Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Findings of the Coroner's Inquest That Followed the Pelhamville Train Wreck of 1885

Today I am continuing a series of postings that transcribe news articles that appeared following the train wreck that occurred in Pelhamville in late December 1885. See:

Monday, September 24, 2007: The Pelhamville Train Wreck of 1885

Tuesday, September 25, 2007: More About The Pelhamville Train Wreck of 1885

Wednesday, September 26, 2007: The Pelhamville Train Wreck of 1885 Continued . . . .

Today's posting transcribes a news story that appeared in The New York Times on January 17, 1886. That item detailed the findings of the coroner's inquest that followed the accident. It read as follows:



The inquest before Coroner Tice relative to the death of Fireman Eugene Blake, in the railroad accident at Pelhamville on Dec. 27, was resumed in the station at that place yesterday afternoon. The first witness was Riley Phillips the engineer, who testified that his train reached the Pelhamville station at 5:55 in the morning, and was running at the rate of 35 miles an hour. It was dark as pitch and the air was full of sand raised by the storm. As soon as he felt the shock of the platform in the track he shut off steam, and the next moment was hurled down the embankment with his engine. It had no flanges on the forward driving wheels, but he believed that flanges would not have saved the engine.

John Heeney, Jr., Superintendent of Motive Power on the New-York and New-Haven Railroad, testified that two -thirds of this engines ran without flanges on the forward driving wheels to enable them to round curves with the least possible strain on the axles. Flanges on all the wheels could not have kept the engine on the track after striking the overturned platform. S. E. Lyon, a Pelhamville carpenter, who had examined the platform posts after the accident, could not swear that there were nail holes in them, and was sure they were not securely spiked to the platform. William Barry, a Road Commissioner of the town, found no other evidence that the platform was fastened down than a spike in one of the uprights. William E. Barnett, counsel for the railroad, admitted that the station property belonged to the company.

Coroner Tice then turned the evidence over to the jury, and in half an hour they found a verdict' That the said Eugene Blake came to his death by a railroad accident at Pelhamville Dec. 27, 1885, through the criminal negligence of the New-York, New-Haven and Hartford Railroad Company in failing to secure the platform of the above station."

Source: The Company Censured, N. Y. Times, Jan. 17, 1886, p. 7.

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at http://www.historicpelham.com/.
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home