Southern Railway's Train 97 had previously been in another fatal accident earlier in 1903. On Monday, April 13, Train 97 left Washington, DC, at 8 AM en route to New Orleans, Louisiana. As the train approached Lexington the train struck a large rock on the track causing the train to derail and become ditched killing the engineer and fireman. The locomotive that pulled the train is unknown. Southern #1102 had yet to be delivered to the railroad at that time.