New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad train wreck, Stamford, Connecticut, 1913. Pullman car “Skylark” with a locomotive on the inside.


Score Injured as Second Section Smashes Into First at Stamford.


Victims in Chair Car Skylark Swept to Death or Injury Without Warning.


He Was Fireman When Nine Persons Met Death in the Collision at Westport.


Accident, Say Canadian Pacific Agents, Result of New Haven's Antiquated Methods.


E. H. Woodruff of Flushing Killed---Others Near Death in Stamford Hospital---Survivors Get Here.

Special to The New York Times.

STAMFORD, June 12.---Five persons were killed them dangerously, when the second section of the westbound Boston Express on the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad crashed into the rear of the first section, which had stopped here at 5:03 o'clock this afternoon, waiting to be coupled to an electric locomotive.

The collision occurred in broad daylight on a straight stretch of track. C. J. Dougherty, engineer of the second section, who was jamming on his airbrakes. Railroad men who saw the collision from the yards attributed it to the fact that the sections were running too closely. The official New Haven statement declares the engineer ran past the stop signal.


CONFIELD, FRANK K., East Alvord Street, Springfield, proprietor of linen store, 406 Main Street: killed instantly.
HOWE, Dr. HARMON G., Hartford; skull fractured; died 9:45 P. M. in Stamford Hospital.
KELLEY, Mrs. EDWARD J., 34 Dryden Avenue, Winthrop, Mass.; killed instantly.
SEELY, Mrs. W. H., Boston, wife of General Manager of Industrial Department, New England lines.
WOODRUFF, EVERETT H., 28 Broadway, Flushing, L. I.; killed instantly.



BENSON, EVERETT S., 255 West Eighty-fifth Street, New York, injured to back; condition dangerous.
BRODERICK, MARGARET, Farmington, Conn., deep gash in forehead; condition dangerous.
BROWN, F. M., Richmond Hill, L. I., head and face cut severely.
BERKELSY, the Rev. ANTONIO, 348 East Fifty-seventh Street, New York; cuts in head and chest.
BLUM, ELEANOR, Brooklyn; suffering from shock.
BURGESS, Mrs. THORNTON W., 61 Washington Road, Springfield, Mass.; burns and lacerations.


GERATY, P. J., 33 Linden Street, Hackensack, N. J., badly cut about the head, back, and legs; may die.
GODICK, A., Brooklyn; skull fractured; condition critical.


HAMLIN, J. P., 111 Fifth Avenue. New York, internally.
HEUSTIS, J. W., Roxbury, Mass., head cut, injured severely.
HUMES, GREGORY., World staff, New York, injured severely.
HUME, H. no address, injured severely.


JENNINGS, F. B., Jr., 86 Park Avenue, New York, head cut, probably fatally. JOHNSON, HELEN, Springfield, Mass., cut and bruised.


KELLY, EDWARD J., Winthrop, Mass., whose wife was killed, cut about head and suffering from shock.


MARTIN, J. J., 144 East Seventy-fifth Street, New York; body and face badly cut; probably fatally injured.
MYERSON, REBECCA, 490 East Forty-first Street, New York; injured severely; nose torn off and face cut deeply.
MYERSON, MARONA, 7 months old, child of Mrs. Myerson; thrown through car window; face cut.


PATTERSON, F. W., Red Bank, N. J., cut about head and body; condition critical.


THOMPSON, FLORENCE, Goshen, N. Y.; injured severely.


WALTON, G. O., 458 Broadway, New York, connected with Canadian Pacific Railway; arm broken, and badly cut about face and arms.
WARFIELD, ALLEN A., 2,633 Adams Mill Road, Washington; hand burned and injured in groin.

Third Bad Wreck in Two Years.
The wreck is the third serious one on the New Haven Road in two years. Dougherty, the engineer, was fireman of the locomotive which figured in the fatal Westport wreck, for which President Charles S. Mellen and Vice President E. H. McHenry still are under indictment.

