Cover-up? 30 People Were Killed in Train Accident in Mays Landing, NJ
Did your history class talk about the bunch of people who were killed in a horrific train accident in Mays Landing back in 1880?
Nope, same here.
Actually, there's not a lot of history about that tragic accident, and apparently, there wasn't a lot of news about accidents when it happened.
30 people died and dozens more were injured.
The train line was a new one, on new tracks running from the Camden area to Atlantic City. An accident happened when two trains were headed in the same direction and one slammed into the rear of the other. This happened on a return trip from Atlantic City to Camden, with the accident happening in Mays Landing.
This awesome video is on YouTube and the editors and hosts have done an excellent job telling the story of that fateful trip:
Mari Dattolo, who's featured in the video, has actually written a book on the accident. The book, called Between the Shore and the City - Tragedy at Mays Landing is available via Amazon here. It was published this past summer. In a pitch for the book, Amazon says the book, "offers a vivid account of the events leading up to the deadly day. Combining archival research, regional newspaper reporting, and fictional imaginings of the victims' last day, this historic narrative captures the drama and the sorrow."
Dattolo told me that the video was at the beginning of her research, and she's since researched the incident heavily and has unearthed updated information, which led to her book. Dattolo says she believes that information was hard to come by because there was a coverup:
"It's a very deep coverup that also involved the Atlantic County Board of Freeholders. I have copies of their meeting minutes; the PA Railroad (PRR) meeting minutes; all of the victims' hospital records from PA Hospital; and many other documented pieces of evidence."
A lengthy explanation of the coverup can be found in her book.