Dingess Tunnel: Head-on Collision of 1905

    Dingess Tunnel
    PHOTO: Norfolk & Western Collection, used by permission

    Six years after a fatal train wreck which left seven individuals dead, the Dingess Tunnel of Mingo County, West Virginia, experienced a head-on collision between a fully loaded freight train and a work train.

    The accident, which occurred on June 6, 1905, killed three people.

    Court records dated 1908 reveal that at least one of the families of the deceased (George Salmons, operator of the work train) sued Norfolk & Western.

    N&W conceded in court arguments that Salmons was “engaged at work, and without fault on his part,” when he was killed; however, the Virginia based corporation maintained that Salmon’s death was the fault of “that of a fellow servant of plaintiff’s intestate, for which the defendant is not liable.”

    Court records seem to indicate confusion on the side of Norfolk & Western, as one of the company’s attorneys argued that the accident was the “act of Engineer Fink in proceeding carelessly with his train after having received information from the flagman of the work train,” while another railroad attorney blamed “Telegraph Operator Crabtree.”

    Ultimately, the judge in the trial awarded in favor of the plaintiff’s family.

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    1. Enjoyed the vulcan story along with the Dinges Tunnel. Both brought back memories. Keep up the good work

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