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Burlington Northern freight train derailment near Tonga

Burlington Northern freight train derailment near Tonga Burlington Northern freight train derailment near Tonga

Earlier the morning of April 26, 1973 another train went into emergency near this same spot. Later that morning I took the picture of and eastbound train at the Foss River Bridge about a half mile south of this location. In the afternoon, I was chasing this westbound train. I was waiting for it at the depot in Skykomish when I heard that it had derailed near the Foss River Bridge. I drove back to the bridge and hiked in to find this grisly scene. Three hobos had been riding in the first car to derail. One of them had been standing in the open door of the boxcar. When the car flipped over to the right, he was tossed out and the trailing truck from that car ran over him. The two crewmen left of the covered hopper are tending to him and trying to stop the bleeding. Up on top of the boxcar to the right is another member of the crew talking with the other two hobos still inside the boxcar. They had been tossed around in the roll over. One had a broken wrist and the other just had scratches and bruises.

Burlington Northern freight train derailment near Tonga

Another shot of some of the boxcars. Earlier in the day I felt invincible. I had been thinking during the day that the way to get really great train pictures would be to hop freight trains. As I took this picture the Lord Jesus was showing me, "what could happen." I began to feel very insecure. I took this accident as a lesson from the Lord and decided to practice safe train photography. That was over 40 years ago. Disk 6

Burlington Northern freight train derailment near Tonga