The Great Crush Collision
On September 15, 1896, Missouri-Kansas-Texas (Katy) Line agent William George Crush staged this train wreck as a paid spectator event. The amazing upper photograph shows the two doomed trains right at the point of collision. Seconds after this, the photographer, Joe Deane, lost one of his eyes from a flying bolt due to a subsequent double boiler explosion. Three spectators were killed. In spite of the calamaties and tragedy, the second photo shows people flocking to and posing on the now dead locomotives, much as many people were prone to do in the wake of a non-staged train wreck in spite of a needless loss of life. The more things seem to change... Know that Crush was immediately fired, but given the amount of income the railroad made from the event, he was quietly rehired within a couple of days.