News: Grant - Railroad Accident at Yolo (8 Sep 1911)


Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon



Surnames: Kempin, Zielsdorf


----Source: The Granton News (Granton, Clark Co., WI.) September 8, 1911


Railroad Accident at Yolo (8 September 1911)


One of the worst accidents ever known on this branch of the Omaha happened last Friday forenoon at about 11 o’clock when a rig driven by August Kempin and his 9-year old son Willie was struck by the west bound passenger train at the Yolo crossing about 2 miles west of Chili; instantly killing the boy and the horse and severely injuring Mr. Kempin. 


The latter, accompanied by his son were on their way to Granton to do some shopping and evidently did not see or hear the  oncoming train until only a few feet from the track, when Mr. Kempin tried to pull back the horse who, becoming frightened at the locomotive made a lunge forward directly in front of the train.  The horse was torn to pieces, and the buggy with its occupants hurled a considerable distance.


The body of the boy was picked up 96 feet from the scene of the accident with only a slight bruise in the face but with a broken neck, the cause of his instant death.  Mr. Kempin, who was bleeding badly from a deep scalp wound was taken aboard the train and hurried to Neillsville where he received medical aid.  He was able to return home in the afternoon, but has since been in a critical condition on account of internal injuries.


The crossing at that point is the most dangerous on the entire line, this being the third life lost at that point.  The banks on both sides of the road are high and the track can not be seen until only a few feet from it, approaching it either from the north or the south.  How Mr. Kempin could have approached the track without even hearing the train is a mystery.   He and others who were near the scene of the accident claim that the engineer did not whistle when his train approached the crossing, neither was  the bell ringing, while the engineer denies these charges.  It is hoped that the railroad company will be compelled to protect the public either by an overhead driveway or the installation of an electric gong at that danger point.



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