Mud Run Disaster

The full length of the lead engine telescoped into the rear car and drove it two thirds of its length into the next car; which was in turn pushed into the third.

No-one survived in the rear car 'on all sides hung mangled bodies and limbs' whilst the second was described as 'crowded with maimed and bleeding bodies'. An attempt was made to withdraw the engine from the third car but brought 'such awful cries of distress that it was abandoned'. In all 66 were killed and 50 injured; 37 of the dead were from the small village of Pleasant Valley (later renamed Avoca), many were teenage members of the Drum and Bugle Corps of the Aloysius Society.

A gentleman who has arrived from the scene says that the section of the train wrecked was made up of Jersey Central passenger cars, which are only shells or apologies for cars. Two of these were completely demolished and the other two are next to worthless. Fifty-six persons are dead, and some of the 40 persons injured will die. Some of the dead and injured have been sent to their homes at Scranton and Pleasant Valley, and the rest when he left were lying in the cars. The section that collided with the section that was above the station was drawn by two engines. The first engine ploughed through the last car in the train and partly through the next one above. Many of the dead and injured that were in these cars were found either beneath, on top or along side of the engine, some of them mangled almost beyond recognition.

A frightful railroad accident as Mud Run Station on the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Pennsylvania has resulted in the instant death of many people and severe injuries to numerous others. Particulars of the sad affair are as follows:

The wrecked train was a section of a Father Mathew, excursion train returning from the annual parade of Catholic Temperance societies at Hazelton. Nearly 6,000 Luzerne and Lackawanna people had gone to Hazelton. There were seventy-eight cars from Wilkesbarre to Hazelton, the number of passengers being about 5,500. The sections were all crowded to suffocation, furnishing the condition for terrible loss of life in case of wreck.

The third section of the excursion train stood on the track a few hundred yards from Mud Run at 10 P. M., waiting for sections ahead to get out of the way. Suddenly the passengers on the rear platform saw a train approach at a high rate of speed. Several of them jumped and escaped. In an instant the flash of a headlight illuminated the interior of the ill-fated rear car, there was a frightful crash, and the engine plunged her full length into the crowded mass of people.