Passengers in the first section of the Boston train recalled after the smash that it had waited for the electric locomotive longer than usual. They attributed the wreck to the fact that the engineer of the second section probably expected the first section to leave Stamford on its schedule and counting on a clear track with the scheduled fairway, did not notice the signals set against him. Dougherty's whereabouts is not known here.

The engineer is wanted for the Coroner's inquest, which will be held at 11 o'clock to-morrow morning.

The crash with which the second section smashed into the first was not felt severely through the cars of the first section, other than the rear car. The big locomotive which Dougherty was driving, No. 1,338, one of the largest on the road, cut its way through the rear car of the first section as if it had been so much kindling wood. The locomotive simply crumpled the car, taking Pullman chairs, passengers, and baggage with it.

An elderly woman in a black dress was thrown on top of the locomotive. Mrs. J. Kelley, wife of the land agent of the Canadian Pacific Railroad, was picked up in her seat and pressed against the ceiling of the wrecked car until she died.

Every Seat in Death Car Filled.

The locomotive did not stop until it had plowed its course, three-fourths of the way through the Pullman car. The car was a wooden one, bearing the name of Skylark. Every seat had been sold.

Although a few of those in the rear of the crushed car realized a moment two before the crash that it was impending, most of the victims were caught in their seats and the survivors did not have a chance to find out just what had happened until they were dragged from the wreckage.

When firemen and policemen arrived on a call for help by locomotive whistles, they found the eastern side of the Skylark, lying beside the tracks with the syllable "lark" still decipherable on pieces of wood that had clung together.

Some of the passengers in the wreckage fought to stay where they were to search for persons with whom they had been traveling. They had to be taken by force to hospital ambulances.

Dougherty, the engineer, realized that he could not avoid the crash. He pulled the whistle valve of his engine wide open 200 feet from the rear of the wooden Skylark. That whistle attracted the attention of hundreds of employes[sic], who looked up in time to see the trains crash.

The second section's locomotive did not leave the rails. It jammed the rear tracks of the Pullman car against the forward trucks and took the Pullman on over the cowcatcher and boiler, as if the car had been built to ride there as an outer shell.

Pullman Borne on Engine.

Clearing away the wreck was a brief task, as the second section's locomotive was able to pull away on her own steam and the smashed Pullman came with the engine without either set of trucks running on the rails.

The Boston Express was known as Train No. 53, and was routed through Springfield. It left Boston in two sections at 1 P. M., and was due in New York at 6 o'clock.

Stamford was not scheduled as a stopping point to take on or let off passengers, and it was not intended to make any other stop before reaching New York. The stop at Stamford, which was merely to change locomotives to enter the electric division, was made at the Canal Street bridge, 1.500 feet east of the Stamford Station. It was close to the roundhouse, in which forty locomotives were being overhauled, and was almost beside the signal tower from which, it was said, the engineer of the second section received or should have received warning that the first section still was stopped on the track.

The first section reached the transfer point for locomotives on time at 4:45 o'clock and had been on the track for eighteen minutes when the second section came down at full speed from behind. Ordinarily the change of locomotives would have been completed in four minutes, and the first section would have away from Stamford before the second section's arrival.

Of the carnage in the Skylark as the big locomotive ate its way through it Mr. Kelley of the Canadian Pacific gained an impression typical of those who were in the wooden car. He occupied seat No. 18 in the Skylark, while his wife, Mrs. Ada Kelley, who was killed, occupied No. 19.

Reminded Him of the Titanic.

"I did not feel any lurch forward." said Mr. Kelley. "It was so soft that when I saw what had happened the crash of the Titanic into the iceberg came to my mind in a flash. I was sitting facing my wife, who was across the car from me. We had been watching a girl in a blue dress toward the front of the car and I was joking with my wife about a boy who obviously was flirting with the girl.

