Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Fast Southbound Mail Demolishes at Danville (1903)

Times-Picayune (New Orleans, VA)
28 September 1903


Nine Men Were Killed and Seven Injured Out of a Crew of Sixteen

Southern Railway Train No. 97 Jumped Trestle Seventy-Five Feet High -- Engineer was a New Man and Not Acquainted with the Grade of the Road

Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 27 -- While running at a high rate of speed, No. 97, the Southern Railway's southbound fast mail train, jumped from a trestle seventy-five feet high, half a mile north of Danville, Va., this afternoon at 2:00 o'clock and was almost demolished.  Of the crew of sixteen men on the train, nine were killed and seven injured.


Engineer J. A. Brady, of Saltville, Va.
Fireman Clapp, White
Fireman Clapp, white
Conductor J, Thomas Blair, of Danville, Va.
Mail Clerk J. L. Thompson, of Washington
W. T. Chambers, of Midland, Va.,
D. T. Flory, of Nokesville, Va.
P. N. Ardanright, Mount Clinton, VA
Flagman S. J. Moody, of Raleigh, N.C.
A boy 12 years old, son of J. L. Thompson


Mail Clerk Louis W. Spiers, Manassas, Va.
Frank E. Brooks, Charlottesville, Va
Percival Indemeyer, Washington
Chas. E. Reames, Culpepper, Va
Jennings N. Dunlop, Washington
M. C. Maupin, Charlottesville, VA

All of the injured men are seriously hurt and have been carried to the hospital in Danville.  The recovery of Mail Clerk Spiers is not expected, and other clerks are though[t] to have received mortal injuries.

The trestle where the accident occurred is 500 feet long, and is located on a sharp curve.  Engineer Brady was a new man on that division of the Southern, and it is said that he came to the curve at a very high rate of speed.

The engine had gone only about fifty feet on the trestle when it sprang from the track, carrying with it four mail cars and an express car.  The trestle, a wooden structure, also gave way for a space of fifty feet.  At the foot of the trestle is a shallow branch with a rocky bottom.

On account of the wreck, all traffic on the central and northern divisions of the Southern will be affected.  It will take several days to repair the damage to the trestle.  The Southern is arranging to run its southbound trains over the Norfolk and Western from Lynchburg, via Burksville, to Danville, new trains being made up at that place.

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