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JESSE A. ROGERS was fatally injured February 22d by jumping through the window of a car of the New York, Providence and Boston Railroad Company. He was a passenger, and when near Auburn, and when the train was moving nearly fifty miles per hour, he made the fatal jump. He was promptly carried to the Rhode Island Hospital, where I visited him on the 24th of February, and found him in an unconscious state, and died there on the 2d day of March. He was undoubtedly deranged.
JAMES CROWELL was injured near the station in Providence, January 1st, in attempting to get upon the hourly train of the Providence and Worcester Railroad Company, and was by them sent to this Hospital. I found him at this same visit, and although I had previously intended to wait until he came from the hospital before I gave the case a formal investigation, still upon finding him so far recovered, I took his testimony at this time. He admitted that the train was in motion, and he attempted to jump upon the rear platform of the first car, and assumed all liability and responsibility of the accident.
CHARLES G. BURROUGHS was killed March 7th by coming in contact with the High-street bridge, Providence, he being on the top of a passenger car belonging to the New York, Providence and Boston Railroad Company. The train had left the station but a very few moments, it being the regular boat-train leaving Providence 7:35 P. M. It is supposed that he took this position to evade his fare, as he was found without either ticket or money.
PASCAL ORMSBEE, a man deaf and dumb, and about seventy-five years of age, was killed March 9th, at Warren-avenue crossing, East Providence, by a train of the Boston and Providence Railroad Company. This train was broken up previous to reaching the crossing. The engine and one portion had crossed, when Mr. Ormsbee attempted to cross, and was run over by the rear portion of the train and instantly killed. I did not have any formal investigation of the case, for the reason that I noticed among the testimony taken by the coroner was the testimony of an employé on the train, who stated that he pulled the pin at the usual place, north of the crossing, and that the train went over the highway in detached parts. I immediately wrote the Superintendent that Section 4, Chapter 145 of the Revised Statutes of this State was “no car or carriage for the transportion of passengers, or freight, over any railroad in this State shall be propelled across any highway after the locomotive has been detached therefrom, without a stationary bell or whistle being rung at said crossing during the whole
time the train is crossing such highway," and that, in my judgment, as the train was run in direct violation of the laws of this State, the whole liability and responsibility of the accident rests upon the corporation. This practice of running trains was immediately discontinued. I subsequently examined the crossing and recommended to the Superintendent that a gate be erected on the west side of the crossing, similar to the one then on the east side. This was promptly built, and this crossing is now so guarded that it would be almost an impossible thing to have a similar accident occur there.
On the 22d of November, DR. L. A. PALMER, of Westerly, was injured, near Wood River Junction, by attempting to get on to a car of the New York, Providence and Boston Railroad Company. This accident was at first regarded so very slight that the corporation did not know of it, and consequently it did not come to my knowledge. It however became known, and I held a formal investigation March 23d, when there were present an unusual large number of witnesses for each side. I first took the testimony of Dr. Palmer, who admitted that the car was in motion when he attempted to take hold of the rail, whereupon I immediately dismissed all the other witnesses, and decided that the very moment he attempted to get upon the train, knowing that it had started, he assumed all liability and responsibility.
ESEK BOWEN was slightly injured April 7th by a car of the Union Railroad Company, in Providence. Upon making inquiries, I found the accident so slight that I did not deem a formal investigation necessary.
FERDINAND SHMINKE was injured the previous summer, near Ocean Cottage, by cars of the Providence, Warren and Bristol Railroad Company, and was by them sent to the Rhode Island Hospital, where he remained nearly seven months. I made frequent inquiries there in regard to him, still he left before I expected. However at last I found him, and held a formal investigation in regard to the accident on the 26th of April. He, with a friend, were talking while standing between the rails. The friend testified that he not only heard the whistling of the coming train, but that he said to Mr. Shminke that the train was coming. He himself moved clear of the train by jumping down the bank, while Mr. Shminke remaining, or hesitating, was hit, and seriously hurt. The signal of danger was given by the engineer and the train stopped as soon as possible, and I informed Mr. Shminke that as he was where he ought not to be and had no right to be, and as everything was done by the employés on the train to prevent the accident, he must assume the responsibility of it.
JOHN M. HONEYWELL was injured April 25th while attempting to get off a car of the Union Railroad Company, near Durfee street, Providence. I visited him at his residence, and he stated that he supposed the car was going to stop, and finding that it did not even slack the speed, he jumped, and added, "I do not blame anybody but myself."
PETER TALBOT, a boy about eight years of age, was killed May 5th, at Woonsocket, by a train of the Providence and Worcester Railroad Company, known as the Worcester express. It was about noon, and when the engineer first saw the boy he was only some forty feet off, a curve in the road, and other cars standing there, prevented him from seeing him before. He had whistled twice within the previous minute. This boy was playing with another one, which one had just crossed the track, while this one attempted to follow. The train was slacking up at this time, and stopped as soon as possible, so soon, that the boy was found less than the length of the train in the rear.
