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Cleveland, OH Two Street Cars Collide On Bridge, Oct 1916

CARS' CRASH CAUSES BRIDGE TO COLLAPSE

TWO KILLED IN CLEVELAND WHEN TROLLEYS PLUNGE THROUGH STRUCTURE AFTER ACCIDENT.

Cleveland, Oct. 3 -- Two persons were killed and more than thirty are in hospitals as the result of a collision early this evening between two street cars on the West Third Street Bridge, causing the structure to collapse and precipitate the cars thirty feet to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad tracks below, where they almost rolled into the Cuyahoga River. The dead are MRS. CLARA DILLE, a passenger, and OTTO BORSHERT, motorman.
The accident occurred when a south-bound Scranton road car, carrying a crowd of women shoppers home at the rush hour, broke away from the motorman on an incline approaching the bridge and tore down upon the north approach to the structure just as a northbound car reached the same point. The runaway car jumped the track and struck the northbound car. The combined weight of the two cars and the shock of the collision was too much for the wooden bridge, which sagged and then gave way.
EDNA WADDINGTON, a telephone operator, employed by the Erie Railroad Company, saw the accident from where she sat at her switchboard and turned in a call for ambulances, doctors, and the Fire Department. The work of rescue began at once. Those who had not been seriously injured extricated themselves and then gave aid to those less fortunate.
The portion of the bridge which fell is just north of the river. It is twenty-five years old. The main part of the structure was washed away in the 1912 flood and was replaced the same year by another wooden bridge bought in Detroit and brought here. Mayor DAVIS and Public Utilities Director FARRELL rushed to the scene and promised to conduct an inquiry in an effort to place the responsibility for the disaster.
Motorman H. T. DANIEL of the southbound runaway car escaped serious injury, but his conductor is among the dead. The southbound car was demolished by the force of the crash. The northbound car was badly damaged.
The dead whose bodies have been recovered include OTTO DORCHERT, conductor of the southbound car; D. O'KEEFE, motorman of the northbound car, and two unidentified women.
A delilvery wagon and horse, manned by a driver, which was on the collapsed portion of the bridge, also went down with the structure. The fate of the driver could not be learned.

The New York Times New York 1916-10-04

Comments

Cleveland, OH--2 Street Cars Collide--1916

This is probably the accident we were shown as kids (Father and Grandfather were Cleveland Transit workers). Am trying to get a copy of the photo that was carried in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. These were horse-drawn streetcars and Granddad was the motorman on the car just ahead of the one that went down. Long story short, he was scheduled originally that day to have taken one of these cars out---thus the interest. Would love to get a copy of the photo.



article | by Dr. Radut