Monday, July 28, 2014

Pres. and Mrs. Harry Truman Detained in Bridgeport 1961

Bridgeport Leader January 26, 1961 Former President Truman Stops In Bridgeport Following Wreck.
Former Pres. and Mrs. Harry S. Truman were detained in Bridgeport Monday noon while local workmen repaired the diesel locomotive that was attached to a Baltimore and Ohio western bound train. The engineer on the locomotive was injured in a crash with a fruit and vegetable truck at Lawrenceville.

Clarence Nesler, local welder and machinist, removed the pilot (known as cow catcher) from in front of the engine. The crash with the truck pushed the pilot down until it was damaging the track. A cutting torch was applied by Nesler so the train could proceed to Flora where another engine was placed into service.

Pres. and Mrs. Truman had attended the inauguration of Pres. Kennedy in Washington and were returning to their home in Independence, Missouri.

The National Limited struck the rear of a semi-trailer truck at the crossing on State Rte. 1 in Lawrenceville scattering cauliflower and other fruit and vegetables.

Breaking of the windshield on the locomotive caused engineer Frank Engelmeyer to receive cuts on his face and thumb. It was expected a few stitches would be needed to close the opening on his hand. Mr. Engelmeyer was taken to Flora, his home, where he received treatment and hospitalization. He was the only one injured. The train stopped briefly in Lawrenceville and proceeded to Bridgeport where Mr. Nesler was ready to remove the pilot. The train remained at the depot from 11:50 AM to 12:35 PM according to the local B&O officer.


F.E. Ferguson of Nashville, Arkansas, driver of the truck was not injured.