ANNIE MCNIFF, a girl about nine years of age, was injured May 19th, on the Grove-street crossing, by a train of the New York, Providence and Boston Railroad Company. The engineer saw her when he was about two hundred feet off, and immediately blew the whistle, she kept moving on until she came on to that track, then he blowed for brakes. There was another train coming from the opposite direction, and she appeared to be noticing it. The bell on this engine was ringing for this crossing, and a portion of the trains passed each other on this crossing. I visited her at her residence, and her injuries were not very severe, although how she escaped being killed is not easily explained.
ANN WINSOR was killed July 17th by a train of the Providence and Springfield Railroad Company while walking on the track between Plainfield street and Hartford-street crossings, near Providence. When first seen by the engineer she was about sixty yards off walking between the rails. The whistle had scarcely stopped for a crossing just passed, and a curve in the road obstructed his view. Immediately upon seeing her he blew four or five short whistles, and almost at the same moment he shut off the steam, reversed the engine, and blew for brakes, but she was struck by the pilot and instantly killed. When she crossed the first crossing the flagman in charge motioned to her to get out of the way, and although she was looking at him at the time, she did not pay attention to his warning. It was afterwards proved that she was partially insane, and required constant watching. She was stopping with
her sister, whose house was near by, and had just been missed when the accident occurred.
MRS. MARGARET HALLAGAN was killed July 23d, near Lonsdale, by a train of the Providence and Worcester Railroad Company while walking upon the track. There was no crossing near this place. This was an express train, and the engineer, although he was looking out, could not see the woman, owing to a sharp curve in the road, until almost the same instant that she was struck, and instantly killed. This accident could not well have been avoided, and it is to be hoped that it will prove a warning to those people, living at Valley Falls and working in Lonsdale, who have been accustomed to using the railroad track as a thoroughfare.
RICHARD J. CONLIN was injured July 26th by jumping from a train of the Providence and Worcester Railroad Company, when in motion, near Valley Falls. He had started from Providence in the 8:30 P. M. train, and intended to stop at Central Falls. He fell asleep very shortly after leaving Providence, and after that did not remember anything that happened until the next morning. Another passenger on the train, a stranger to him, testified that the conductor touched him. shortly after leaving Central Falls and asked him if he was going to the Valley, and then went through the car to attend to his duties. Mr. Conlin roused up, went out on to the platform and jumped off. The wonder is not that he was injured, but that he lived to tell about it.
WILLIAM SNIVELY was injured August 9th, at Bristol, by a train of the Providence, Warren and Bristol Railroad Company. He was in a tip-cart, standing near the track, conversing with several of his friends. He testified that he heard the whistle of the coming train several minutes before the accident, and also testified that he knew the horse was afraid of the cars. Instead of heeding the signal, and moving to a place of safety, which he admitted he had ample time to do, he still remained talking, hence the accident. I took his testimony at his residence and subsequently examined the place of the accident. I found there a tree that materially obstructed the view of the track, which, at my suggestion, the owner promptly removed. Although this accident resulted quite seriously to Mr. Snively, and also resulted in the death of a fine horse, I could not see that a particle of blame rested anywhere else except on Mr. Snively.
ARTHUR LEWIS, a brakeman in the employ of the Providence and Worcester Railroad Company, was killed, near Valley Falls, by coming in contact with a bridge. He was on a freight train and was at his
post on the top of a car. It was about noon, and his hat had just blown off. Standing on the car, looking towards the rear after his hat, he hit the bridge, was thrown off, run over and killed.
HENRY L. KENDALL was injured August 30th by a train of the Providence, Warren and Bristol Railroad Company, while attempting to cross the track on India street, Providence, at the Union Oil Company's Works. He was riding in a buggy, and as he approached the track, he carefully watched the train and could not convince himself that it was in motion. It was a train of thirteen freight cars, backing np from the yard to the Bristol depot. When within about a rod of the track he saw the train was in motion, but had got so far that he could not turn around, and thought it was just about an even chance for him to get across safe, but he was hit by the train, and quite seriously injured. It seems to me that the responsibility of this accident is evenly divided between Mr. Kendall and the Railroad Corporation. He well knew the situation of the buildings at this crossing, how dangerously near they were to the track. On this Railroad Corporation, because the daily practice of backing long trains over India street is full of danger. The engine should always be upon the approaching end. If it had been so at this time, there would not, probably, have been any accident, for the engineer, seeing the precise position, could almost immediately have stopped the train, but as it was, the signal was passed through three brakemen to the engineer, and the time required to do this caused the accident. I have since visited this place, and carefully examined the surroundings. I have suggested the moving of some small buildings and fences, the work of which is now progressing, and when finished, will render a dangerous crossing comparatively safe.
CHRISTOPHER F. MAMWELL was killed September 3d, near the slaughter houses, in Providence, by a train of the Providence and Worcester Railroad Company. It was the hourly train, and coming towards Providence. When first seen by the engineer, he was some six hundred to eight hundred feet off, walking towards Providence, and between the rails of the outward track. When the train was about thirty feet from him, he stepped on to the other track, directly in front of the coming train. The engineer then whistled, blew for brakes, and reversed the engine, but without avail, as the man was hit, and instantly killed. From a nephew of his, I learn that Mr. Mamwell was deranged.
The body of John WYLIE was found early on the morning of Sep