March 12, 1917


Breaking of the axle on the forward truck of a steam dredge, consigned to the Puget Sound Dredging company of Seattle, tore up 500 feet of track and piled up thirteen freight cars of northbound freight No. 222 along and across the right of way at Voorhies crossing, three miles south of Medford at 2 o'clock this morning.

Eighteen hoboes were riding in the cars. One was killed, five are seriously injured and one escaped without minor injuries and cuts. The dead man was J. M. Davidson of Modesto, Cal. He was taken from the wreck to Sacred Heart hospital where he died at 8:15 this morning. He suffered a fracture of the hip and compound fracture of the pelvis. Davidson was 36 years old.

The injured are: McElligot, 53 years old, head and internal injures; expected to die.

J. E. Murray, 32 years old, of New York, left foot crushed and head cut. Murray was taken from the same car as Davidson who was killed.

J. White, Los Angeles, arm crushed and face cut.

H. O. White, brother of J. White, Gardena, Cal. left arm severely bruised.

Tom Williamson, age 38, Illinois, severe bruises of the left shoulder and hip.

Davidson, McElligot and Murray were taken to Sacred Heart hospital, the two Whites and Williams to the county hospital.

More bodies may be found as the wreckage is cleared away, one of those escaping with minor injuries stating that following the wreck he has been unable to locate his partner, who was in another car. Another, who escaped stated that five men were sleeping in his car. He has found only one of the number beside himself, he said.

Thirteen cars were derailed in addition to the dredger, two being put back on the track with little difficulty. Three oil tank cars, loaded with crude oil are slowly spreading a black lake around the wreckage.