This report references one or more of the enduring lies that the inept horse thief and train robber Thomas Vernon told about himself:
that he was "Buffalo" Tom, the rodeo star; and that he was Thomas Averill, the fantasy love child of Jim Averill and Cattle Kate.
He was neither.
ESPEE TRAIN WRECKED
Limited No. 59 Leaving Here
at 6:10 p.m. Ditched
Engineer Only Casualty;
Posses From Here
SAUGUS, Nov. 10. (Excluive) [sic] —
Bandits turned train wreckers one mile north of here tonight and in an attempted hold-up of the West Coast Limited Train No. 59 of the Southern Pacific sent the engine, baggage car and smoker hurtling into a ditch and derailed another coach.
Engineer Ball of the fast passenger train, running between Los Angeles and Sacramento, was pinned beneath his overturned engine and was so badly scalded from escaping steam that it is feared he may die. No other members of the train crew were hurt and all passengers escaped without injury.
Investigating officers were unable to determine the exact number of bandits engaged in the hold-up attempt, but first reports were that at least two masked robbers rushed into the last two sleeping coaches and held up passengers. No estimate can be made of the amounts obtained.
A posse from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office and a special detail from the Central Police Station were rushed to the scene, and are attempting to pick up the trail of the bandits, who are believed to have made their escape during the excitement of the wreck.
Bolts and bars on ten rails were loosened by the wreckers, according to the reports of the railway officials. The train left Los Angeles at 6:10 p.m. and about 7:30 was speeding around a left curve at a point near Baker's Ranch. The loosened rails gave way beneath the heavy weight of the train and the engine swerved from the roadbed, dragging the other coaches with it.
A special train to detour the passengers of the wrecked limited is expected to leave Los Angeles at 11p.m. for the scene. Southern Pacific officials estimate that the tracks can be cleared within five hours, and that little delay will be caused in traffic. The special train will he detoured over the Southern Pacific tracks on the Valley route, according to the first reports from the railway heads.
Engineer Ball was rushed to the hospital at Newhall for emergency treatment, and then hurried in an ambulance to the White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles.
Railway officials reported that a similar attempt had been made to wreck the Lark, passenger train of the Southern Pacific, last week. They said the limited passed over a loosened rail near Santa Susana safely. Detectives said the rail bolts and spikes had been removed, although the signal lines, were intact. They believe there is a possible connection between this attempt and the wrecking of the West Coast Limited tonight.