On May 15, 1956, Arkansas and Ozarks G.E. 70 ton diesel #900 was delivering a refrigerator car full of strawberries to the Seligman, Missouri interchange with the Frisco. (This line was formerly operated by the Missouri and Arkansas). Because of heavy rains the crew was worried about the safety of track and bridges. Granted, this run was occurring at the middle of the night, leaving Harrison at 10:45 p.m. The wreck occurred at 1:45 a.m. As they approached bridge 73-2 over Butler Creek, the bridge appeared to be safe. But after they traveled about 25 feet, the crew felt the bridge begin to give. The conductor, Winford A. Gonce, recalled looking ahead and seeing the bridge in front of them crumbling like matchsticks. The engineer, Jess M. Moody, set the brakes on locomotive and refrigerator car just before the locomotive plunged 40 feet, landing with the cab in the creek bottom. The reefer, Railway Express car #6210, rested precariously on the trestle. When the crew came to (every man whose testimony I’ve read passed out) the engineer opened a window and they crawled up the locomotive, over the reefer, and onto the tracks, where they walked to the town of Beaver. The storekeeper there called an ambulance, and all the crew were taken to Carrol County Hospital. Miraculously, no one died.
Later, a ‘shoo-fly’ or temporary track was built. A Frisco wrecker (crane) let the diesel down on its side. The crane then righted the diesel and winched it up the shoo-fly. The locomotive was then towed to Harrison and waited in the machine shop while the Railroad settled with the insurance company. After the settlement, the switcher was rebuilt by machinist Fawn Paul and the shop crew. The Frisco wrecker operator said it was “the nastiest little wreck I ever saw”.