RAILWAY AND INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF THE SOUTH WEST BLACK COUNTRY

 
 

 

 

 

STOURBRIDGE, BRIERLEY HILL & COUNTY EXPRESS
FOR WORCESTERSHIRE & STAFFORDSHIRE


Vol. 20, No. 37 ] SATURDAY, 7th., AUGUST, 1886

THE FATAL RAILWAY ACCIDENT AT STOURBRIDGE

On Monday morning Mr. E. P. Johnson, coroner, held an inquest at the Guest Hospital, Dudley, on the body of Thomas Webb (67) a supernumerary employed in the goods department, Stourbridge Basin, Great Western Railway, who resided at Oldswinford and who was killed on the Great Western Railway on Friday, whilst walking home to his dinner—Inspector Locke, Mr. Phillips (locomotive department), and Mr. Leadbrooke, represented the Great Western Railway Company.—Thomas Stanner, coach porter, said that on Friday afternoon he and the deceased walked along the line together until they reached Corser-street Station, where witness got on the platform and deceased continued to walk along the six foot. At that time a train was standing in the station ready to start for Stourbridge Junction,—by the the Jury: it was the custom for railway servants to along the line to and from work.—Mr. Edwards station master at Stourbridge Town Station, said he rode up to the Junction by the 2.55 train, on Friday afternoon, and started to walk back about ten minutes past three o’clock. On the way he found the deceased lying in the “four foot.” He was alive, but breathing heavily, and his ankle was smashed. From the position of the body it must have been the train in which witness travelled that struck down the deceased.—Henry Reeve, driver of the engine from Stourbridge Town to Stourbridge Junction, was next called. He is slightly deaf, a fact which the excited the surprise of the coroner and jury. Witness said he observed no indication of anything on the line as he drove the 2.55 train to the Junction. He had heard since that Webb was walking along the line with an umbrella. The spot where the body lay was a sharp curve on the line.—Walter Newton, stoker of the same train, said that when the accident must have occurred he was looking out for a distant signal, and blowing his whistle for it. It would be difficult for anyone driving an engine rounding the curve to see any small object on the rails in time to stop before running it over.—Dr. Keep, house surgeon, said the deceased was admitted into the hospital at four o’clock on Friday afternoon. He was unconscious, and had sustained fractures of the left leg and arm, and scalp wounds he died the same night from these injuries.—A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned, a jury man expressing the opinion that instructions should be issued by the railway companies for their servants to avoid walking on the “four foot.”