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Train hits cow and two die in Seattle's Latona neighborhood on August 20, 1894.
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On August 20, 1894, a freight train hits a cow at Latona, killing the fireman and brakeman. The cow is also killed, but other members of the crew escape serious injury. Latona (on the border of the future Wallingford and University District neighborhoods) is on the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern line on the north side of Portage Bay.
Engineer Ralph Osborn was driving a locomotive with 10 cars of coal, lumber, and shingles from Gilman (Issaquah) to Seattle at about 5:15 p.m. After passing Brooklyn (the future University District), he noticed two cows butting one another in a field next to the track. One cow fell onto the track and before Osborn could stop, the locomotive struck the animal and derailed, stopping against an embankment. The tender crashed into the left side of the locomotive cab, killing Fireman Thomas J. Black and Brakeman Frank Parrott. Workers from nearby Ferguson's Mill responded immediately to offer help and to recover the bodies of the "horribly mutilated" trainmen (The Seattle Star).
The derailed cars crashed into other cars on a siding. The line was blocked, so Conductor Milton sent the rear brakeman north to flag the southbound passenger train due in 20 minutes. He ran to Fremont to stop the passenger train due from that direction.
Passengers had to get off trains and walk around the wreck until the line was cleared.
The Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern was later acquired by the Northern Pacific Railroad. In 1978, the abandoned line became the Burke-Gilman Trail.
"Wrecked By A Cow," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 21, 1894, p. 8.
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