As I mentioned earlier, today marks the 150th anniversary of the Staplehurst Rail Crash and the 145th anniversary of Dickens's death. In honor of this dual anniversary, I shall let Dickens speak for himself on both subjects (from his postscript to Our Mutual Friend):
"On Friday the ninth of June in the present year Mr. and Mrs. Boffin (in their manuscript dress of receiving Mr. and Mrs. Lammle at breakfast) were on the South Eastern Railway with me, in a terribly destructive accident. When I had done what I could to help others, I climbed back into my carriage -- nearly turned over a viaduct, and caught aslant upon the turn -- to extricate the worthy couple. They were much soiled, but otherwise unhurt. The same happy result attended Miss Bella Wilfer on her wedding-day, and Mr. Riderhood inspecting Bradley Headstone's red neckerchief as he lay asleep. I remember with devout thankfulness that I can never be much nearer parting company with my readers for ever, than I was then, until there shall be written against my life the two words with which I have this day closed this book -- THE END."