Providence, RI Auto Accident, Aug 1908


Was Driving Machine at a Fifty-Mile Clip Over Road He Did Not Know.


Striking Sharp Curve Near Providence, the Automobile Went Over Embankment into Meadow.

Special to The New York Times.

PROVIDENCE, R. I., Aug. 12.----J. Montgomery Sears of Boston, prominent in social circles of Newport and Boston and patron of out-of-door sports, was fatally injured early this morning when his automobile, going at high speed over a road with which he was not familiar, left the highway at a turn, plunged over an eight-foot embankment, and turned a somersault into a field below. Mr. Sear's skull was fractured, his chest was crushed, and both of his arms and his legs were broken.

The accident occurred just after mid-night, and Mr. Sears died at the Rhode Island Hospital at 9 o'clock this morning.

George Saunders of the city, with whom Mr. Sears became acquainted while on a hunting trip in Florida last Winter, was in the automobile and was seriously hurt. A leg was fractured and he suffered internal injuries. He will probably recover.

The accident took place on the Apponaug Road, a half dozen miles out of this city, in the village of Norwood. For a mile or more the road is straightway, but it takes a sharp turn to the right near the Norwood Hotel. Just before the accident a small runabout run by A. Albert Sack, Jr., and Charles A. Webster of this city, rounded the turn coming in the direction of this city. As they straightened away on the road they saw a big, high-powered car coming at a terrific clip, probably about fifty miles an hour. It missed the smaller car by inchers only. Mr. Sack realized that the driver of the big car could not know of the sharp curve ahead, and slowed up just in time to hear a sharp report like the crack of a pistol when the tire was ripped from the Sears machine as the driver made a despairing effort to negotiate the turn.

Mr. Sack backed his runabout to the curve. As he came to the spot he saw a flash of fire in the field and realized that the automobile had gone over the bank into the meadow. He and his companion hastily climbed down to the assistance of the men, both of whom were on the grass beside the car, and in imminent danger of being burned to death.

Mr. Sears was lying on his face with his arms stretched out above his head. He was unconscious and breathing heavily. He was carried to the bank out of the way of the flames, and then Saunders was laid beside him.

Physicians from the neighborhood ministered to the men until the arrival of an ambulance, Saunders, who was partially conscious, said that there were four in the machine. Volunteers hurried to the burning car, and after some difficulty it was righted, but it wad seen at a glance that there was no one beneath it. Later he said that he was mistaken.

The New York Times, New York, NY 13 Aug 1908