Street Car Struck by Coal Train

Ashtabula, Dec. 17. — Eight dead and seven injured was the toll of the wreck here last night when a Lake Shore and Michigan Southern coal train struck a street car. Two additional bodies, that of David Stowe and Mrs. Rose Thompson were found today. All of the injured are expected to recover.

The coal train crashed into a street car on the Ashtabula Transit Line at the Center street crossing. The car, which was carrying passengers down town, was struck in the middle and demolished.

The dead:

Miss Laura Leaphart, aged 20, daughter of C.H. Leaphart, this city.

Mrs. W.H. Cook, aged 45, this city.

Mrs. Geo. Kitson, aged 38, this city.

Mrs. Frank C. Barttell, this city.

David Stowe, this city.

Mrs. Rose Thompson.

The injured:

Ralph Cluff, leg and arm broken; may die.

Mrs. C.P. Hendershot, badly cut about the face.

Volna Barttell, aged 7, daughter of Frank Barttell, head injured and wrist broken.

Mrs. Stewart, cut and bruised.

W.P. Guthrie of Erie, Pa.

The missing:

Mrs. Eva Pancoast and 12-year-old daughter.

D.E. O’Connor, engineer.

O.E. Hirshberger, fireman.

James McCutcheon and Thomas Mullen, motorman and conductor respectively of the street car, escaped serious injury. McCutcheon is being held pending an investigation.

The conductor’s register book, which was found among the wreckage, showed that 13 fares had been collected. It is believed that several other bodies are buried beneath the wreckage.

From the appearance of the wreck, it is thought that the engineer, seeing the car in front of his train, suddenly applied the brakes. Fully a dozen cars, filled with coal, were piled 50 feet high. Workmen started at once to dig away the coal which covered the debris of the street car.

It is said that the gates at the crossing were not down and that the watchman, on duty at the time of the collision, is missing.

Eighty feet of the wall in the brick building occupied by the Richards Bros., wholesale grocery was caved in by the derailed cars. A large hole was torn in Fred Dorman’s grocery and a load of coal dumped inside.

The Center street crossing is the most dangerous in this city, as four tracks must be crossed by the street cars.

The Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Dec 17, 1912

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