New York, NY Auto Backs Off Ferry, Aug 1911


Splashes Into the River as Driver Makes Flying Leap to Safety.

Just as the ferryboat Queens, Capt. Helgesen, nosed into its slip, at the foot of Ninety-ninth Street and East River, last night the passengers saw one of a party of three men who had boarded the boat in an auto at College Point, climb into the driver's seat on the auto, on the rear deck of the ferryboat. A moment later, whether due to the lurching of the boat or the back stroke of the auto's own engine, the car shot backward, and moment later crashed through the iron gate near the stern. The driver jumped from the auto just as it crossed the edge of the deck and plunged into the river. The darkness swallowed it at once.

At first it was thought the driver's two companions were still in the submerged car and women among the passengers uttered hysterical cries. The two, however, appeared from the front of the boat and began to calm their terrified companion. One of them, the owner of the car, said he was Harry Dwinzelo, an electrical engineer, of Westchester. The other gave his name as Smith. The man who narrowly escaped going down with the runaway car said he was J. Grainger, a bathhouse owner, of Clason Point.

The police of Harbor Squad B sent a launch to the scene. A tug from the Merritt-Chapman Wrecking Company was also called, and was still dredging for the buried car a midnight. It was thought that the auto would be recovered before morning.

The New York Times, New York, NY 24 Aug 1911