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A Fatality on the Deganwy…

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A Fatality on the Deganwy Quay. On Friday afternoon, September 7th, John Thomas, laborer, was employed by Messrs P. & H. Lewis, timber merchants, Conway, at their Deganwy wharf, his duties being to unload coal (on piecework) from a steamer into railway trucks. Instructed by the foreman (Mr Moses Parry) to go to the shore end of the wharf, and to push down from thence an empty truck, John Thomas (along with three others) waited about until the empty trucks were being shunted, and then entered one of them. The jolt that ensued upon the trucks reaching the Scotch block at the end of the Quay, caused Thomas to overbalance and to fall out of the truck. Death was instantaneous, the wagon-wheels splitting open the head of the unfortunate man, who was unmarried, aged 23; and the son of Mr John Thomas, Tal-y-waen farm, Ty'nygroes. The accident occured at 2.20 p.m., and at 2.28 Mr Moses Parry wired to the Conway police, one of whom (P.C. Griffith) arrived shortly by boat. THE INQUEST. On Saturday morning, Mr J. H. Bodvel-Roberts, Coroner for Carnarvonshire, held the inquest, at Deganwy railway-station. Mr Fenna watched the case on behalf of the Railway Company. David Hughes, Tywyn, a feilow-laborer with the deceased, gave evidence as to being with the deceased, and two other men (in an empty coal- wagon then being shunted) when the accident happened. They got into the third vehicle from the engine, the first vehicle being a van. The witness sat on the bottom of the wagon, and the other three rose before the train got to the buffer, which it did with a heavy jerk, the wagons rebound- ing. The effect of the jerk was to throw the three others—who were on their feet and holding on to the side of the wagon,-first towards the witness, and afterwards backward, the deceased falling backward out of the wagon. On jumping down, the witness saw the deceased on the ground, under one of the wheels of the wagon next in front, that is, further from the engine. The deceased's head was smashed in; his body was in the four-loot, a little crossways. The witness ran for Moses Parry, their foreman, and a wire was sent to Conway. In answer to a juror, the witness said that the reason they jumped into the wagon was simply to save walking, and, answering Mr Fenna, said that they had entered the wagon just as it was getting into motion, and while it was passing the crane. The train was not shunted too fast, in the witness's opinion. John Hughes, laborer, Conway, gave somewhat similar evidence. The jerk was greater than he expected. After the accident, the deceased s head was by the wheel, but not under it. The injuries showed that the wheel must have passed over the deceased's head. Nobody touched the body until the police came. The shunting was not faster than usual. The witness, who did not know whether the railwaymen knew that anyone was in the wagon, had never previously got into the wagons whilst they were being shunted, nor had he seen any other men in them. John Tharme, driver of the shunting-engine, said that he lived at 8 Railway Cottages, Llan- dudno Junction. The previous afternoon he was shunting fourteen wagons and a van, down to the end of the "Dock Siding." An intervening val1 prevented his seeing the men in the wagon. The shunter was at the points. The witness had to use his own judgment as to the speed necessary to reach the buffer. The engine was stationary when the witness found what had occured. and there was about 1-1i yard-, between the detached wagons (which had reached the buffer) and the wagons attached to the engine. As the man was dead, and as nothing could be done of any good) the body was allowed to remain till the arrival of the police. The shunting had been done carefully' and the jerk was not more than usual. In answd to Mr Fenna, the witness said that most (if not all) of the wagons had spring-buffers, which would at first give way on the buffer-stop being reached' and then there would be a rebound. He had never these loaders on the train before, and had he seen them he would have complained and have had them removed. Robert Lloyd, shunter, Deganwy, said that be was with the train the previous day. He did not see the men in the wagon. He had seen the'1' some time ago (but never lately), and had moved them. He knew nothing how the accident occured. He was attending to the points, and knew that the line was clear when the starting- signal was given. The deceased and the othe¡{ men had been looking at a wagon which was the rails. P.C. John Griffith (52) said that the previo11* ( afternoon he received a telegram given in Deganwy at 2.28, and received at Conway a 2.32. He came at once, by the little steamed and arrived at Deganwy just after three. fle found the deceased in the four-foot, right undej the wheel of a wagon, which those present helpe £ to move. Two wheels had passed over the deceased's head. I The jury returned a verdict of "Accidents t Death," and found that at the time of the accidellt the deceased was improperly in the wagon. THE FUNERAL. The interment took place, on Sunday afternoon* at Caerhun, the Rev J. W. Roberts (Vicar/ officiating.

Flint and Carnarvon County…