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MAHAN, J. B. (Dr.)

    North Cambria News, 21 Sep 1916, Contributed by Lisa Baker

Altoona Men Met Death When Train Hits Auto.

Another horror occurred Monday evening at the death trap grade crossing near Cresson. Dr. T. A. Kephart, one of the best known of Altoona physician, and Dr. J. B. Mahan, a successful dentist of the Mountain City, were killed, shortly after 5:30 o’clock, when the evening train on the Cresson & Coalport branch struck and smashed their automobile at the crossing. The accident happened so swiftly that even the engineer of the train could give no account of how it developed; all he saw was the motor car the instant that his train bore down upon and struck it. Two boys playing along the roadside saw the accident, but it occurred so quickly they confess they could give no coherent account of it.

Little over a year ago five residents of Cambria county were in an automobile which was struck and smashed at the same crossing. The two Peters brothers and the Messrs. Kirsch, Pfiester and Rosensteel were in the car. One of the Messrs. Peters was killed and the other four men seriously injured, escaping death miraculously. The heirs of the dead man and the four injured men brought damage suits against the Pennsylvania Railroad company, which owns and operates the branch line, and these cases are still in the courts, one of them being on the state supreme court calendar.

In Monday evening’s horror the express train, running into Cresson, was late and was traveling about 40 miles an hour. The automobile was also running at a rapid rate of speed and so great was the impact when the engine struck the automobile that Dr. Mahan’s body was catapulted through the air and thrown 50 feet from the railroad tracks, while Dr. Kephart, torn and mangled, was tossed to the pilot of the locomotive.

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