Tuscon, AZ Dray Accident, Jun 1882


A Bright Chinese Boy Crushed Under the Wheels of a Dray.

Nearly every one who has lived many months in Tucson probably has noticed the bright little China boy playing around the restaurant of his father on Camp street, near Meyer. His name was Com Sing. He was barely six years old, yet he had numerous American, Spanish and Chinese playmates, with all of whom he could talk fluently. He was full of innocent mischief, and it was a raw sight to watch him bouncing about with a half dozen other youngsters, and speaking first to one in English, then to another in Mexican, and then probably in the same breath using his native language in reply to his mother or father. People often wondered what traits manhood would develop in his character – whether he would adhere to the habits and traditions of his parents, or becoming a thorough American, with the latter’s customs and manners. Well, that is all past now – he was killed Friday. His parents are grief stricken over their loss. When his mother, an unusually prepossessing Chinawoman (sic), was told that Com Sing was dead, she rushed frantically to where he lay, and for hours wept over the corpse. The boy was worshipped by his parents; they were proud of his precocious ways and Americanized manners.

The body will be buried from San Agustin’s church this morning, the services occurring between the second and third masses.

The story of his death as gleaned from the reporter’s inquiries, and the testimony elicited at the niquest (sic) held yesterday afternoon by Coroner W. B. Horton, is as follows: About 3 (illegible) p.m., Patrick Sweeney was hauling a heavy load of gas pipe from the depot to the gas works. He was considerably annoyed by several boys attempting to steal a ride upon his dray, and several times drove them off. When within a short distance of the gas works, a little fellow called out to him that one of the children had been run over. He looked back and saw Com Sing lying on the ground unconscious. He says he did not see the accident, and had no idea how it occurred. Com Sing died in a few minutes. Dr. Lyford examined the body, and found the right leg crushed just above the knee. No other injuries were apparent, and the physician gave it as his opinion that death ensued from the nervous shock. The reporter saw Constable McKenna’s little son, who was also on the wagon, and he says that Com Sing was sitting on the gas pipes piled upon the dray; that the deceased attempted to jump off, but did not leap quite far enough and his leg was caught by one of the hind wheels.

The jury brought in a verdict of accidental death, and exonerating the driver Sweeney.

This unfortunate accident should be a lesson to Tucson youngsters not to attempt stealing rides upon passing vehicles, and should prompt drivers not to allow any playing about their carts, even if they have to use a whip over the backs of the children.

Arizona Weekly Star, Tucson, AZ 8 Jun 1882