Long Island, NY Street Car Auto Wreck, Jul 1909


Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Sinnott Have a Narrow Escape at Cronin's Crossing, L. I.


Car Returning with Fresh Crew Refuses to Stop as He Tries to Board It.

As Clarence Miller, gate keeper at Cronin's Crossing of the Long Island Railroad tracks, between Arverne and Edgemere, L. I., lifted his gates yesterday afternoon at 5:30 o'clock, after a Far Rockaway train had passed, he did not notice the approach of a trolley car of the Ocean Electric Railroad Company, which uses its tracks.

A line of automobiles and other vehicles had been waiting to cross the railway. At the head of these was an automobile, driven by Thomas J. Sinnott, a contractor of East Twenty-third Street and Avenue D, in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, with his wife sitting beside him on the front seat.

At the raising of the bars Mr. Sinnott started his machine across the tracks. The trolley car, heavily laden, rushed into collision with the automobile, and struck it amidships. Mrs. Sinnott was hurled twenty feet from the car by the shock, but Mr. Sinnott, as he was holding the steering gear, was not thrown out until the machine began to turn in the air. He let go his hold and landed on the ground several feet from the overturned machine.

The car stopped, but in a few minutes, in which the motorman and conductor had time to see that no one was killed in the accident, they ran the car away. Policeman George W. Cooke found out that the motorman's name was Wainright and that of the conductor Rohry. He waited at the crossing to catch the crew on the return trip.

A number of people jumped from their automobiles and went to the assistance of Mr. and Mrs. Sinnott, both of whom said they did not want to go to the hospital. They thought they were not seriously injured. They were taken into another automobile by friends, as their machine was a complete wreck.

When the car came back, Policeman Cooke noted that it had a new crew on it. It was again loaded to the limit, with passengers standing on the running-board. Cooke stood by the track to indicate that he wanted to get on. The car slowed up a little, or he thought it did, and he attempted to jump on.

Cooke was dragged twenty-five feet. Both his legs slipped through the crack between the running-board and the car and his feet were jammed against the top of the live rail covering underneath. He was removed to St. Joseph's Hospital with both legs fractured.

Nor was this crew of Car 21 arrested.

The New York Times, New York, NY 12 Jul 1909