|On this Monday afternoon, the Lackawanna Limited speeding along at
70 MPH to make up twenty minutes of lost time, sideswiped a switcher freight
engine that had not fully cleared the main line. There were more than 500
passengers aboard the 11-car train. The track-side signals and cab signals
indicated clear. The engineer of the switcher thought he had time to finish
his chores and was moving along the siding. The engineer of the express
noticed the moving switcher on the siding and assumed it would stop; when
he realized it was not, he applied the emergency brakes, but too late to
avoid the ensuring collision. The Limited’s locomotive sliced off the front
end of the switcher and split its boiler, derailing itself and several
following cars. Every window in the express was shattered and scalding
water burst from the broken boiler of the switcher flooded the windowless
Nickel plate coach which had stopped by the switcher. Twenty-six passengers
in that car were killed from the scalding water and steam. Riding in the
cab of the Limited was F. H. Meincke, DL&W’s superintendent of locomotives.
He jumped from the cab and was killed when the engine toppled on him; the
engineer and fireman was not injured. Two other passengers died later.
About four months later, an inquest was held which, although declaring “negligence of employees and failure of officials of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad to provide adequate safety facilities”, the coroner concluded that no useful purpose would be served by recommending criminal action.
At The Wayland Hospital
At Bath Memorial Hospital
At Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester
All died of steam burns except Fred Henry Meincke.
|No newspaper name, 03 Sep 1943,
28 Dead, 110 Injured in Wreck at Wayland
Clayton L. Roloson, of Bath and Mrs. Francis Ripley, of Painted
Post, Among Those Who Lost Thier Lives.
Mrs. Francis Ripley mentioned in this article is Mrs. Judson Ripley, nee Frances Ferris.
|The two girls are my girl fiend Edith Schemalleck and myself. Julia
Richmond (at the time) It was taken when we were patients in Bath Memorial
Hospital. When we had recovered enough they let us go out during
the day and the people were so nice in Bath. We were in the hospital
for 2 weeks. I was severly burned and Edith had cut all the
veins in her right wrist and has never really had the good use of that
arm. She had run into the bathroom which was right by our seat and
when the steam entered the coach, she panicked and broke the window with
her fist instead of taking off her shoe and almost cut her wrist off. It
was a miracle that we got out of that alive.
There were about 18 in our group (called the land army) going to salvage the crops. If I remember correctly, only four of us survived in that group. I don't know who the rest of the passengers in that coach were., but that was the coach where all the ones who perished were. ................from Julia Richmond Taylor November 9, 2009
Julia died 9 Dec 2013 and is buried in Hillcrest Abbey West Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia
|ICC Report DL&W Wayland NY 08-30-1943.pdf|
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Last Update February 15, 2020