Pittsfield, MA President Roosevelt In Accident, Sep 1902

Theodore_Roosevelt_circa_1902.jpg Roosevelt Accident MA Agent William Craig.jpg

PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT MIRACULOUSLY ESCAPES DEATH FROM AN ELECTRIC CAR WHICH RUNS DOWN HIS CARRIAGE AND KILLS SECRET SERVICE AGENT.

EXECUTIVE CAUGHT IN WRECK AND BRUISED.

BRAVE GUARD AND THE DRIVER ARE MANGLED.

SECRETARY CORTELYOU ALSO RECEIVES INJURIES.

Pittsfield, Mass., Sept. 3. -- The President of the United States escaped a tragic death by only a few feet in a collision between his carriage and an electric streetcar in this city today, while one of his most trusted guards, Secret Service Agent WILLIAM CRAIG, was instantly illed and DAVID J. PRATT of Dalton, who was guiding the horses attached to the vehicle, was seriously injured. President ROOSEVELT himself was badly shaken up, but received only a slight facial bruise.
Secretary CORTELYOU, who occupied a seat directly opposite the President in the carriage, sustained a minor wound on the back of his head and Governor CRANE, who sat beside the President, escaped without a scratch.
The carriage was demolished by the impact of the rapidly moving car and the wheel horse on the side nearest the car was killed. The crew and passengers of the car escaped injury.
The President and party were driving from this city to Lenox, through South Street, one of the principal thoroughfares of Pittsfield, which was lined with cheering people, and the catastrophe happened in plain view of hundreds whose happiness at the advent of the nation's chief was suddenly turned to grief.
Thousands had poured into the city in the early morning from the country to see and hear the President, and his address at the City Park had been loudly cheered. At the conclusion of the exercise he wished to make a brief call on former Senator Dawes, whose house in Elm Street is but a short distance from the park. The President's carriage, on which he had ridden in from Governor Crane's home at Dalton, was accordingly driven to the Dawes residence and carriages containing a number of other gentlemen in the party followed. President Roosevelt's call was a short one and then the carriage returned to the City Square.
After a few minutes delay the journey to Lenox was begun. Meanwhile the mounted escort of police officers and the carriages containing the newspaper correspondents, who have accompanied the President on his tour, had started off ahead on the road to Lenox and were some distance in advance of the President's equipage. Three or four other open carriages fell in line immediately behind the landau, in which the President rode with Secretary CORTELYOU and Governor CRANE. Secret Service Agent CRAIG, who, through the New England trip, has been almost constantly at the President's elbow, was on the driver's box beside Coachman PRATT.
Out through South Street is a broad highway. The tracks of the Pittsfield electric street railway are laid in the center of the road, with ample room for the teams on each side, and scores of vehicles of every description followed along this road behind the President's party. Shortly after he left the park an electric car which had been filled with passengers at that point started toward Lenox well behind the procession. It passed all of the teams and was about a mile and a half out from the city at the beginning of Howard Hill and was nearly up to the President's carriage, which was traveling on the west side of the highway.
Just at the foot of Howard Hill the road bends a little and teams are compelled to cross the street railway tracks to the east side. The railroad then continues alongside of the street instead of in the center. Just at this point the upgrade of the hill begins, and but a short distance beyond the crossing there is a narrow bridge spanning a small brook.

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