Ypsilanti, MI Interurban Collision, Apr 1908



Detroit, Mich., April 28 -- Two large interurban trolley cars on the Detroit, Jackson & Chicago railway, a part of the Detroit United railway system, running from Detroit to Jackson, collided
head-on this afternoon, while running about forty-five miles an hour, twenty-five miles west of here, near Ypsilanti. Six men were killed and about thirty men and women injured, some of them seriously. All of the seriously wounded were taken to the University Hospital at Ann Arbor. A mistake in orders on on the part of Motorman ISA FAY of the limited car, who was crushed to death beneath his vestibule, is alleged to have caused the collision. It is charged that he overran his orders.
The dead are:
Motorman ISA FAY, Jackson.
JOHN PAGET, Detroit.
JACK McMULLEN TAYLOR, Syracuse, New York.
Three Unidentified Men.
Four of the injured are in a critical condition tonight. Among the less seriously injured are:
EDWARD DeWITT, Grand Forks, N.D.
G. W. REEVE, Van Wert, Ohio.
The limited car, comfortably filled with about forty people left Ypsilanti at 5:17 o'clock for Detroit. The running time of the car was changed today and reduced, so that Motorman FAY left Ypsilanti ten minutes earlier than he had been accustomed to. This is thought by some to have been responsible for the mistake. Instead of stopping at Harris Switch, about two miles west of the scene of the accident, where, it is said by the officials of the road, the cars should have passed, the limited rushed by the crossing point at high speed. As it rounded a curve four miles east of Ypsilanti the local car flashed into view also running at high speed. It was a hopeless affair to try and stop the heavy cars and they crashed together with terrific impact.
Motorman WINRAVE of the local car jumped when he saw that the collision was inevitable, but Motorman FAY stuck to his post. The local car was built considerably higher than the limited so that as they met its body rode up over the heavy flooring and iron-work of the limited and telescoped it for nearly thirty feet. Despite the terrific force of the collision the wrecked limited stayed on the rails with the local car crushed into its forward end for half a length. There were screams of fright from the limited passengers as they saw the local car loom before them and then they were silenced by the crash. Survivors say that there was a moment of death-like silence following the collision and then the uninjured and slightly wounded messengers crawled from the wreckage and after a few moments, began the work of rescuing those who were pinioned under the car.
Hardly passenger escaped injury of some sort.

Ogden Standard Utah 1908-04-29