The Ashtabula train disaster and bridge collapse was the worst train disaster of the 19th century, claiming the lives of 97 people. The engineering and structural failures that caused the collapse of a bridge that stood for over a decade, also took down the most luxurious train of the day, “The Pacific Express #5.” The accident happened in Ashtabula, Ohio on December 29, 1876 during a raging blizzard, sending the luxury train crashing 70-feet into a river gorge and costing the lives of 97 people. The disaster shocked the nation, yet it’s a story that’s been lost in the pages of history. In a strange twist of fate and intrigue, the bridge disaster also became the backdrop to the still unsolved murder of Charles Collins, the railroad’s chief engineer. It also contributed to the eventual suicide of millionaire Amasa Stone, the president of the railroad and the designer and builder of the bridge.