Seymour, Connecticut, USA
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1889 - THE NAUGATUCK BLOCKED WRECK OF A NEW HAVEN FREIGHT.


1889 - THE NAUGATUCK BLOCKED WRECK OF A NEW HAVEN FREIGHT.

Eleven Loaded Cars Piled Up End Over End Near Seymour - As Imperfect Wheel Probably the Cause - No One Hurt - Some of the Train Hands Narrowly Escape Injury.

WATERBURY, Conn., July 2. - In confusion, piled up end over end, nearly all of 11 loaded freight cars blocked the Naugatuck track to-day, at the turnout two miles below Seymour. All day until 3 p. m., transfers were made on all the passenger trains, and there were none of them but what were very late both ways. The accident was probably due to a broken wheel or a poor frog. The derailed train was the north bound in New Haven freight, due at Seymour at 4:58 a. m. At the time of the accident a brakeman, John Hutchinson, was standing between the two cars that are most broken up. He was thrown several feet into a tree, but escaped with slight bruises.

BIRMINGHAM, Conn., July 2. - An accident occurred on the Naugatuck railroad, between Ansonia and Seymour, this morning, in which a freight train was badly wrecked and two brakemen miraculously escaped death.

The train was the one that leaves New Haven about 4 a. m., and is known as No. 300 of New Haven. It was composed of thirteen freight cars and five passenger coaches. The latter were empty. They were being taken to Waterbury and were to be used to-day in bringing an excursion from that city to High Rock grove. The fact that these passenger cars were noticed as a part of the train when it passed through Ansonia, gave rise to the startling rumor that a passenger train had been wrecked and a number of lives lost. Coming soon after the terrible accident on the Consolidated road last Saturday, when three persons were killed and many injured, the wild rumor was believed to some extent.

The freight cars were all loaded. Eleven of them left the track alongside a twenty-five foot embankment that slopes at rather a steep grade at this section of the road. Some of them rolled down the incline and were found at the bottom with the wheels and the trucks in the air. The only cars to remain on the rails were two box cars and the passenger coaches. The locomotive did not leave the track.

The usual spectacle in a catastrophe of this character was to be seen for some distance alongside the track, where the overturned and derailed cars came to a stop. The majority of the freight cars were of the platform kind and were loaded with coal consigned to Waterbury merchants. The few box cars wrecked contained perishable freight. One of the box cars was loaded with United states Express company goods. The coal, the perishable freight and the express matter were strewn along the track for some distance.

There were seven men in the train crew. These included Edward Starr, conductor, Eugene Allen engineer, W. Rogers, fireman, and James Hutchinson and a man name Smith, the two latter being brakemen. Hutchinson was on top of a car in the middle of train when it left the track. He jumped down the embankment and escaped uninjured. Smith had to jump to save his life and escaped with some slight bruises.

The train was going a full speed, it was stated to-day, about twenty miles an hour, and was due in Waterbury 5:30 a. m., just one hour after the accident occurred. The cause of the derailment has not been determined. Supt. Beach believes it was due to a loose wheel on the second car of the train. The road will not be passable for trains until this evening. Passengers are transferred at the block. The loss to the road could not be estimated to-day with any degree of accuracy by the railroad officials.

THE CORONER'S INQUIRY.
The Testimony is the Accident Case Shows the Facts as Published Yesterday to be Unchanged.

To-day Coroner Mix has been busily engaged in compiling the testimony collected in connected with the railroad accident preparatory to submitting it to State's Attorney Doolittle. He declined to make the testimony public to-day, giving as an excuse that he did not think it just to the state's attorney to give it out until it had been thoroughly examined by him. Coroner Mix, however, did say that the evidence collected bore out in the main the statement as made by him yesterday. Thomas Shields, foreman of the section gang which was engaged in repairing the track at the time of the accident, resides in Hartford and has been in the employ of the road for a number of years. He, it is said, testified that the track was securely and safely fastened to the sleepers prior to the time of the arrival of the express, and that he did not think it was necessary to go up the track and stop the train.

J. S. Lane, the roadmaster, gave little testimony of importance. He was not on the scene of the accident at the time that it occurred and knew nothing about it. He went away about noon on other business connected with the road and cannot in any way be held responsible for the accident. Mr. Lane belongs in Hartford as well as Mike Kelly, the spiker, who testified that he securely fastened the rails to the sleepers. Notwithstanding, the statements made by Shields and Kelly, the fact still remains that one of the newly-laid rails turned over and for this reason the train was wrecked. It is believed to have been insecurely fastened, for he section gang immediately after the accident were seen to turn the rail back into place and spike it securely to the sleepers. Several people witnessed this and are known to the coroner, although at this time he declines to make their names public.

W. R. Marley, the engineer of the train and a resident in New York city, says that he did not see anything amiss on the track and the first intimation he had that anything was wrong, was when the tender of the engine parted from the baggage car. His testimony, as well as that of his fireman, was not very important.

Coroner Mix declines to make any further statement regarding the case. He says that the testimony will now be submitted to States Attorney Doolittle and by him it will be decided whether or not Shields and the men employed with him were guilty of any criminal neglect. Mr. Doolittle was busy in the courts all day to-day and did not have an opportunity to review the testimony gathered by Coroner Mix.

It is said that another accident occurred near the scene of Saturday's accident yesterday. A brake rod on one of the down trains broke and delayed the train several minutes. A third accident is looked for by the believers in fate, to occur near the same place.

A RELIC OF THE LIMITED WRECK.
Mr. Hemingway's Find at the Source of Yesterday Afternoon's Accident.
On Sunday Fred H. Hemingway of Fair Haven took a trip up the locality where the limited was wrecked Saturday afternoon. He made a thorough inspection of the drawing room car in which Miss Mary A. Brigham was killed. Mr. Hemingway's family were well acquainted with the distinguished teacher, who frequently visited them.

Mr. Hemingway brought away as a reminder of Miss Brigham's sad death a section of the window frame that was bespattered with her life blood. This piece of mahogany still bore the bronze window latch. The section of the frame showed a wide scratch, which is believed to have been made by the end of the railroad tie against which the unfortunate lady's head was thrown with such violence.

 

The New Haven Evening Register

New Haven, Connecticut



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