New York, NY First Automobile Wreck Death, Sept 1899

Henry Bliss

Henry H. Bliss, 68 Wall street, a real estate broker, was run down by an automobile in Central park last night and died this morning. The driver was arrested.

Denver Post, Denver, CO 14 Sept 1899


Henry Hale Bliss (June 13, 1830 – September 14, 1899) was the first person killed by a motor vehicle crash in the Western Hemisphere.

On September 13, 1899 he was disembarking from a streetcar at West 74th Street and Central Park West in New York City, when an electric-powered taxicab (Automobile No. 43) struck him and crushed his head and chest. He died from his injuries the next morning.

Arthur Smith, the driver of the taxicab, was arrested and charged with manslaughter but was acquitted on the grounds that he had no malice, nor was he negligent.

The passenger, Dr. David Edson, was the son of former New York City mayor Franklin Edson.