VESTAL, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – A calamitous crash in Vestal at the start of the 20th century is the subject of a new book.
“The Awful Train Wreck” is the first book written by Endicott resident Mary Ann Thompson.
On June 8th, 1901, a freight train powered by two steam locomotives slammed into the rear of another train that had stopped in Vestal igniting dynamite that was being transported in the stopped train.
The resulting explosion sent shock waves that could be heard and felt within a 30 mile radius.
Five crew members were killed in gruesome fashion.
Despite growing up in this area, Thompson says she only first heard about the train wreck later in life.
She says she was particularly interested in what happened to the two train employees who were charged with manslaughter.
“There is a marker that tells about where that accident happened. But it doesn’t tell anything about the accident or the men. So my book is a perfect accompaniment to that. So people who walk the trail, and walk that area, I’d like them to know that they’re walking on sacred ground. People died there,” says Thompson.
Thompson will be holding a book signing tomorrow evening at 6 at the Vestal Museum which is housed in the former Vestal Train Station which was originally located near the spot of the crash.
She’ll also be selling her book at the Vestal Days Festival on June 30th.
Or you can purchase it on Amazon.