Quantcast

Rescuer, survivor from 50-year-old train wreck remember tragedy - abc27 WHTM

Rescuer, survivor from 50-year-old train wreck remember tragedy

Posted: Updated:
  • Let's Go PlacesMore>>

  • Perry County Man Gets Charge Out of Commute

    Perry County Man Gets Charge Out of Commute

    Perry County Man Gets Charge Out of Commute

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:09:35 GMT
    On the outside, it looks like any other pickup truck, until you look under the cargo cover."We have twelve 200 amp hour sealed lead acid batteries," explained Gary Nye, pointing to a truck bed full of batteries, wired in series. It's the power source foran electric motor in what was once a gasoline engine vehicle.Nye said he was inspired to make the power conversion every time he filled the gas tank of his SUV. He saw it as a way to save on his daily commute between Landisburg and Carlisle"I ...More >>
    On the outside, it looks like any other pickup truck, until you look under the cargo cover."We have twelve 200 amp hour sealed lead acid batteries," explained Gary Nye, pointing to a truck bed full of batteries, wired in series. It's the power source foran electric motor in what was once a gasoline engine vehicle.Nye said he was inspired to make the power conversion every time he filled the gas tank of his SUV. He saw it as a way to save on his daily commute between Landisburg and Carlisle"I ...More >>
  • Teenagers Earn Their Wings in Lebanon County

    Teenagers Earn Their Wings in Lebanon County

    Teenagers Earn Their Wings in Lebanon County

    Monday, July 21 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-07-21 13:20:20 GMT
    At Farmer's Pride Airport in Fredericksburg, it was a summer school like none other. Nine days of learning about and flying glider planes. A unique chance for 16 Civil Air Patrol cadets to expand their abilities in aeronautics and in life.James Linker, Director, Civil Air Patrol Northeast Region,said the participants learn critical thinking skills that carry over into any walk of life."Primarily, it's an aviation exercise," said Linker, "but it's a great skill-building exercise too."Before, d...More >>
    At Farmer's Pride Airport in Fredericksburg, it was a summer school like none other. Nine days of learning about and flying glider planes. A unique chance for 16 Civil Air Patrol cadets to expand their abilities in aeronautics and in life.James Linker, Director, Civil Air Patrol Northeast Region,said the participants learn critical thinking skills that carry over into any walk of life."Primarily, it's an aviation exercise," said Linker, "but it's a great skill-building exercise too."Before, d...More >>
  • Autoharp Gathering in Perry County Draws Worldwide Participants

    Autoharp Gathering in Perry County Draws Worldwide Participants

    Autoharp Gathering in Perry County Draws Worldwide Participants

    Friday, July 11 2014 11:08 AM EDT2014-07-11 15:08:08 GMT
    For five days at the end of June, it was all things Autoharp at Little Buffalo State Park near Newport."We have people from Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Canada and from almost every state," said Neal Walters, Director of the 24th Annual Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering.Throughout the festival, workshops focused on playing techniques geared for all talent levels for the multi-stringed instrument from the zither family. There was even a seminar on how to play in front of an audience.Worksho...More >>
    For five days at the end of June, it was all things Autoharp at Little Buffalo State Park near Newport."We have people from Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Canada and from almost every state," said Neal Walters, Director of the 24th Annual Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering.Throughout the festival, workshops focused on playing techniques geared for all talent levels for the multi-stringed instrument from the zither family. There was even a seminar on how to play in front of an audience.Worksho...More >>

It was supposed to be a fun train ride on the way to watch baseball in Philadelphia. But, only minutes out of the Harrisburg train station, fun turned to tragedy.

Fifty years ago this month a horrible accident unfolded in Dauphin County: a passenger train derailed and some cars fell into the Susquehanna River. 

On that fateful day - July 28, 1962 - 19 people died. One hundred others were injured. A rescuer remembers it like yesterday.

"It was like a nightmare. All I could hear was screaming," said volunteer rescuer Paul Tezac.

Tezac, 77,  was among the first on the scene after a nine-car train derailed next to the Bethlehem Steel plant in Steelton. The last three cars were tossed over the bank into the Susquehanna River. Chaos and carnage was everywhere.

"When I stepped to get on the car, I stepped on a man's chest," Tezac said.

After helping survivors exit by ladder, Tezac was called to assist his brother, already inside the car.

"There was a little boy. 'I want my daddy. I want my daddy.'  That was heart-breaking," he said. 

That little boy made it, but his dad, who was pinned under his son, did not.

"That was horrible," he said. "All I hear was people screaming and back in the car, 'Help me, help me, help me.'"

In the last seats of the last car were 15-year-old John Murray and three of his Middletown High school buddies.

"I heard glass breaking. I heard screams," Murray said. "And then just like that I woke up and I was half way up the train car. It was on its side and I was lying over a seat with the Susquehanna River maybe two feet before my face."

His friends escaped injury, but Murray suffered a fractured skull and was treated at Harrisburg Hospital.

The boys were among the fortunate: 19 men, women and children died that afternoon. Investigators blamed the derailment on improperly anchored rails where new ties had been installed just the day before.

"Everyone was stunned," Tezac said. "Nobody could believe it, unless you seen it."

Powered by WorldNow