1893 - CRASH ON THE HARLEM ROAD. Five Killed and Several Injured, Four of Them Seriously.
Brewster, N. Y., Aug 2 - By the collision which occurred Saturday afternoon on the Harlem Road between trains No. 13 and No. 20, passenger trains between Pond and Dykeman's, the following were killed:
WM. ELLIOTT, engineer train 13.
W. BEST, fireman, train 13.
D. PONETIERE, engineer train 20.
SAMUEL GIBNEY, fireman train 20.
MISS E. REED, daughter of JOHN A. REED, of Brewsters. MR. REED is in the insurance business, and is a well known resident of Brewsters.
The injured are:
JOHN FINNEGAN, baggageman train 20.
J. A. BANKS, brakeman train 20.
MRS. NONO MAHER, Brewsters.
Several others were slightly injured and many badly shaken up. Both engines are complete wrecks, and the accident blocked the main line for five hours.
Dykemens is the first station above Brewsters. The Pittsfield express is reported to have been running at a high rate of speed when the collision occurred. It was crowded with passengers, including the usual large complement of Saturday passengers bound for the Berkshire Hills. A majority of those on the train were business men bound for fashioinable resorts to pass Sunday with their families. Many were bound for Lenox.
It is said the New York train, No. 13, had the right of way over the Pawling express, No. 20. Train No. 20 should have waited at Towners above Brewsters. The engineer, DANIEL PONETIERE, failed to read the train despatcher's order right and went humming down the track to Brewsters.
The engineer hoped to pass the New York local there. When rounding a sharp curve at Ice Pond, a few miles above Brewsters, Engineer PONETIERE saw the New York local rushing toward his train at 30 miles an hour.
In the face of certain death the engineer grasped the throttle and threw over the reversing lever. The fireman pulled the whistle cord. WHen the men had done their duty there was not time to save themselves. The engineer of the New York local, WILLIAM ELLIOT, and Fireman WILLIAM BEST, shut off the steam and jumped when the two engines were within a few feet of one another. The next instant there was an awful crash.
The engine of the New York train was thrown on top of the other. The trains were telescoped. The engines and the combination baggage and smoking cars were wrecked completely. The four engineers and firemen were caught beneath the wreck of their engines. Many passengers were caught and held down by the debris. The uninjured did everything in their power to release their imprisoned comrades.
The Evening Democrat
August 28, 1893
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