Detroit, MI Parachute Jumper Accident, Aug 1892


Death As It Comes to the Parachute Jumpers.

MISS GERTIE CARMO Dashed to Pieces at Detroit, Mich.

She Drops Nearly Three Hundred Feet and is Instantly Killed, Almost Every Bone in Her Body Being Broken - Previous Narrow Excapes.

DETROIT, Mich., Aug 26. -- GERTIE CARMO, the well-known aerial performer and parachute jumper, met here Thursday the inevitable deaths that awaits all parachute jumpers.

GERTIE has traveled several seasons with circuses as a trapeze performer, and last season traveled with PROF. BARTHOLOMEW, the parachutist, and made several jumps at the exposition after the death of JOHN HOGAN who dropped 2,000 feet, and was killed near the spot where MISS CARMO'S life-blood stained the grass Thursday. She was under contract with the exposition management here to make a parachute jump every afternoon during the fair. On Tuesday, the opening day, she made two unsuccessful attempts to go up. On the second attempt the balloon collapsed on the tower of a barn and she had a narrow escape. Wednesday it rained and she could not make the ascent, and Thursday a strong wind was blowing and she was warned not to undertake the dangerous task, but she insisted.

Late in the afternoon the wind blew still stronger, but the headstrong woman went on with her preparations, and at 7 o'clock Thursday evening, when it was already becoming dusk, she gave the signal to release the balloon and grasped the trapeze bar as it shot upward. It was only an instant. As the balloon arose she swung herself to a sitting position on the trapeze. The immense balloon, caught by the strong wind, was whirled like a feather in the direction of the Exposition buildings. The next moment it shot over the main tower, and lower portion and the trapeze striking the the electric light mast.

The balloon gave a tremendous lurch away from the mast, and the performer was seen clinging to the trapeze bar. It was evident she had been injured in the collision with the mast, for as the balloon again began to ascent she fell backward off the bar and dropped like an arrow 250 feet to the brass plat in front of the exposition. When the first man reached her she was still breathing. A thin stream of blood flowed from her nostrils and stained the grass. Almost every bone in her body was broken.

She was a well-formed brunette, only 22 years old, and her home was in this city. After the killing of HOGAN last year, and the injuries to two other parachutists, it was proposed to abandon the balloon business and the killing of MISS CARMO Thursday will probably end it, although the management has already had offers from others to fill out the contract.

The Hamilton Daily Republican Ohio 1892-08-26