The disaster, rated as the worst in all interurban history, occurred at a sharp curve, near Kingsland, six miles from Bluffton. The line is operated under a block system and until the railway makes public the orders issued the crews, it will not be definitely known which motorman was negligent.
The southbound car, the one going to Bluffton, was manned by Conductor DEL WILSON, of Ossian, and Motorman B. T. CORKWELL, of Fort Wayne. The northbound car, which was crowded to the steps with sightseers, was in charge of Conductor E. A. SPILLER and Motorman CHARLES VAN DINE, both of Bluffton. The four trainmen were injured, but all will probably recover.
It is said that CORKWELL was to wait at Greensboro, a station between Kingsland and Ossian, for the northbound train, but that, instead of doing this, he tried to meet the other car at Kingsland.
The crash came soon after the northbound car had left Kingsland. The cars were telescoped almost their entire length.
Out of forty-five or fifty passengers, but one man has so far been discovered who escaped entirely unhurt. Most of the deaths were instantaneous.
The worst interurban accident of all occurred at Kingsland, Ind., on September 21, 1910, when an extra car on the Fort Wayne & Wabash Valley Traction Company overran a meeting point and collided head-on at high speed with a northbound local. The crowded local was completely telescoped, and 41 lost their lives in the splintered wreckage of the wooden car.