Of Thursday's Collision Near Hamilton.
Three Trainmen Killed; Passengers All Escaped.
Hamilton, Feb. 16.—A disastrous accident, with fatal results, occurred on the Toronto branch of the Grand Trunk Railway about two miles from this city, and a very short distance from the junction cut. A special freight, which left Hamilton for Toronto, by some misunderstanding or carelessness left the junction on the main line on the time of a regular passenger train which is due here at 1.35, and which was about on time. The two engines met near a curve, on each side of which is a high embankment, which prevented the driers of the approaching trains seeing each other until within a short distance of each other. Driver Robinson and his fireman, of the freight, jumped before the collision, and were not hurt. Driver Thomas Hutchinson and fireman Robt. Archibald, of the express, did not have this opportunity, and the result was both mingled with the wreck.
Archibald received injuries which resulted in almost instantaneous death. His mangled remains were a pitiful sight to behold, the fingers of one hand and one of his ears being entirely burned off, and his face being so badly burned as to be almost unrecognizable.
Hutchinson was more fortunate, being thrown down an embankment and into some grain in one of the freight cars. He was badly injured about the head, but his injuries will not prove fatal.
Baggageman Thomas Paden of the express, whose car was thrown down the embankment, was almost instantly killed.
Robt. Peacock, brakeman of freight train, received such injuries as to result in his death shortly after his arrival at the City Hospital.
How the Trains Met.
At the time of the accident the passenger train, which was composed of the baggage car and six coaches, was running with considerable speed, and the two engines reared into the air with their cowcatchers pointing straight up. The air-brakes on the passenger train were applied, but too late to be of assistance, as the collision occurred almost immediately afterwards. The two engines kept on the bank, but three of the freight cars went over it, and were smashed to pieces. The engines and tenders of both trains are so badly smashed as to be almost entirely useless and the destruction of property is very great.
None of the passengers on the express were seriously injured. Several of them were thrown over the seats and received severe bruises and scratches, but none of them amount to much.
Clearing Away the Wreck.
Supt. Stiff of the G.T.R. with a staff of city physicians went out on an auxiliary train immediately after the accident prepared to do everything possible for the comfort of the injured passengers or trainmen. As to the real cause of the accident nothing positive is yet known.
The members of Moslem Temple of Mystic Masons of Detroit had two special cars on the passenger train, but all escaped uninjured.
Speculations as to the Cause.
The accident is said to have been caused by the conductor and engine driver of the freight train, who were under the impression that the passenger express had passed the junction cut before they left there. The freight train was coming from Point Edward, and was in charge of Conductor David Vince of that place and Engine Driver John Robinson of Stratford. Both men had been on duty since very early in the morning. The express was in charge of Conductor Edmonston. The inquest will be held Saturday night.
Hamilton, Feb. 17.—Conductor A. Vince of Point Edward, who was in charge of the freight train in yesterday's accident, and who is blamed as the cause of the same, cannot be found, although the authorities have been endeavoring to find him since yesterday afternoon. It appears that Engine-driver Robinson of the freight train asked Vince before leaving the Junction if the passenger train had passed. Robinson having been away with his engine for water, did not see the express. Vince replied that the express had passed, and told him to proceed to Waterdown, which is the next station on the road. As soon as Operator Waterman, who was on duty at the Junction, observed the freight pull out he knew there must be an accident. He ran out and put up the danger signal at the semaphore, but it was too late to avert the accident, which occurred almost immediately afterwards.
Thomas Peacock, brakeman of the freight, is not dead, as reported yesterday, and the hospital physician says he will now recover. Those. Hutchison, driver of the express, was not so seriously injured as at first supposed, and will be out again in a few days. Peter Clarke of Buffalo, one of the passengers of the express, had one hand badly hurt by being thrown against the window glass. No other passengers were hurt to any great extent. The railway authorities kept a big gang of men working all night clearing away the wreck, and traffic was resumed as usual on the road at an early hour this morning. The two engines, two freight cars and the baggage coach are wrecked. The loss is estimated to be about $30,000. Less than two years ago an accident occurred not far from the scene of the present accident, in which two men lost their lives.