A Fatal Accident.
At about seven o'clock Saturday morning a terrible and fatal accident occurred on the steep grade of the Northern Pacific road just east of Valley City. When the third section of the Villard excursion train, which passed this city Thursday evening, reached Valley City a special engine or "pusher" was attached to the rear of the train to help it up the grade. Engineer Miller, in charge of the pusher, was given orders to go up the grade and look out for the regular passenger train, which was immediately following. The engineer was careless in reading his orders and instead of waiting for the passenger train
HE DASHED BACKdown the grade at a rapid rate. When at its highest speed the pusher met the train loaded with passengers, which was also puffing along at the rate of over twenty miles an hour. It was a wild, and awful moment. The engineers and firemen of both engines gazed at each other one painful, agonizing second; the levers were reversed; a short, spasmodic whistle screeched wild with terror, and with a loud, grinding crash the great flying bodies of iron came together, and the engine attached to the passenger trailed rolled over into the ditch, tearing the baggage car to pieces and throwing the hundreds of passengers headlong from their seats. The fireman of the falling engine, named Tom Collins, was caught between the engine and tender and carried with them to the ground. He was so firmly grasped by the hideous trap that
FOR THREE LONG HOURS,while a large force of men were endeavoring to extricate him, he suffered untold pangs of pain and fear. His reason did not leave him until he died, after he had been removed from the wreck, and what thoughts flashed through his mind as he looked, helpless and terrified, at the throng of strangers who gathered about him, must be imagined by the reader. Almost immediately upon his release from the wreck he died, and his sold was on the swift, noiseless train to eternity. The passenger engineer, whose name is McLain, was quite seriously injured, having his arms broken and other severe wounds about the head and body, but will recover. Neither the engineer nor fireman of the "pusher" were injured. The engine of the passenger train
IS A TOTAL WRECK,and the baggage car is badly smashed, while the destructive engine escaped with a broken cylinder and two holes in her tender. Miller, the engineer of the pusher, has acknowledged that his carelessness was the cause of the wreck, and it is thought that he will be arrested for criminal carelessness and held responsible for the death of the fireman. It is safe to presume, however, that he has already suffered more than years of imprisonment.
There were several Bismarckians on the train, including Gov. Ordway and Captain Stephen Baker, but none of the passengers were injured. The wreck delayed the passenger train from the east several hours, and it reached Bismarck at 10 o'clock last evening.
Bismarck Tribune, 10/5/1883