Danville, VA Train Wreck, Dec 1906

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Danville, VA Train Wreck, Dec 1906

Southern has Another Wreck

Two Killed And Four Injured At Danville.

Similar to the Disaster at Lawyers Which Resulted in the Death of President Spencer and Six Others. Engineer Kinney and Brakeman King Met Instant Death – Fire Followed the Collision – Flagman Mull Blamed for the Accident – Investigation.
(Special to The American.)

Danville, Va., December 8, - Following close upon the disaster at Lawyer, 57 miles from here, on Thanksgiving Day, which resulted in the death of President Samuel SPENCER, of the Southern Railway, and six other, another wreck horror on the Southern occurred in the railway yards here early this morning. Two persons met instant death, another was fatally wounded and three others were injured.

The accident happened about 4 o’clock when northbound train No. 34, a mixed passenger and Pullman train of about 10 coaches crashed into No. 82, a freight train of 30 cars, which was standing on the main line. All of the passengers escaped injury of any consequence, though all were shaken up.

The list of the dead comprised Engineer George C. KINNEY, of Thomasville, N. C., and Brakeman W. B. KING, of Danville, Va. Robert FORD, the negro fireman, sustained injuries which will no doubt result in his death.

The following is a list of the seriously injured, who were taken to the General Hospital here: O. P. MULL, of Columbin, S. C., flagman; H. M. PATTERSON, of Chatham, Va., brakeman; Robert FORD, colored, fireman, and O. O. MAILER, of Washington, postal clerk.

Fire Followed Smashup.

Both of the trains were running behind time, and the freight train, after passing the block station, three miles south of here, was detained in the yards on account of other trains. The freight had been standing on the main line for nearly an hour when No. 34 came around the curve at a rate of about 25 miles an hour. The engine plowed through the caboose of the freight, and like a giant bull hurled it over its head.

Engineer KINNEY stuck to his post and was instantly killed. Fifty yards above the scene of the accident the negro fireman, realizing what was going to happen, jumped from the locomotive and landed on the ground, unconscious.

As soon as the collision occurred fire followed. Four cars were burned up and others damaged by the flames. The fire department was called out, and after several hours had the flames under control.

Next to the engine on No. 34 was the postal car, which was demolished, and a number of the clerks in it were injured. The injured clerks left on a northbound train, and their injuries are not regarded as serious.

All Passengers Escaped.

All of the passengers in the Pullman and day coaches escaped.

The body of Engineer KINNEY was found pinned under the wrecked engine. It was not mangled, and indications showed that he had been scalded to death by the steam escaping from the boiler.

The death of W. B. KING, who was on the caboose of the wrecked freight train, was frightful. KING was learning the business of railroad brakeman, and his body was burned to a crisp. Only the body from the legs to the neck was extricated from the wreckage, and this was merely pile of ashes and coagulated blood. The head, arms, and legs were missing, and the ashes was placed in a mail bag and carried to an undertaker’s shop.

Engineer KINNEY was one of the oldest engineers on the Southern. He came from a family of railroad men. His father secured $20,000 damages from being injured in a wreck while in the employ of the company, and one of his brothers while running a train was killed. The dead man was a brother of Engineer Will A. KINNEY, who was running on No. 37 several days ago when the train crashed into the private car of President Samuel SPENCER. His escape from death was miraculous, though he stood by the throttle until the last.

Flagman Mull Blamed

The cause of the wreck is laid at the door of Flagman MULL. It seems that he had been ordered back when the train stopped, by a whistle from the engineer and by personal request made by the conductor, to place a danger signal for No. 34. MULL was so badly injured that no statement could be secured from him. The fact that he was hurt while in the caboose goes to show that he was not at the place he should have been.

The operator at a block station above Danville declares that Operator SKINELLE here gave him a clear block, though SKINELLE denies this. SKINELLE only recently came to Danville from Rangoon, where he was succeeded by MATTOX, who is held responsible for the death of President SPENCER.

Superintendent E. H. COAPINAN, of the Northern division, and ANDREWS, of the Danville division, are making an investigation. Train No. 34, which ran into the freight, is No. 33 when en route to South, and the same train to which President SPENCER’S car was attached at Lawyers.

Baltimore American, Baltimore, MD 9 Dec 1906