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In a dense fog trains were able to stop in time and at 7:08 a.m. The trains collided head-on approximately one-half mile (0.80 km) west of Indianola, Nebraska.
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Wyuka Funeral Home and Cemetery
Wyuka Funeral Home and Cemetery
3600 O Street
Lincoln, NE 68510 | 402-474-3600
Latitude 40.814096, Longitude -96.666188
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Walter Dameron|http://mylivinghistory.org/user/wdameron/
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Photo 13
On the morning of May 29, 1911, Train number 12(pulled by engine 804) of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad was eastbound to Chicago after stopping at McCook, Nebraska to receive orders from the local dispatcher. Train number 9 (pulled by engine 2825) was the westbound Denver Limited which had left Chicago the previous day, May 28 and was due in Denver midday on May 29. Both trains were to meet at Red Willow, Nebraska and coordinate passing one another. However, eastbound train number 12 continued past Red Willow and built up speed to approximately 55 mph (90 km/h) heading toward Indianola.
Meanwhile westbound Denver Limited was approaching Indianola anticipating to stop at the next westbound point (Indianola) and approached at approximately 25 mph (40 km/h). In a dense fog neither train was able to stop in time and at 7:08 a.m. the trains collided head-on approximately one-half mile (0.80 km) west of Indianola, Nebraska.
Both locomotives were immediately destroyed and their crews killed. The three forward cars of each train were smashed and every car of the westbound Denver went into a ditch except the last two Pullman sleepers. Several passengers were also killed from escaping steam from the locomotives.
An investigation of the accident was performed by the Interstate Commerce Commission(“ICC”) and a report was generated on October 18, 1912. The direct cause of the accident was that eastbound train number 12 failed to stop at Red Willow as directed in Order #19 which read ” [Train] number 9 will meet …No 12 at Red Willow and..No 12 will take aiding”. Further investigation discovered that Order #19 which was intended to be communicated by Dispatcher R.D. Lyon at McCook to Conductor F.W. Rank of Train number 12 was never delivered.
Photo 20
Neither man, nor the Engineer of Train Number 12 (John N. Hyder) discovered the omission. The ICC added that the collision could have been avoided if the track had been equipped with an automatic block signal system.
Photo 18
The following is a list of the eighteen who perished: Engineer William T Leahy, Lincoln, NE. Fireman Albert J. Olson, Lincoln, NE. Engineer John N. Hyder, Lincoln, NE. Fireman Walter J. Damron, Lincoln, NE. Express Messenger George Freer, Omaha, NE. Express Messenger George Ernest. M. Frazier, Omaha, NE. Clarence A. Hillsaback, Holdridge, NE. Robert Shepherd, Holdridge, NE. T.H. Bowers, McCook, NE. Harry McCall, Denver, CO. R.B. Wilson, McCook, NE. H.H. Culberston, Broomfield, IL. Mrs H.H. Culberston, Broomfield, IL. F.J. Gateley, Gretna, NE. A.G. Turano, Palisades, CO. Hiram J. Feekin, McCook, NE. Mrs Hiram Feekin, McCook, NE. Miss Grace Dean, Minden, NE.
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