Fitchburg, MA Horse Car Accident, July 1887



Fitchburg, Mass., July 5. -- (Special Telegram to the Bee) -- A terrible accident occurred yesterday afternoon of the Fitchburg horse railroad in which one woman was killed and two more passengers received injuries which will probably prove fatal, while several others were badly hurt. The car left Fitchburg soon after noon for the fair grounds and had ninety people on board on their way to see a ball game. Many persons were hanging to the front and rear platforms and sides of the car. When a short distance out of the city the horses became frightened and the driver lost control of the animals. They ran along at a rapid pace and some one shouted from the rear platform: "Jump for your life." In an instant the passengers, who were crowded together and could not see the horses or the driver, became panic stricken. They rose from their seats, forcing those who were standing in the aisles between the seats and the platforms. These were already full and the sudden rush pushed off several of them. A few jumped from the car and escaped unhurt. The casualty list is as follows:
MARION O'BRIEN was pushed from a platform and fell head foremost upon the rocks alongside the track. Her neck was broken and her skull fractured.
MARY O'HARA, who was sitting near the side of the car, was forced out of her seat and fell from the car, striking on her head. She remained unconscious for some hours.
MR. CAHILL leaped off and fell to the ground, breaking his leg at the thigh.
BRIDGET DUNNE was pushed from the platform and dragged along, scraping her face, injuring one eye and badly bruising her body.
ALLEN McCARTHY leaped and fell, breaking his collar bone and both ankles.
ROBERT MAITLAND was forced over the dashboard of the rear platform and was cut and bruised and sustained probably fatal internal injuries.
THOMAS CONROY fell off the car and was thrown into an alley.
Several others in leaping or being pushed off were more or less injured, but were able to go home without assistance.

The Omaha Daily Bee Nebraska 1887-07-06