bruised, but none were hurt severely enough to necessitate their being sent to a hospital.
As soon as news of the disaster was received in Pittsburg a relief train was dispatched to the scene, with physicians, and the seriously injured brought to this city. The Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburg train was the regular morning express, northward bound, while the Pittsburg and Western was an accommodation bound for Pittsburg. Traffic was delayed several hours by the accident. The escape of the passengers was due, it is thought, to the fact that the trains were vestibuled.

Brooklyn Eagle New York 1902-09-19

article | by Dr. Radut