Saturday, July 10, 2010

Six men injured, 22 cars derailed at Whittaker

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Monday, July 8, 1935.

Train crews today were still clearing away wreckage on the Wabash tracks in Whittaker ( a village south of Ypsilanti) where 22 freight cars were derailed Saturday night and four men tiding in a car of pig iron were seriously hurt. Two others escaped with minor injuries. Further casualties were averted by lateness of the No. 4 passenger which was due at the time the cars were catapulted on the other track. The train which was ten minutes overdue was late for the first time in two months. Track for about 1,200 feet was torn up when it is believed a drawbar on an asphalt car near the center of the train became loose and dragged between Belleville and Whitaker.

The injured men were placed in the baggage car of the passenger train when it arrived and backed to Milan where Dr. M. R. Hannum gave first aid. Later four of the men were taken in an ambulance to University Hospital, Ann Arbor. A Mr. Davis, Washington D.C. of the federal Department of Justice, and Frederick Sterns, Detroit, took care of the men while en rout to Milan.

Conditions of the four men injured in the crash is pronounced as satisfactory today by the attending physician.

Wesley Edmund, 401 Perry Ave. East Chicago, sustained three fractured right ribs, a separated collar bone and a lacerated tight heel.

Henry Nettles, 45, 222 Mullet Ave. Detroit, has a fractured left leg.

William Nettles, Hampton, Va. had contusions and lacerations of the right leg.

Hobart Brooker, 25, Hammond, Ind., was treated by Dr. Hannum for bruises on both legs below the knee. Vernie Beard, 29, East Chicago, was slightly shaken. Both men returned to Whittaker Sunday where they hopped a west bound freight train.

The tow most seriously injured men were buried under the pig iron and it was at first thought that one, Coersey, had been killed.

The wreck was spectacular with cars pilling up as many as four in a heap.

The passenger train was rerouted from Toledo over the Ann Arbor Railroad.