CRUSHED TO DEATH BY STRING OF CARS IN SOUTH YARDS
ALBERT BENTLEY, I.C. CAR REPAIRMAN, KILLED LAST NIGHT
ATTEMPT TO GO BETWEEN CARS FATAL
Albert Bentley, 22 years old, a car repairer at the Illinois Central Shops was
instantly killed about 11:30 last night when he fell beneath the wheels of a string
of freight cars in ??? passing over his body.
The fatal accident was not witnessed by anyone, although Bentley was accompanied on
his work by Dave Stuber, another car repairer. Stuber did not know of the accident
until he saw Bentley’s lantern laying on the tracks. Upon investigation he found the
body lying across the rails, the wheels of the cars having passed directly over the abdomen,
mangling and crushing the body but not severing it.
According to the testimony at the coroner’s inquest, conducted by Coroner Hagenbush of
Washington County, Bentley was preparing to put a brake shoe on a bad order car on track eleven
in the E yard. Word had been sent by telephone to the car men that a cut of cars would be sent
in on track eleven and the men were warned to look for them.
Bentley and Stuber walked to where the bad order car stood and Bentley suggested that they put
on the brake-shoe but was advised by Stuber not to do so. The latter walked up the track a few
yards and the cut of cars was sent down, striking the cars upon which the men were working.
Stuber then looked for his companion and not seeing him walked back to where he had left him.
He saw Bentley’s lantern and then saw the body laying across one rail. He gave a stop signal
but the switch engine had already been cut off from the cars and nothing could prevent the entire
string from running over the body.
When Bentley was reached by Stuber and other employees, he was still alive and feebly said
“help me boys.”
Yardmaster F. L. Faulkner was notified and immediately procured a stretcher and caboose and
started to town with the injured. He died before the caboose had left the yards.
Just how Bentley happened to be pinioned beneath the cars the employees could not tell, although
it is their belief that he attempted to go from one side of the cars to the other for the purpose
of obtaining the brake-shoe and fell as the cut of cars sent down the track and struck the cars on
which he was working.
Bentley is survived by a widow, their home being on Saline Street. Mrs. Bentley is the daughter
of G. H. Pigg, a farmer living near Mt. Vernon. He had been employed at the yards since last spring,
having moved to Centralia in March.
An investigation of the accident was held by Illinois Central officials this morning but they made
no statement as to the result of the meeting.
The following verdict was rendered by the coroner’s jury:
We, the jurors sworn to inquire into the death of Albert Bentley, on oath do find that
deceased came to his death by being run over by a string of cars in Centralia yards at about
11:30 Friday, Sept. 17, while engaged in his work as car-repairer. The usual warning signal
having been removed without his knowledge.
John L. Knollman
(The above information was taken from the Centralia Evening Sentinel dated 9-18-1915)
(The information below was listed in the Mt. Vernon Daily Register dated 9-18-1915.
Note that the name is listed as Benton.)
CITIZEN KILLED BY I.C. CARS
Albert Benton, Car Inspector at Work Under Cars When String of 13 Passed Over His Body
Albert Benton was killed in the Illinois Central yards south of Centralia this morning.
He was working under a car, he being one of the company’s inspectors, when a string of
thirteen cars was pushed over his body grinding him to a pulp.
Mr. Benton formerly lived in Mt. Vernon. A short time ago his parents moved from here
to East Moline.
Submitted by: Ken Richardson