Friday, February 10 1928
Express Hits Truck At Statham; Wreck is Fatal to Driver
Locomotive is Derailed
Engineer McClesky Suffers Serious Injuries and May Die; Two Others Are Hurt Less Seriously
Statham, Ga., Feb 4 – One man was killed and three injured at a grade crossing here Saturday afternoon when the engine and express car of an Atlanta-bound Seaboard Air Line passenger train was wrecked in a collision with an oil truck.
C.B. Benton, drver (sic) of the oil truck, was killed; his brother, J.B. Benton, a passenger on the truck; H.A. McClesky, of Abbeville, S.C. engineer of the train, and the negro fireman of the locomotive, were injured in the wreck.
When the locomotive struck the truck it was derailed and turned over, taking the express car and the car following it, tearing up the track for a distance of 100 feet or more.
McClesky and J.B. Benton, each suffering from a broken leg and other injuries, were taken to Athens for treatment. The negro fireman was said to have been only slightly injured.
The Bentons were both from Statham.
Two blood transfusions have been resorted to in a desperate effort to save the life of Engineer H. A. McCleskey, who was seriously injured in the train wreck at Statham last Saturday afternoon, it was stated at St. Mary’s Hospital on Wednesday morning. Mr. McCleskey was rushed to the hospital immediately after the wreck suffering from a compound fracture of the leg, shock and bruises.
It was apparent that the leg would have to be amputated, but Mr. McCleskey’s condition Sunday and Monday was such as to make the operation impossible. The leg was amputated Tuesday, and Tuesday night a blood transfusion was performed. Another transfusion was tried Wednesday. It was reported that Mr. McCleskey’s condition was critical at noon Wednesday.
Mr. J.B. Benton, brother of Mr. Coy Benton, who was killed in the wreck, was reported as doing well. He suffered a broken leg, bruises and shock.
Mr. McCleskey had exchanged runs with Claude Jones, who ordinarily takes the south bound vestibule run. The number of the locomotive was No. 13.