"I felt something. It seemed as if some one had struck the back of my chair. I bent forward a little from the shock, and then the back of the chair struck me a harder blow. I looked for my wife. I could not see her. I looked right where she should have been. I could not make her out, and I tried to reach for her.

"Some object took form before me. It looked like a crumpled heap of something human. I picked it up, but it was nothing---some torn wreckage of some kind.

"It was just kindling wood all around. A hand came through the splinters of wood. It grasped mine and a big, gruff voice said I had to come out. I said to please let me alone, that my wife was in there with me and I must find her.

"But the big voice grew more commanding, and I felt the pressure of the hand on my wrist. I struggled, but I was dragged out.

"I saw that the locomotive had scooped out car right up on the boiler. There was a ladder running up to a window. I struggled to reach the ladder and begged them to let me go up it to get my wife. But they held me fast.

"I saw the end of the Pullman was open---the end away from the engine. I tried to make for that place. They said they would attend to my wife all right and I must go to a hospital.

"When I was struggling with them, I saw the lower part of my wife's body hanging through a window. Two men who held me walked with me to the window, but just before we reached it my wife's body fell to the ground. I grasped her wrist and found the pulse still active.

"They picked her up and walked with her toward a little signal tower of some kind. I held her hand all the way. Her pulse still was beating when they laid her down.

"A doctor from the Stamford Hospital came and said she was dead. The locomotive simply had jammed her against the ceiling of the Skylark and held her there until she was crushed to death.

"I am a railroad man with a long railroad experience. It is a mystery to me how these New England railroads can continue to operate in defiance of legislation and of all sane rules of railroading.

Mail Clerks Flung to Floor.

Back of the engine in the second section was a railroad mail car, with F. W. Martin of Williamsbridge in charge and F. E. Brown of Rockdale, Mass.; R. P. Ross of New Haven, J. R. Kearn of Norwich, F. C. Neubury of New London, William J. Doran of Waterbury, and A. M. Cole of Springfield, Mass., assisting him. All these men were thrown to the floor, the lights were extinguished, and the mail was scattered over the car, but none of it was lost. Ross and Doran were cut about the eyes and arms by flying glass.

G. R. Garland, porter in charge of the Skylark, stood on the ground alongside the car when the accident happened.

"When the engine of the second section was perhaps two car lengths away from us," he said afterward, "I saw the engineer lean far out of the cab and wave his arms wildly at me. He appeared to have lost control of the engine, for the train did not slacken its speed. Then came the crash. I got tools from the car ahead and helped get out the dead and injured."

On top of the locomotive they found the body of a middle-aged woman. The skull had been fractured and the head driven down into his body.

The dead woman was carried down the steep embankment and was taken to the steam embankment and was taken to the I. J. Pritchard Morgue, where later the body was partially identified as that of Mrs. Seely of Boston, either of Boston, either the wife or sister-in-law of W. H. Seely of the Industrial Bureau of the New England Lines.
The bodies of Mrs. Ada Kelley, E. H. Woodruff, and Frank K. Confield were taken from the wreckage of the Skylark.

Dr. Harmon G. Howe of 137 High Street, Hartford, still was alive when taken from the wreck. He asked that his family, which was in Hartford, be notified, as his experience as a physician led him to conclude he was injured fatally. He was taken to the Stamford Hospital and a telephone message received in return stated that his daughter was sent to his home. A message received in return stated that his daughter was leaving Hartford for Stamford in an automobile.

Dr. Howe died at 8:30 o'clock. Shortly after 7 o'clock he suffered a relapse and became unconscious. A sudden hemorrhage cause his death.

Dr. Howe, who was 60 years old, died before his daughter arrived. He had suffered a fracture at the base of the skull, and he lapsed into unconsciousness soon after being taken from the place of the wreck.

