N&W in 1911--Tunnel accident

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Fri Dec 31 20:21:09 EST 2010

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
May 26, 1911

No More Serious Injury Than a Few Scratches Sustained by Maggie Martin
Yesterday afternoon Maggie Martin walked off the end of the platform of a passenger car on train No.10 in the middle of the Coaldale tunnel and received no more serious injuries than a few scratches, tousled head and a blackened dress as well as some badly worn slippers as a result of her working her way back to the mouth of the tunnel unaided. Maggie, who had been drinking, was on her way from Keystone to Molly Puckett's place on Raleigh street. She was looking for a toilet on the train and was going to the end car, according to her story, when she walked off the rear platform. She claims it was so dark in the tunnel, which is true, that she could not see where she was going and when she got here she said it did not worry her much.
Two men who were standing at the rear door of the train and who saw the woman walk off the platform reported the matter to the conductor as soon as possible and Conductor Mays, accompanied by R. O. Hill and J. G. Gilbert, walked through the tunnel to the Coaldale side where they found the woman sitting in the office of the Coaldale Coal and Coke Company as big as life and apparently uninjured. She seemed to enjoy the notoriety.
The conductor, accompanied by the woman and the two men who had accompanied him, boarded a light engine and were taken back to Ruth where they again boarded train No. 10. When Maggie arrived in Bluefield she looked kind of used up, but she made her way to Molly Pucketts. Last Monday Maggie was given fifteen minutes to leave the city but she came back against her will.
[Let's see, Maggie left Keystone...went to Molly Puckett's place...given fifteen minutes to leave town. One would suspect that Maggie and Molly Puckett's were infamous, if not famous, in Bluefield.]

Gordon Hamilton
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