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1867: Horrifying death at Haywards Heath Railway Station

Sussex Agricultural Express - Saturday 27 July 1867


An accident of a very shocking character occurred near this station at Midnight on Thursday. The down goods train left Haywards Heath Station at 11.52, there being upon the engine the driver (whose name we did not hear) and William Best, the fireman.

As the train neared the tunnel the metals were very slippery and prevented the wheels from biting. The fireman Best consequently went round to the front of the engine for the purpose of opening a box to allow the sand to run down on to the rails. The driver saw him go, but had no idea that he had not returned till the engine got out of the tunnel, when turning to speak to him saw that he was gone. He immediately stopped the engine and informed the guard, who went back with a lamp and found the body of the unfortunate young man lying in the four-foot way shockingly mutilated and quite dead.

(Midland) Train from 1867

The remains were conveyed back to the station. The heel-pelt of one of the deceased’s boots was found a few feet from the body, and this gives rise to the supposition that his heel was caught by the large driving wheel which tore the pelt off and threw the deceased over on to the rails. The train passed over the deceased, taking off the left arm close to the shoulder and left leg The poor fellow must have rolled over and bled to death as he lay.

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