Mrs. T. J. Burgess and her step-daughter, Helen Johnson, of Springfield, first reported dead, remained over night in the Stamford House. They were confined to their rooms, the daughter suffering from shock and Mrs. Burgess from burns and cuts about the face and head. Both were attended by Dr. Charles E. Rowell.

Victims in Stamford Hospital.

Alfred Godick, who was taken to the Stamford Hospital with a fractured skull, probably will die. Occupying a cot in an adjoining room is Miss Eleanor Blum. Godick is 24 years old and Miss Blum 22. Their engagement was to have been announced Sunday.

A brother of Miss Blum, who was summoned here by telephone, told the story to a TIMES reporter. His sister, he said, had been visiting friends in New Haven, and planned to return to her home to-day. Mr. Godick would not hear of making the trip alone, and took the day from his work to meet her and accompany her to New York.

Miss Blum, who is suffering mostly from shock and a scalp wound, will recover. The physicians kept from her the fact that Godick was in such a precarious condition.

It was said at the hospital late to-night that there was little hope for the recovery of Gregory Humes of The New York World. He is suffering from a fractured pelvis and a compound fractured pelvis and a compound fracture of both ankles. Mr. Humes's mother and aunt arrived at the hospital early in the evening, and were permitted to see him.

Of the patients at the hospital it was said late to-night that all semed[sic] on the road to recovery except Mr. Humes and Mr. Godick. When this announcement was made the little gathering of relatives and friends left---all except Mrs. Humes, her sister, and Mr. Blum and a friend who had accompanied him here. They remained in the office all the night.


E. T. Woodruff a Brooklyn Builder---Dr. Howe Prominent in Medicine.

Everett T. Woodruff, killed in the Stamford wreck, was a member of John T. Woodruff's Sons, well-known builders of Brooklyn. He was the son of the late J. T. Woodruff, founder of the firm and was 30 years old. Two years ago he married Miss Viola Van Nostrand, daughter of the late David I. Van Nostrand, ex-County Clerk of Queens. Mr. Van Nostrand died only last week. Mr. and Mrs. Woodruff have been living in the Van Nostrand residence at Broadway and Percy Street in Brooklyn. At the time of the accident Mr. Woodruff was returning from a trip to Connecticut in relation to a building contract.

Dr. Harmon G. Howe, killed in the wreck, was one of the most prominent surgeons and physicians of Connecticut.

Frank K. Confield, another who was killed in the wreck, was a prominent business man of Springfield, Mass. being proprietor of a linen establishment at 406 Main Street. He was born in Germany thirty-one years ago and had lived in Springfield for the last seventeen years. Besides his widow, he leaves one son, Frank, Jr., 1 year old. Owing to the poor condition of Mrs. Confield's health the news came to her with unusual force.

Mrs. E. J. Kelley, another victim of the wreck, was the wife of the land agent in Boston of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Mr. Kelley was badly injured. His wife was killed. The couple went to Boston from the West a few months ago and had lived at the Hotel Common-house 34 Trident Avenue, Winthrop, and established a home there.

F. B. Jennings, Jr., who suffered lacerations of the head, is a student at Yale and was returning to his home in this city at 86 Park Avenue. He is a son of F. B. Jennings, a lawyer. His father and mother are both at their country home in Vermont.

Gregory Humes, who is in the Stamford Hospital with a crushed pelvis and compound fractures of both ankles, has been a reporter and re-write man on the staff of The New York World for many years. He is the son of William C. Humes of 162 East Thirty-fifth Street. He was returning from a visit to his mother and sister at Pine Orchard, Conn., where the Humes have a Summer home.

The woman victim identified by a baggage check as Mlle. Manen is Margaret Broderick, 22, who had been dancing under the name of Mlle. Manen since Monday night in the roof garden of the Hotel Albemarle. She is a niece of Bishop Broderick of Saugerties, N. Y., and her father is in the real estate business at Farmington, Conn. She had gone to pay a visit to her parents.

The New York Times, New York, NY 13 Jun 1913