New York, NY Fatal Bicycle - Wagon Wreck, Sept 1896



Strikes the Shaft Sidewise and Is Instantly Killed in Ninth Avenue, Brooklyln[sic], at the Third Street Crossing---The Youth's Family Waiting Dinner Two Blocks Away and He Hurrying Home---The Wheel Unhurt.

Henry Whittemore, a publisher, and one of the editors of the National Encyclopedia of American Biography, and several members of his family were awaiting dinner last night in 487 Third Street, Brooklyn. Robert, the eighteen-year-old son, had gone bicycle riding and was due any minute. A neighbor came in and said that he was dead, that he had been killed at Third Street and Ninth Avenue, two blocks away. The body was brought to the house a few minutes afterward.

Charles M. Creamer, a liquor dealer, living at 154 Hewes Street, Brooklyn, E. D., and a woman friend had been driving slowly up Third Street toward Prospect Park. The pavement is asphalt, and very smooth. Just as the carriage was in the centre of Ninth Avenue, young Whittemore, in a hurry to get home for dinner---it was then past 7 o'clock----came dashing down Ninth Avenue toward Third Street.

He was going so fast that he could not stop his wheel, and before Mr. Creamer could realize what was going to happen the bicycle crashed into the right side of the carriage. Mr. Creamer pulled the horse up so tightly that he was thrown. Mr. Creamer and the woman were thrown out of the carriage into the street. They both escaped injury.

The wagon was upset and the right-hand shaft was snapped asunder. Whittemore lay on the pavement. Dr. Otis of Seney Hospital came and he said the young man was dead and that death had been instantaneous, Mr. Creamer was in great grief.

The bicycle did not appear to have been damaged a particle. A small drop of blood was on the rubber tire of the front wheel.

Mr. Creamer was arrested by Patrolman McVeagh of the Prospect Park police and was taken to the Litchfield Mansian, where the nature of the accident was stated to Capt. McNamara. As the accident took place outside the park, the policeman was instructed to take Mr. Creamer to the Sixth Avenue Station, where Capt. Campbell was notified of the accident.

He caused Mr. Creamer to be detained on the charge of homicide and word was sent to his friends and also to Justice Teele of the Myrtle Avenue Police Court in order that Mr. Creamer could be admitted to bail. The woman who had been with him went home during the excitement. He did not give her name.

Not the slightest bruise was on the body of the young man. A little blood had run from the nose.

The Whittemore family is well known in the neighborhood and much sympathy was expressed by the neighbors.

Coroner Coombs will hold a thorough investigation and it is said may make some recommendations as to fast riding within the city limits.

The New York Times, New York, NY 3 Sept 1896