(From Andover News, 9/27/1912 - Transcribed by Karen Meisenheimer)
Cars Bearing Excursionists Strike a Freight Head-on Two Miles West of Friendship –Engineer Blamed.
Friendship, Sept. 23. – An excursion train on the Pittsburgh, Shawmut & Northern, collided with a coal train at Nile, two miles west of this town last night, killing two passengers instantly and injuring a score of others. Several of those now in a hospital at Friendship it is believed will die.
The dead were:
W.A. HARRIS, of Fillmore.
MISS GRACE MARSH, of Portville.
Probably fatally hurt:
W. H. Johnson, of Olean, engineer of the passenger train, will die.
Mrs. E. J. Scott, of Bolivar, terribly crushed, will die.
Mrs. Ida Costell, of Portville, condition critical.
Among the injured whose condition is not considered serious were: Guy Woodard, of Richburg; Mr. and Mrs. J. Brown, Richburg; William Burdette, Portville; John Ingals, Olean; Mr. and Mrs. John Williams and son, Olean; Mrs. G. H. Andrews, Olean; Treman Hall, Portville; Mrs. G. H. Michael –Olean; Robert Laflin, brakeman, Olean; William Rowe, Portville; Jeremiah Wells, Angelica; Miss Agnes Jordan, Friendship; Menzo Jordan, Friendship.
Cause of Wreck.
The cause of the wreck, it is said, was the failure on the part of Engineer Johnson of the passenger train to correctly interpret his orders.
He had received instructions to pass a freight train at Friendship, and as he pulled into Friendship yards – saw a long string of freight cars standing on a siding. He assumed, it is said, that the freight cars made up the train he had orders to meet, and he shot his excursion train around the long curve just east of Nile.
In the last bend of the curve the excursion train met the heavy coal train, head on.
The excursion train was running at the rate of about 45 miles an hour when the collision occurred. The combination baggage and smoking car and the locomotive were shattered and all but one of the four day coaches were derailed and overturned.
To Investigate Wreck.
From the overturned cars, scores of passengers, uninjured, crawled out into the darkness and began the work of rescuing those imprisoned in the wrecked cars. As fast as the injured were taken out they were placed on the embankment alongside the track and finally when a relief train arrived from Friendship they were hurried back to this place and sent to the hospital.
Many of the injured were taken to farm houses, and there they still remain.
At the Friendship hospital this morning it was said that several of the seriously injured are in a critical condition and might not live through the day.
An investigation of the wreck it is said will be made by the civil service commission.