NINE KILLED WHEN SPEEDING TRAIN GOES THRU TRESTLE.
RESCUE WORKERS FEAR TOLL MAY CLIMB;
CLOUDBURST IS BLAMED FOR TRESTLE BRIDGE'S COLLAPSE.
BELIEVE WALL OF WATER FOLLOWING HEAVY RAIN STORM WEAKENED BRIDGE;
EIGHT CARS OF CRACK FLIER LEAVE RAILS;
WRECK DESCRIBED AS WORST IN HISTORY OF COLORADO;
ALL BODIES RECOVERED IDENTIFIED
. Stratton, Colo., July 18. 1929 (AP) -- A dry arroyo coursing through the table land three miles west of here, suddenly turned into a raging, swirling torrent by a wall of water, occasioned by a rain of cloudburst proportions tonight had given up nine bodies -- according to the rescue crew -- all victims of the collapsing of a trestle bridge on the main line of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific railroad shortly before 4 o'clock this morning.
All of the bodies recovered were taken from the creek bed during the day by rescuers who worked frantically amid the wreckage of one of the most disastrous railroad wrecks in the history of railroading in Colorado. More than two score were reported injured, many of whom arrived in Denver tonight by train. Others were taken to Goodland, Kansas., and to Colorado Springs for treatment cleared away was the opinion of rescue workers and railroad officials who throughout the day and tonight were directing relief operations. All of those who lost their lives were in an all-steel Pullman placed on the crack western passenger train No. 5, at St. Louis and destined for Colorado Springs and the coast. The car, submerged thru-out the entire day on the creek bed, was not entered until late tonight -- the high water having made entrance earlier, impossible.
The bodies have been identified as follows: MISS MARY McDONALD, West Palm Beach, Fla. MRS. BEN LEWIS, Memphis, Tenn. HARRY LEWIS, Memphis, Tenn. G. F. CARLIE, New York City. MRS. G. S. CARLIE, New York. JULIA CARLIE, New York. MRS. JENNIE FOLTZ, Memphis. Negro porter believed to be BROOKS CLINE. Unidentified negro porter.
All bodies of the victims have been removed from the scene of the wreck to Burlington, Colo. cleared away was the opinion of rescue workers and railroad officials who throughout the day and tonight were directing relief operations. All of those who lost their lieves were in an all-steel Pullman placed on the crack western passenger train No. 5, at St. Louis and destined for Colorado Springs and the coast.
The swirling torrent of water carrying death and destruction in the wake completely submerged Car No. 200 of the crack train throughout the greater part of the day and it was nearly an hour after the wreck, according to survivors in the other coaches before it definitely was established that one car of the train actually was missing. With the collapse of the bridge -- less than 50 feet in width over the arroya eight cars, seven Pullmans and a chair car left the train and were strewn over the countryside. Two of the Pullmans -- those at eight end of the submerged death car -- were left suspended from the rack banks, partially submerged. Occupants of these two cars, as soon as they realized what had occurred made their way to safety from the free ends of the cars. Many of the passengers on the train, according to survivors brought here, were awake at the time of the wreck. An ironical feature of the disaster was that many of the survivors had been awakened but a few minutes before by the taking of a siding a few miles east of Stratton to permit of the passing of the companion westbound train. Railroad officials estimated tonight that the east bound train had crossed the weakened structure over the arroya less than 45 minutes prior to the collapse.
The train, according to survivors was traveling about 45 miles an hour at the time of the crash. No warning of impending danger had been received by anyone and railroad officials today announced that the crash was the first warning they had received of a wet roadbed. Residents here and at Goodland, Kans., all said today, however that the region last night was visited by one of the heaviest rainstorms in recent years. The wall of water forming on the watersheds on the eastern side of the Continental Divide as a result of the heavy downpour swept forward in every dry wash and arroyo in the region. The territory where the wreck occurred is as flat as a table top, but is cut and crisscrossed at irregular intervals by the arroyos ranging in width from five to fifty feet in width and from small cuts in the terrain to creek beds twenty feet in depth. Bridge No. 4741, where the wreck occurred today is approximately 50 in width and possibly fifteen feet in depth.
Speeding across the plains oblivious of impending danger, Engineer M. V. RYAN of Colorado Springs, rushed to his destination. Morning was breaking, the first faint rays of the dawn just breaking in the eastern sky. The train approached the bridge. The front of the doubleheader engine crossed and immediately began running on the ties of the roadbed. It skittered and bumped along the ties for a fraction of a second and then there was a crash. The train apparently had parted and the two engines and baggage car; a combination car and a day coach had cleared the bridge. Behind us the remainder of the 13 coaches were strewn about the prairie." RYAN, who has been a pilot on the run for a quarter of a century immediately disconnected his engine from the train and rushed to Vona, a siding four miles away. There he reported the accident to the dispatcher at Burlington, Colo., eighteen miles east of here. With assistance asked for, Engineer RYAN returned to the scene of the wreck but was unable to reach the wrecked cars because of the high water which was rushing down the creek bed. The Havre Daily News Promoter Montana 1929-07-19
Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!