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Chelsea, MI Interurban Cars Collide, June 1921

FIVE DEAD IN WRECK ON INTERURBAN.

OTHERS SUFFER PERHAPS FATAL INJURIES -- ACCIDENT OCCURS LATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

BRAKES FAILED TO WORK -- STEEL CAR CRASHES INTO WOODEN CAR.

Chelsea, Mich. June 20. (AP) -- The death Sunday of MISS VINA JOHNSON of Ann Arbor, brought the toll of the wreck here Saturday night to five. A score of others are suffering severe injuries and one or two may die. Those killed Saturday when the second section of a westbound limited on the Detroit-Jackson and Chicago road crashed into the first section were:
MR. and MRS. ARTHUR C. PIERCE, Highland Park.
MRS. EMMA SCARFF, Detroit.
MISS ELIZABETH KUESCH, of Chelsea.
The more seriously injured included:
ELMER KOEBHE and MRS. LAURA SCHOENBALS, both suffering from internal injuries and in critical condition at their homes here.
EDWIN F. LEE, of Hillsdale, suffering from internal injuries, head cuts and bruises, in St. Joseph's sanitarium, Ann Arbor.
MAY CRIQUE, 13 year old Jackson girl, severe head injuries and possibly fractured skull, at St. Joseph's sanitarium.
WILBUR ANDERSON of Ann Arbor, who is suffering from broken ribs and severe bruises, in St. Joseph's sanitarium there.
Nearly a score of others received minor injuries.
It is probable the bodies of MR. and MRS. PIERCE will be buried in Chelsea, their former home, although they have lived in Highland Park for several years. The body of MRS. EMMA SCARFF, which was positively identified Sunday, will be taken to Detroit for burial.
Motorman WINCHELL, who was in charge of the second section of the limited, blamed the accident on the failure of his brakes to work. The first section had gone into the Warsaw siding to await an eastbound car, and the second section was to have fallen in behind. The switch had not been thrown by the first section crew, while they talked to the dispatcher at Ypsilanti on the telephone, it is said, and the second section swung into the siding at considerable speed. When the brakes refused to work, Motorman WINCHELL declares he attempted to reverse his car but was too late.
The second section was of steel construction and withstood the force of the impact, but the first section was a wooden car, which crumbled. Passengers in the rear of the wooden car had no chance to escape, it is declared. They were hurled from their seats, cut by flying glass and pieces of framework and even those who escaped serious injury suffered bruises.
Motorman WINCHELL and Conductor LYONS of the second section and the crew of the first section will be among the witnesses summoned to the inquest.
The announcement was made Sunday evening by officials of the Detroit, Jackson & Chicago road that an official investigation into the circumstances of the Chelsea wreck Saturday evening, will be begun in Detroit Monday morning. It had been impossible to act previously because of the condition of Motorman WINCHELL, who has been suffering severely from nervous shock, as well as from cuts and bruises. The crews of both cars will be called upon for complete statements and testimony also will be taken from passengers.

Evening Chronicle Marshall Michigan 1921-06-20



article | by Dr. Radut