N&W in 1911--Weird accident

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Sun Jul 18 16:51:24 EDT 2010

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
January 31, 1911

Horrible Casualty Occurred at Kenova--The Finding of The Gruesome Member
The tangled ends of a story of more than ordinary interest, inasmuch as it shows some of the terrible things that do occur, have been gathered. An Norfolk and Western train ran down and killed Boyd Patterson at Kenova. The head was severed from the body and becoming wedged in the truck of a freight car, was carried 60 miles before it was discovered. The trunk of the body dropped to the ground beside the railway tracks near the Kenova yard tower.
Brief mention was made in a pervious issue of the tragic death of Patterson who was the engineer of the yard engine of the B. & O. railway at Kenova, and it is presumed [he] attempted to board the fast time freight on the N. & W. which goes through Kenova about 4 a.m. Missing his footing he fell to his death. The body minus the head, was found by the track, but no trace could be found of the head.
Later during the morning the operator at Dunlow, notified division headquarters at Portsmouth that he had seen the head of a man wedged in the truck of a car on the time freight which had just passed Dunlow, going east. Orders were immediately wired to the agent at Wilsondale to stop the train and make an examination. He did so and the ghastly head was found and removed.
Investigation disclosed the fact that the head belonged to the body of Patterson. The head was placed in a box and a Kenova relative of Patterson went from that place and took it back to Kenova.
The train crew had had their ghastly passenger for 60 miles.
Patterson was for some years an engineer on the Norfolk & Western and lived in Portsmouth, running between that city and Williamson. He lost his position with the N. & W. about a year ago on account of a smashup for which he was held responsible. He then secured a position with the Baltimore & Ohio in the Kenova yards of the company.
Gordon Hamilton
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