Los Angeles, CA Trolley Car Collision, July 1906
ONE DEAD AND ELEVEN HURT AT GRAND AND PICO.
MOTORMAN LOSES CONTROL; HIS CAR OVERTURNS ANOTHER.
WOMEN AND MEN SCRAMBLE OUT OF CAPSIZED COACH, WHICH PINS DOWN ONE PASSENGER, CRUSHING HIS LIFE OUT.
Pico Heights car No. 305, northbound, crashed into Grand Avenue car No. 448, westbound, at 8:45 o'clock last night at Grand Avenue and Pico Street.
One passenger, A. A. UMANN, was killed outright, eleven other persons were hurt and the Grand Avenue car was lifted off its trucks and dumped sideways on Grand Avenue.
Witnesses, in the main, agree that the Pico Heights motorman, R. PFEIFFER, either lost his head or the air brake failed to respond as his car crashed into the one that barred his way with an awful impact.
The intersection of the two streets in a busy corner for traffic and at the time of the accident scores of persons were seated on their doorsteps commanding a view of the smashup. These persons agree that the Pico Heights car was going at a rapid rate and that they expected that not a soul would escape the impact of the westbound car.
Falling as it did toward the west, on one side, the passengers were entrapped inside and tumbled over. UMANN fell in such a way that the cornice of the car rested on his chest, forcing the unfortunate man's ribs into his heart and causing instant death.
Dozens of willing hands quickly raised the heavy coach body off the man so that he could be pulled out, but life was extinct.
A score of persons were aboard the capsized car and all of them were injured, though only a dozen seriously.
MISS AGNES ANDERSON, a pretty young woman living on West Adams Street, with her escort, FRED ALMSTEDT, were about to alight at the corner when the crash came. Both were standing on the rear platform, and were precipitated to the asphalt street, both being pinned down, but surgeons say neither suffered broken bones. These two were hospitably cared for by Mrs. O. T. Eastman of Hoel Segle on Pico Street, just east of the scene of the accident, who tendered the use of her apartments to all the injured.
Motorman PFEIFFER headed for Grand Avenue with H. E. PRICE at the bellcord and about half a dozen passengers on board, when, as he neared the fated corner, he found the Grand Avenue car blocking his way. S. T. HUMER was at the controller on this latter car and R. F. BEAN was his conductor.
PFEIFFER worked at the air brake, but either pulled the lever too far or the air would not work. An instant before the inevitable crash PFEIFFER jumped backward and saved himself from being crushed, as with a crunching, deafening sound his car struck the Grand Avenue car squarely in the center and lifted it off its trucks.
Shouts and cries came from individuals in the capsized car and through the broken windows men's and women's hands were seen clutching at the woodwork and here and there some one could be seen working upward to get out of the wrecked car. Willing hands helped them out and when the unfortunate UMANN was seen pinned down there was a cry for strong arms to lift up the wrecked car. The cry was not in vain.
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