N&W in 1912--A sad accident

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Tue Dec 27 10:42:21 EST 2011

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
March 7, 1912

Nine-Year-old Lad, After Losing Arm and Leg, Asks That News be Gently Broken to Mother
After a train had cut off, at the shoulder, his left arm, in the hand of which dangled a roast of beef he was carrying to his home, and his left leg cut off near the hip, part of the fleshy part of the lower part of the hip being also cut off, Bryant Davis, a nine-year-old Graham boy, said to Conductor Lindsey, who placed him on a cab to carry him to Bluefield, "Mister I don't know who you are, but you certainly fixed me up nice, and I want to thank you for your kindness." This was all the complaint the boy who was probably fatally injured when he was pushed beneath a moving freight train yesterday noon, would make, and when asked who pushed him, the little fellow refused to tell, saying he did not know, but two or three boys were playing and he fell underneath the cars.
To another trainhand, while he was being carried to Bluefield from Midway, the boy said, "Mister, you fixed me up pretty nice, and I want to thank you for your kindness. I guess my mother will thank you for this, too. Say, will someone tell her I got hurt. Don't tell how bad, though because she likes me pretty well, and she will feel pretty bad."
When he was picked up Bryant asked Engineer W. T. Gibson to "hurry him to a hospital, as he was pretty bad off." He would not give in though, telling everyone that he "would get well all right, but he guessed he would be short an arm and a leg."
The little fellow was returning home along the railroad yard after performing an errand for his mother and was carrying a piece of roast beef when he met up with two other boys, one of whom is said to be a son of James Yost, of Graham. How the accident occurred is not known, but it is said that Yost after some words with Davis, pushed him, the boy falling against the rails, while extra east 784, which was passing, ran over him. Engineer Gibson, who had seen the boys scuffling along the track, looked back in time to see the little fellow roll out from the train, minus an arm and leg.
Morris Jones, a trainhand, saw a boy running away from the scene of the accident, and investigation at the time, led the trainmen, who questioned a number of school children, who were walking the track, to believe that young Yost pushed Davis against the train.
The boy was hurriedly placed on a cab and an ambulance telephoned for and when the train reached Bluefield the ambulance made a record run to the Bluefield Sanitarium. As soon as the boy reached the hospital he was rushed to the operating room where he was prepared for an operation. As Dr. W. H. St. Clair approached the table, the boy looked up saying, "Hello, Doc, you saved my life once, and I guess you have got another chance." The doctor looked at him and asked the boy when he saved his life. The boy laughed as he said: "Doc, don't you remember? Why, you saved my life the time I had typhoid fever. Don't you remember now?" When the doctor said he did the boy told him to "go ahead and see what you can do to fix me up."
The boy rallied well for the treatment he was subjected to and although no hope is held out for him, a change for the better was reported shortly after midnight, which may or may not be a final rally of strength which goes before the final summons. It was said at the hospital that his chances for recovery are very slight, practically none.
Gordon Hamilton
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