Old News – Train Accident

Trains were very important in 1917 for transporting people over long distances. They also handled most of the freight. Train wrecks affected everyone.


Thursday, April 12, 1917


Two lives were lost and several people were injured, early Friday morning, when a fast west-bound New York Central train crashed into a freight at the crossover at Wayneport. Word came to the doctors here shortly after midnight, asking for assistance, as it was not known how many persons were injured and would need assistance. Two physicians were able to respond and were among the first on the scene.

The passenger train was No. 7, known as the Westerner, and was running at a high rate of speed through a heavy snow storm. A freight train was crossing from the West Shore the Central freight tracks and was struck squarely by the passenger train, eight or ten cars from the freight engine. The wreck resulting was one of the most spectacular which has occurred in this section in years, The passenger engine was turned to the right and plowed up, the three tracks and signal wires and landed in the ditch a complete wreck.

The engineer, William Cutler, was pinned under the wrecked engine and it was not possible to remove the body until morning. C. E. Miller, a brakeman of Rochester, was also killed. The fireman of the passenger train was terribly scalded and he was rushed to the Lyons hospital on an engine requisitioned for the purpose. A number of passengers were badly bruised, but none was seriously injured.

The baggage and smoking cars were badly smashed and thrown from the tracks. The other cars in the train remained on the track. The tracks were not cleared up until late in the day.

The wreck occurred directly in front of a signal tower and it is said that Towerman Tuck of this village, jumped through a window of the tower to the ground, but was not seriously injured. A hobo asleep in the bottom of the tower did not wake up until morning.