July 28, 2005 Falls News Press c/o April Helm. I too remember that fateful trip of the Doodlebug on the evening of July 31, 1940. I had come to the Falls to live with my parents at 2435 2nd St. after graduating from Northfield High School that year. My folks had moved down to the Falls, from Northfield, to be closed to my dad's work as a licensed fireman at the Gorge River Plant of Ohio Edison. They had rented the above address from an elderly lady who continued to have a room for her use. She became known as Grandma Conkel to our family, and lived there until her death in late 43. My first job down here was with Barney Lyle Chev. Co. working under Don Meech, his used car manager, on the car lot on Front St. next to the Standard Oil Station on the Oakwood corner. It seemed as though that corner was a meeting place for the neighbors to talk over the day's problems or important news. Some I remember in the group, who are mostly deceased now, then I was only 18 years old, am now past 83 yrs., but my memories consist of Barney Lyle, Don Meech, Mr. Barnhart the gas station operator, Mr. McKim the heating man, Emmit Taylor car salesman, Lisle Richards attorney, Mr. Landis, the plumber, and my friend Chuck Gowin. We all heard the shrill whistle of the freight train and the screaming and hollering could be plainly heard from that distant. It was Mr. Taylor who said, "My God, the Doodlebug and Ole Smokey crashed." Chuck Gowin and I took off on the run up Front St. when we got up past Northland, the heavy smoke from the diesel Bug was very plain to see. It took us a few minutes to reach the scene, but the heat was so intense there was nothing we could do to help anyone. We did see and talk to one man who had jumped from the Bug before it crashed. He was cut and bruised from his landing, but able to talk and walk. He told us, there was close to 50 people on that run, and if any survived it would be a miracle, later we heard of 3 people who survived. The above information is my memory of that crash. Richard L. Huntsman, Age 83 yrs.
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