Wilmington, DE Trolley Crashes On Hill, May 1901

TROLLEY CRASH AT WILMINGTON.

BRAKES FAIL TO WORK ON STEEP HILL -- ONE PASSENGER KILLED.

Wilmington, Del., May 31. -- JOSHUA GILLMAN, aged twenty-six years, was killed, Conductor ELMER JONES was fatally injured, and about a score of passengers were hurt in a trolley accident in this city early this morning. Conductor JONES died to-night at the hospital.
The accident occurred on the Sixth Street line of the People's Railway Company, which had been opened for business only the day previous. Two large cars, Nos. 5 and 16, which were crowded with passengers returning from Brandywine Springs Park, were descending a steep hill from Franklin to Monroe Street. Car No. 16 was in the lead, and as Car No. 5 began to descent the incline the airbrake failed to work. Motorman BENSON reversed the current, and this caused the motor to burn out. The car started on a wild dash down the hill. In a moment it crashed into No. 16, which was only a short distance ahead, and both went spinning down the hill, the cars bumping into each other at frequent intervals. The passengers became frightened and jumped. Only two or three of those who remained in the cars were hurt. GILLMAN, the passenger who was killed, jumped out of a car window and, falling under the wheels, was cut in two.
The two large cars were going at such a great speed that when they reached the base of the incline they were carried some distance up the hill toward Madison Street. There they crashed into a Summer car, which was coming in an opposite direction, and several persons in the Summer car were injured. Motorman ALBERT FULMER of the Summer can did not see the runaway cars until it was too late to avoid the second collision.

The New York Times New York 1901-06-01