Casey Jones sacrificed his own life to save the passengers on his train in 1900, but it is less known that he also rescued a little girl from certain death much earlier in his career
Casey Jones went down in history after his dramatic death on 30 April 1900. He was an engineer for the Illinois Central Railroad.
His work primarily involved freight service between Jackson and Water Valley, Mississippi before he was transferred to Memphis, Tennessee, for the passenger run between Memphis and Canton, Mississippi.
On the fatal night of his death, heavy fog reduced visibility and there was a light rain. Casey didn't know that some of the cars of other trains were stopped on the main line at the station at Vaughan and due to the low visibility his fireman, Simeon T. Webb, only spotted them when it was too late.
When Casey realized the danger he slammed the air brakes into emergency stop and reversed the throttle, slowing the train from 75 miles per hour to about 35 miles per hour at the time of impact.
By staying on board and acting heroically despite the danger he was in, he saved the lives of all his passengers. He was the only fatality in the crash and died on impact.
What is less known is that he had already saved a little girl’s life in 1895. He'd braced himself on the cowcatcher of a moving train, leaning forward as far as he could and lifting her of the tracks, where she was frozen in fear!
She was completely unharmed due to his brave and quick action.