Lucky Escape for Claude Deffenbaugh

Some good, if frightening, news from the August 31, 1900 Skidmore Standard, page 1:

Struck By Engine.
Boy Caught on Pilot and Thrown Off the Track.

A hair-breadth escape of a boy from death, or being horribly mangled, was witnessed by a large number of people waiting at the depot Wednesday evening.

Claude, young son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Deffenbaugh, stepped on the track to cross just in front of the incoming freight train from the north. Before anyone could warn the boy he was caught on the pilot of the engine, and the people stood speechless, as if paralyzed, until he was thrown to one side, off the track. The engineer reversed his engine and stopped the train as soon as possible, but it would have been fatally late if the boy had not been fortunately tossed off the track.

Aside from being frightened, greatly, the boy suffered no evil effects from his experience except a few slight bruises on one of his arms; and he jumped up and returned up town unassisted.

The boy’s seemingly strange action in stepping between the rails when the engine was not more than three or four feet distant, is accounted for by the fact that he is deaf. His attention at the time was directed to the south, and the engine which struck him was coming from the north.

Claud is about 12 years old, and spent last year in the school for the deaf at Fulton. He is at home now spending vacation with his parents.

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