New York, NY Street Car - Horse Accident, May 1907

Horse on Car Platform.

Runaway on Broadway Causes Panic and Injuries-Passengers Flee in Terror, While Persons on the Street Gather in Excited Crowds.

A runaway horse attached to an express wagon came into collision with a northbound Broadway car at Forty-Fourth Street last night, and the result was a panic in the car, during which several persons were hurt, and there was great excitement in the vicinity.

The horse was attached to a wagon belonging to William Jones, who keeps an express stand at Fifty-Third Street and Broadway, and took fright while standing in front of the stand. The animal started down the street with the wagon swaying and lurching, and the reins dragging in the street. At Forty-Fourth Street a northbound car was just slowing up at the corner, when apparently it attracted the attention of the horse, for he slightly changed his course and ran for the car.

The animal in one bound was on the fender of the car, with his forelegs pawing the air where a moment before Eric Bwath, the motorman, had been standing. Bwath, had seen the runaway coming, and had turned off the power, but the car proceeded at least twenty feet before it came to a standstill.

Penned in the narrow confines of the front platform, Bwath made an effort to evade the hoofs of the animal. He dodged this way and then that, but it was all done so quickly that he was not able to get out of the way before a blow fractured his left arm.

In the car as soon as the animal tried to get on the platform there was a panic. The car was well filled, and the passengers climbed over one another in their haste to get out. One man fell over the back platform into the street and a woman was injured by falling.

The horse, before all passengers could get out, managed to work his body forward on the front rail of the car, and in his efforts to get the rest of his body over, he kicked out most of the glass in the front of the car. The flying glass was scattered over the passengers, and many were cut.

F.G. Smedley, a lawyer, living at 221 West Eighty-First Street, was returning from his office at 237 Broadway. He was sitting on the left side of the car, next to the front window. He was badly cut about the face and hand by the glass.

On the other side of the car sat a woman. She quickly left her seat and joined in the rush to the rear door, but not in time to avoid being cut on the face.

In the street by this time the excitement was great. Many persons poured out of the restaurants in that neighborhood and soon a great crowd gathered. Some assisted the passengers to alight, while others gave suggestions as to the removal of the horse from the front rail.

Policeman Lynch turned in a call for an ambulance from Roosevelt Hospital, and Dr. McKelvey, who responded, attended to those who had been cut. The policeman found that the two hind legs of the horse, which were dangling over the fender of the car, had been broken by he wheels, and he at once shot the animal. The sound of the shooting caused more excitement.

The motorman and Mr. Smedley were taken to the hospital. The others, whose wounds were dressed, refused to give their names, and would not go to the hospital.

The New York Times, New York, NY 17 May 1907