Rep. Robert Wickliffe (D-La.) is identified as the first sitting member of Congress to die from a train encounter. The House member died while crossing a railroad bridge in the nation’s capital near the end of his second term in 1912.

The phenomenon of grisly train deaths throughout the late 1800’s is explained in the report: “Train travel was much more common and members of Congress from time to time would die on trains (due to ill health while taking long trips) or meet violent deaths in train collisions or accidents or while walking on or crossing the tracks.”

Fortunately, this unusual and unfortunate end seems to be a thing of the past.

A member of Congress hasn’t died on or by a train since 1957.

Photo: Flickr