Paterson, NJ Trolley Car Wreck, Mar 1902


Young Simonton Was Killed Before the Eyes of His Mother

Paterson, N.J., March 20. – Dewitt Simonton, the 8-year-old son of Fire Captain Simonton, was killed last evening before his mother’s eyes and in the presence of an excited crowd. They had been on a trolley car going to Riverside, and the car was on the Erie railroad crossing when the trolley pole slipped from the feed wire and the car came to a stop.
There was a cry raised that an express train was coming and the passengers made a rush from the car. Mrs. Simonton and her boy were the last to get out of the car. Meanwhile Conductor Frederick Lister had succeeded in getting the trolley pole back on the wire. Motorman Hugh McKinsey had not shut off the power, and as the express train whizzed by on the westbound track the trolley car bounced back. It struck Mrs. Simonton and threw her to one side.
Her boy had seen the car move backward and in an effort to get out of the way slipped and fell on the rail. The wheel of the car passed over his neck and decapitated him.

Naugatuck Daily News, Naugatuck, CT 20 Mar 1902