N&W in 1910--Killed

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Thu Mar 18 22:35:57 EDT 2010

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
October 7, 1910

Eight Coal Cars and Engine Wrecked And Trainman Buried Beneath
Conductor S. R. Kitts, of Wilcoe, was killed yesterday afternoon at Thorpe, on the Tug River branch, when engine 739 turned over with its tender while eight coal cars were wrecked. Engineer Roten, a brother of Fireman Roten, who was killed a short time ago at Delorme when the president's special was wrecked, had his shoulder knocked out of place while Fireman Mitchell received several minor injuries. A colored brakeman named Hairston was also injured, but not seriously.
Mr. Kitts was buried beneath the wreck, and his body was not recovered for nearly two hours. It appears he was sitting on the tender when he felt it leave the track. He jumped, but was not able to get out of the way of the wreck, as he fell when he landed on the ground. It could not be definitely learned how the engineer, fireman and brakeman were injured but judging from the nature of their injuries it is thought they jumped and were injured in this way.
As far as can be learned from the railroad officials who last night did not have all the details, according to their statement, the tender left the track and the weight of the train coming down the hill at that point pushed the engine and eight cars off the track, wrecking them before the train could stop. There were forty-seven cars in the train. The wreck occurred directly in front of the store at Thorpe and the fact that a man was lying under the cars drew a crowd of people who watched the work of recovering the body of the conductor, who was dead when found. His remains were taken to Welch where they were prepared for burial.
Mr. Kitts was a son of C. C. Kitts, who lives about two and one-half miles from Tazewell.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
October 8, 1910

Breaks the News Gently
Mrs. S. R. Kitts, whose husband was killed in a wreck at Thorpe Thursday, was on her way home from Bluefield to Wilcoe when news of the accident was received at Welch on train No. 1. The conductor was asked to advise the woman about her husband's death, but he did not have the heart to tell her all at one time, so he told the woman her husband had been injured. She took the matter to heart very much and later on two ladies got on the train who were advised of the circumstances and asked to break the news of the man's death to his wife. They told her as carefully as they could, but the poor woman became distracted and would not be consoled. Passengers on the train state that it was one of the saddest sights they had ever witnessed. The deceased is survived by his widow and four children, three of whom are old enough to realize the terrible blow which has befallen the family.
Gordon Hamilton
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