Rescue From The Snow
I think the year was 1963. I was working the middle division as a fireman working with engineer Lee Sackett. We were northbound on #70 and it was in the wee hours of the morning. There was a lot of new snow on the ground and it had drifted in that flat country.
As we crossed the first road crossing south of South Raub in southern Tippecanoe County, I noticed an automobile nosed off into the ditch on the east side of the crossing and it appeared the dome light was on. We were moving probably 50 to 55 mph. I said to the engineer, “I believe there was someone in that car.” We decided to stop.
We radioed the conductor on the caboose that we were going to stop and said we would back into the crossing so he could check it out.
We did and sure enough there was a woman in the car. She had been there about four hours. She said she had tried to walk to a farmhouse and got cold and lost, but managed to get back to the car.
The conductor (Glenn E “Knobby” King) and the flagman got the woman out of the car and onto the caboose. We took her to Lafayette and they picked her up at Salem Street and took her to the hospital suffering from frostbite to her feet.
To this day I do not know who the woman was or how she survived, but we probably saved her life.
About a week later the conductor received a letter of commendation from the superintendent with a copy for the engine crew. I still have that letter.
I’m sure there are other stories about these rescues because we were alerted to the conditions and the Monon people cared.
By Russ Jackson, as written in The Hoosier Line, Volume 22, Number 1
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