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Virginia's Deadliest Train Wreck "Lost at Thaxton"

{}Thaxton, Va.- There's been a lot of discussion about train accidents lately. But did you know one of Virginia's deadliest train accidents happened well over a century ago? Most people don't. However, {}Tuesday, a group of dedicated folks set out to make sure no one forgets.

126 years ago-at least 18 people lost their lives - over a culvert in Thaxton.

And two Tennessee family businesses decided the event was worthy enough to establish a historical marker to commemorate the lives lost.

It's called the "forgotten train wreck."

In 1889 a New York bound train carrying several passengers -derailed over an embankment after heavy rains.

The train careened-into the void, and at least 18 people died-Many of them trapped overnight-

Michael Jones, Author, "Lost at Thaxton," "It was one of the worst railroad accidents in the state of Virginia, I could only find one where there were more people killed."

Jones wrote a book about the tragedy-and he joined hands with an unlikely figure-Allan Jones-a wealthy businessman from Cleveland, Tennessee -where three of the doomed passengers once lived.

Cleveland had its own monument erected for the loss of lives- it was knocked over by a driver about a year ago and that sparked this.

Allan Jones, Cleveland Businessman, "This was a big deal to me! When our monument got knocked over."

It bothered Allen Jones so much-he looked into the situation further and found out there was NO historic marker at the site of the tragedy.

Allan Jones, Businessman, "And I was just appalled. I couldn't believe that the thing was unmarked. A tragedy like that"

So by contributing his funds and leaning on the Virginia Department of Historic Resources together-this group prevailed and all who drive this stretch of the Salem Turnpike will now recognize what was lost all those years ago.

Michael Jones, Author, -"I think the importance of it to the history of the state of Virginia and to recognize the importance how many lives were lost here."

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