Seattle, WA Streetcar Jumps Tracks, Sept 1909


Seattle, Wash. -- The car had been carrying more than 80 visitors to the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition on its way from Wallingford when the brakes went out at 11:00 a.m., near the corner of E. 41st Street and 14th Avenue NE. As the vehicle picked up speed on the downward slope of 14th Avenue NE, motorman E. W. MELENDY yelled out to his passengers, "Brace yourselves, I can't help you!" The car swung around the curve of the tracks at E. 40th Street and derailed, traveling at approximately 30 miles an hour.
The 26-ton streetcar continued forward, smashing into a cigar stand and the St. Louis Cafe, behind which at the counter stood proprietor EDWARD WINSLOW and his assistant, ARTHUR FRYE. Neither man had time to get out of the way. Both buildings were obliterated by the crash.
At this point the superstructure of the car separated from the wheels, which smashed into a third building. The rest of the vehicle, still carrying its passengers, flipped over onto its side and slammed into a telegraph pole, nearly tearing the car in half. The sound of the accident was heard well inside the fairgrounds.
At first, no moaning came from within the wreckage, and those approaching it thought that all inside might be dead, given the force of the crash. As soon as a few people staggered out, bystanders began tearing the vehicle apart, to rescue those trapped within. In less than 10 minutes, all passengers were accounted for, and it was determined that FRANK HULL had died in the accident.
HULL was a member of the International Order of Odd Fellows and had attended the fair the day before, which was a commemorative day for the IOOF. Rather than return to Tacoma, he had decided to stay an extra day to enjoy more of the fair. He died from internal injuries. HULL was married and left behind a grown son and daughter.