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Boyd Caster Loses Arm In Railroad Accident

Quick Thinking Saves Life of Boyd
Caster, Student Brakeman of
Council Bluffs

The accompanying article which appeared in the Columbus Daily Telegram of Saturday, June 16, tells of the accident which cost Boyd Caster well known Farnam boy, his right forearm, last Friday night.

Boyd Caster, 22, Council Bluffs, a student brakeman for the Union Pacific, suffered a mangled right arm which necessitated amputation three inches below the elbow when he fell from the top of extra freight train No. 2206, westbound, three miles west of Columbus about 9:45 p.m. Friday.

Only his presence of mind saved Caster from almost certain death. As he started to fall after missing the hand rail on a coal car for which he reached while walking along the top of the train, he pushed himself and this prevented a fall between the two rails of the westbound track. He fell clear of the track except for his right arm, which lay across the south rail and over which wheels of his own train passed before he could pull it out of the way. In doing this he fell in the path of the eastbound passenger train No. 20, the engine of which was about even with the engine of the freight when he first saw headlightsr. He barely had time to rise again to avoid being hit by No. 20.

The head brakeman on the freight, seeing Caster fall, hurried to the engine, about 18 or 20 cars ahead and had the engineer stop the train. Caster, on the ground, hailed the conductor and the rear-brakeman as the caboose passed him and then walked to the caboose after the train was stopped. The engineer, A. E. Nelson, had by that time signalled a passing auto and the injured man was rushed to Columbus hospital by Tommy Roach, rear-brakeman.

Caster also received a number of minor cuts and bruises in the fall. His condition today was reported very good and indications pointed to an early recovery.

Employed One Month

Caster entered the employ of the Union Pacific a month ago. He is a single man who lived with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Caster, at Farnam, until going to work for the railroad company, when he went to Council Bluffs to stay with a brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Thomas. Practically all of his student trips during the past month have been between Council Bluffs and Columbus or Council Bluffs and Grand Island.

Mr. Thomas, a fireman on the westbound train last night, heard of the accident of his brother-in-law at Valley and was relieved at Columbus about 3 A. M. today. Mrs. Thomas came from Council Bluffs, arriving here on No. 25 at 5:49 a.m. Caster's parents are expected from Farnam this evening.

In addition to his parents and the sister, Mrs. Thomas of Council Bluffs, Caster has two brothers, Tommy N. and Leon Caster at Farnam, and two other sisters, Mrs. E. J. Knisley of Lincoln, and Mrs. C. M. Heath, of Ingham.

The Farnam Echo 41(33):1, Thursday, 21 June 1928


Published: 8/14/2022 -
Hosted and Published by Weldon Hoppe