Providence, RI Trolley Crashes And Turns Over, June 1906
11 KILLED, 40 HURT IN TROLLEY ACCIDENT.
CAR TURNS OVER AT FOOT OF A HILL IN EAST PROVIDENCE.
HURLED FROM THE TRACK.
FILLED WITH OVER A HUNDRED MARRY-MAKERS -- BIG VEHICLE, RAISED, FALLS AGAIN, CRUSHING MORE VICTIMS.
Providence, R. I., June 3. -- Eleven persons are dead, a score seriously and another score slightly injured s the result of the overturning of an open electric car at Moore's Corner, in East Providence, at 1 o'clock this morning. More than 100 young men and women, members of a Catholic society, who had been passing the evening at Crescent Park, a pleasure resort on the Providence River, six miles below this city, were on a chartered car returning to their homes in this city, Olneyville and Thornton.
The motorman in charge of the car, W. J. LAUCHER of Olneyville, although experienced in his calling, was unfamiliar with the road, over which he was traveling for the first time. He was put in charge of the car at the solicitation of the passengers. At Moore's Corner the track curves sharply at the foot of a long but not particularly heavy grade. Fog prevented a clear view of the road ahead, and an electric arc lamp at the corner is said to have been hardly visible. The motorman, unaware of the sharp curve below, allowed the car to coast rapidly down hill.
The first intimation of an accident was when the motorman felt the car swing into the curve. Realizing the peril, he applied the brakes and reversed the power in an effort to prevent an accident. The weight of a number of men on the running board and the momentum sufficed to derail the car and throw it into the road twenty feet from the track, where it fell on its side between a tree and a guide post.
Seven of the passengers were pinioned beneath the car and instantly killed. The shrieks and groans of other passengers gave evidence of terrible injuries. Immediately those who escaped with little or no injury began the work of rescue. Within a few moments a large joist lying in a nearby dooryard was utilized as a lever, and the car was raised form the ground. Just enough to permit the escape of its imprisoned passengers. Two persons had succeeded in escaping, when the joist broke under the weight of the car, and the heavy vehicle fell back to the ground, pinioning two passengers beneath its weight and killing them instantly.
The rescuers again raised the car from the ground, and, by building a pile of heavy stone, kept it in position while the dead and injured were removed.
In the meantime physicians and ambulances had been summoned from Providence and Riverside. The home of SETH WOOD, who had been one of the leaders in the rescue work, was turned into a temporary hospital and the victims of the wreck were carried into the dwelling. Two of the injured died within an hour.
The full list of dead follows:
ATCHERSON, GEORGE, 20 years, Thornton.
BRENNAN, EDWARD F., 18 years, Cranston, R. I.
FRANKLIN, ALICE, 17 years, Thornton.
GAMBONI, ENRICO, 28 years, Providence.
GAVIN, JOHN, 20 years, Providence.
GERMAIN, ANGELO, 80 years, Thornton.
GUERTIN, GUSTAVE, 25 years, Olneyville.
LUTHER, WILLIAM W., 27 years, Providence.
KELLEY, BERTHA M., 18 years, Thornton.
SCHNEIDER, JOHN, 19 years, Olneyville.
HITELY, ETHEL W., 19 years, Providence.
LAUCHER was not arrested. The police authorities thought the motorman was not guilty of negligence inasmuch as he was unfamiliar with the line and did not know of the curve. The car was in charge of Conductor JOSEPH McQUADE, who received serious injuries.
The New York Times New York 1906-06-04