Seabright Station, NJ Auto Wreck, Jul 1908


Louis Le Francois, the Chauffeur Who Ran Him Down at the Seabright Station, Arrested.


Employed as Driver by Masury Family of This City, and Regarded as Careful and Competent.

Special to The New York Times.

LONG BRANCH, N. J., July 25. – Louis Le Francois, the 19-year-old chauffeur in charge of the Renault car which struck and killed Dr. Carlton P. Flint, a prominent New York surgeon, at the Seabright station last night, was arraigned before Justice P. Hall Packer at that place this afternoon and held without bail to await the Coroner’s inquest. George Bellier, bootblack at the Seabright station, who was in the care with Le Francois at the time of the accident, was held in $200 as a witness.

Dr. Flint had been summoned to Seabright yesterday afternoon by Dr. W. Gill Wylie of New York, whose summer home is on the Rumson Road, for consultation. Early in the evening Drs. Wylie and Flint were driven in the former’s automobile to the home of J. T. Thompson at Water Witch, three miles north of Seabright, where the consultation was held. Dr. Flint had informed Dr. Wylie that it would be necessary for him to return to New York last night. Accordingly the physicians hurried to Seabright station after the consultation.

Dr. Wylie’s chauffeur did not know his party desired to stop at the station, and was not so told until directly opposite the station. For this reason he did not run his car to the station platform, but brought it to a standstill about twenty-five feet from he (sic) platform. It was shortly after 8 o’clock when the physicians reached the station. Both alighted from the auto and started for the station to inquire about the train.

Dr. Flint was a pace or two in front of Dr. Wylie, and when within a few feet of the platform was run down by the car driven by young Le Francois. It is customary for auto drivers to take a stand at about the point where the Wylie car was in waiting the arrival of the trains. Le Francois saw the car, but did not observe any one between it and the station until he was within a few feet of Dr. Flint. He turned off the power and reversed the brakes, but too late. The car plunged into Dr. Flint, one of the lamps striking him on the hip. He rolled under the car, and was dragged fully forty feet before the car stopped. Before his unconscious form could be released from beneath the machine it was necessary to jack up the car.

The injured man was then hurried to the cottage of Dr. Wylie, where the latter, with Dr. J. J. Reed of Seabright and other physicians, examined his injuries. His head was crushed in two places, the pelvic bone was crushed, both ankles broken, and his body severely bruised. It was soon apparent that Dr. Flint had been fatally injured. He lived until 1 o’clock this morning, when he died without regaining consciousness.

Le Francios was arrested immediately after the accident. He was employed as chauffeur by John W. Masury, a New York paint manufacturer, who is summering in the Van Brunt cottage at Monmouth Beach. When the accident happened Le Francois was returning to the station with Botier, who had consented to guide him to a place on Beach Street, whither he had been sent. The young man, though he holds no New Jersey license, in an experienced automobile driver, and was regarded by the Masury family as a careful driver. So far as could be learned he is sober and trustworthy. This was his first engagement as a cheuffeur, (sic) and he was greatly upset by the accident. When told of Dr. Flint’s death he broke down entirely.

Coroner McDonald impaneled a jury this afternoon, and the inquest will be held Wednesday, when a charge of manslaughter will probably preferred.

Dr. Flint’s body was brought here late this afternoon and placed in the Hyer & Flock morgue.

The New York Times, New York, NY 26 Jul 1908