While working at the slide on the Moffat road in Rock creek canon, caused by the breaking of the irrigation ditch that conveys the water of Rock creek into the Crater country, a Japanese laborer by the name of J. Shockichi Kobayaski, and recently from Ken, Japan, was struck by a falling rock and with great force was knocked against the truss of a flat car, tearing the right side of his head completely off, causing instant death. His brains were scattered for a distance of 20 feet.
The accident occurred at 7:45 yesterday morning and the body, after being placed on the wrecking train, was removed to Yampa in charge of the officials and his countrymen. The accident scared his fellow employes [sic] to such an extent that 34 out of 45 of the men working on the slide, quit the job.
There is probability of entanglements in this case with the railroad company, as the coroner of the county in which a death occurs must sign the death certificate, and Coroner Bashor was not informed of the accident until after the body had been taken to Denver on the Moffat train.
As far as is known, Kobayaski, who was 21 years of age, had no relatives in this country. He will be buried in Denver.
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Newspapers had such a different way of putting things-- including such gruesome details as how far his brains were spread from the impact. One more poor young man killed in the way of progress-- the west is full of such graves, unknown or barely remembered. Do you think his fellow workers knew his family, and were able to tell them what happened? Do you think that he still lies in Denver today, or that his family came and moved his body to Japan, like so many Chinese burials were moved? This story brings to mind our own Charlie Corless, who lies buried on the hill, dead at 19. His story is unknown, and aside from the kindness of his neighbors, who bought a beautiful granite stone to mark his burial, who remembered him at his death? Who notified his family, who found him lifeless? I wish I could bring the dead back to life to answer all the questions I have for them.