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Incident on Oahu Railway-
Richard Kapuaala Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2018 19:24:09

This may interest folks since it is OR&L railroad history. It interests me for that reason and for the reason that the boy in question is my grandfather. Thanks Uncle Jeff for sending this.

Honolulu Star Bulletin – 23 May 1913

 

TOT SLEEPS ON ROAD-BED AS TRAIN PASSES
                      Miraculously Escapes Fearful Death on O. R. & L Line Yesterday Afternoon


Awakened from his slumbers where he had teen lying between the tracks of the Oahu Railway and Land Company, his towseled head pillowed on a wooden cross-tie, little six-year-old
Ernest Kapuaala of 925 Waipiloplio road had the remarkable presence of mind to keep perfectly quiet while a long freight train, backing into the railroad yards at a few minutes after three o'clock yesterday afternoon, passed completely over him. It was only when half a dozen cars had
passed over the lad's prostrate body that his small comrades attracted by their shouts the attention of the engineer, who brought the train to a sudden stop not fifteen seconds before the low-built engine would have crushed the life out of the little fellow. Once the train had come to a stop Ernest climbed out from underneath the car nearest the engine and was carried in a fainting condition to his home. The boy's mother drew from him the story of his miraculous escape in the presence of a Star-Bulletin representative this morning. Ernest, as he told the story, was one of a
number of children from the Kaiulani school who went yesterday afternoon to the sugar cane fields of Ah In about a mile from the Oahu railroad station. Having helped himself liberally to the cane, he wandered a little distance from his comrades and, feeling drowsy, laid down between the railroad tracks and went to sleep. He was awakened, he said, by a great noise and woke up to find that all was dark about him. He said that he didn't scream, but lay perfectly still, and that when the noise, at last stopped he crawled out to where the other boys were. He felt very sick then, he said, and frightened, and didn't remember anything until he found himself m his mother's arms. The freight train, which so nearly stamped out his 1ife, was made up of about a dozen empty cars and was shunting back, into the yards when the near-accident occurred. Employees in the yards this morning stated that children who come into the fields for sugar cane have been repeatedly warned away, but that it has been impossible to keep them from trespassing on the railroad tracks. For this reason, trains moving into the yards are kept at a low rate of speed
and every precaution against accident taken. The boy showed few bad effects from his narrow escape. His mother was still in a state of nervous collapse from the shock of the experience. Railroad men, in, discussing the incident, declared yesterday afternoon that it is almost without parallel in the history of railroad traffic. The boy's escape is due, they say, to the fact that at the place he chose to go to sleep the cross-ties are worn and cupped, otherwise the cars would surely have ground him to death.


Richard Kapuaala

© RICHARD KAPUAALA 2017