Indianapolis, IN Train Wreck, Oct 1908




Nine persons escaped death in a manner little short of miraculous at 11 00 o'clock last night, when Garfield car No. 438 left the tracks at Lincoln lane and East street and crashed into the building occupied by John G. Pantzer's drug store and Dr. M.O. DeVaney's office. The entire front of the building was wrecked and the car was turned over on its side. Not one of the passengers or the crew of the car was injured.

Roy Martin, motorman of the car, bore two small cuts upon his face, which he received by sticking to his post while the car ran for two lengths off the track. The front end, where he was standing at the controller, climbed the side of the building a distance of about twelve feet. Martin said after the accident that the brakes did not take hold when he threw on the air upon approaching the curve where the Garfield cars turn to South East street.

Every one of the passengers and Ralph Hall, conductor, were thrown to the floor of the car in a heap, and four young men standing on the rear platform saved themselves from being injured by hanging to the rail. Among the passengers were three girls, Lillie Lay, who lives a short distance from the scene of the accident, and Emma and Margurite Brown of 1879 South East street. The girls were thrown from their seats, but were not injured.

An incomplete list of the other passengers follows: A. Wichman, 256 Iowa street, F.G. Bertels, 2112 Applegate street and Jacob Petee, 1829 Orleans street.

At the time the care crashed into the front of the Pantzer drug store, Mr. Pantzer and his wife were asleep above the store. Rushing to the window to see what had caused such a noise, Mrs. Pantzer saw the car lying propped against the building. The noise of the crash awoke every one who was asleep in the neighborhood and within twenty minutes after the accident a crowd of more than 200 people had gathered to see the result of the wreck.

A call was sent to the police, and the City Dispensary ambulance, followed by the automobile police patrol, went to the place. Bicyclemen Hall and Simon were the first to reach the wreck. The passengers had all been helped out of the car, and were beginning to recover from the fright caused by the accident. Men were set to work pulling the car out of the drug store and the doctor's office with the aid of the wreck train. The damage to the building was considerable on account of the peculiar manner in which the side of it was torn away. The south outer wall was ripped away from the front wall by the force with which the car struck it.

The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, IN 29 Oct 1908