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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago today in Spokane: Montana train crash kills conductor and injures four Spokane men

From The Spokesman-Review archive. (S-R)

A train conductor died and four Spokane railway mail clerks were injured when another train slammed into their train during a fierce Montana snowstorm.

A Great Northern mail train was stalled near Arklow, Mont., along with a long string of other trains. A conductor was outside of the train attempting to uncouple the engine when another train came around the bend, apparently unaware of the stalled trains. That train smashed into the mail train, killing the conductor instantly.

The mail clerks were at work in the middle of their train when the collision occurred and were tossed violently against the walls. The car was “telescoped” by the force of the impact. They were being treated for head and back injuries.

From the bootlegging beat: Two wildly different stories emerged in the civil service commission hearing about the suspension of two Spokane police officers.

The bootleggers testified that the two officers stopped the car of bootlegger Frank (Red) Sullivan near Chattaroy and seized 11 cases of liquor. Then the officers failed to deliver the liquor to the police station. In other words, the bootleggers charged that the police officers stole the liquor.

However, the officers testified that they found no liquor in the car at all. They said they never reported their trip to Chattaroy because “it was not customary to make a report when no results had been obtained.”

The officers were also accused of leaving their jurisdiction — the city limits — without authorization. The police chief admitted that it was customary for officers to occasionally pursue crimes outside the city limits, although he had now instituted stricter rules.

The hearing was continuing.