Tuesday, January 9, 2018


From The Wicomico News, Salisbury Maryland May 2, 1907


Engineer John Phillips, of Delmar, was killed and six other trainmen considerably shaken up in a head-on collision between a southbound local passenger train and a northbound freight on the New York, Philadelphia & Norfolk Railroad at Eden, early Friday morning. No passengers were injured.

The accident is said to have been caused by Engineer Phillips disregarding orders to take a siding at Eden. He jumped and was killed by striking his head against an iron frog. Conductor Sturgis and Fireman Bennett of the same train were seriously injured.

The unfortunate engineer, fireman and conductor were running an extra engine from Delmar to Pocomoke City to carry the first excursion from Pocomoke City to the Jamestown Exposition. Their engine was running at great speed when a head-on collision occurred.
Both engines were completely demolished and cars piled high in the air, stopping traffic for several hours.

Engineer Phillips had a brother killed in a like manner last fall.

The injured fireman and conductor were hurried to Salisbury hospital for treatment, and are expected to recover.
Mr. Phillips, who was killed in the collision, was one of the youngest engineers on the road and left a widow and two small children. The crews of both trains live at Delmar.

At the coroner’s inquest into the death of Engineer Phillips, Saturday, Engineer McNeile, of the freight train, who saved his life by jumping, admitted that the wreck was due to the fact that he had overlooked the scheduled time of trains when he left Loretto, the station below Eden. No 81 was the nearest to train No. 35 on the schedule , and as there was about 53 minutes difference between these trains he calculated he could make the siding at Fruitland which is the next station north of Eden, before the arrival of the train. Train 35 however, ran 53 minutes ahead of train No. 81 on the schedule.

The coroner’s inquest was summoned by Justice of the peace II. W. Lankford at Eden station. Dr. T. Jacobs Smith of Princess Anne was foreman. The Jury returned a verdict that Engineer John P. Phillips came to his death by jumping from his engine while in motion sustaining a fracture of the skull, from which he died instantly.

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