Coney Island, NY Trolley Wrecks Fruit Wagon, June 1905



A Franklin Avenue car, dashing over slippery rails at high speed last evening, collided with a wagon containing SIMON MICHAELS, a Gravesend fruit vendor, and his wife and three daughters, at Avenue V and Coney Island Avenue. The wagon was smashed and the occupants thrown out. SADIE MICHAELS, one of the girls, was so severely injured that she died a few minutes after the accident.
MICHAELS and his family left the Gravesend race track about 6 o'clock for their home, on Avenue T, near East Seventeenth Street, Homecrest, Coney Island, in their one-horse wagon. MR. MICHAELS drove down Avenue V, and when he came to Coney Island Avenue, turned east, to drive across the tracks, remembering that all cars are required to come to a stop just before reaching this crossing. He was in the middle of the south-bound track when Car No. 318, in charge of Motorman WILLIAM HANSEN and Conductor JAMES WALL, came along. The car did not stop, and a moment later crashed with a terrific impact into the wagon.
The horse was killed instantly, the wagon literally demolished, and the occupants thrown in all directions. The scene of the accident is in the centre of a residence district, and in a few minutes scores of women were at hand, trying to aid the injured ones. Opposite the place is the home of MRS. JAMES BLUTE, and it was in her house that SADIE MICHAELS died.
The police reserves from the Sheepshead Bay Station were summoned with an ambulance and a surgeon. DR. CLAY found that SADIE MICHAELS'S skull had been fractured and her spine broken. He found both of SARA MICHAELS'S legs and both of ESSIE'S arms were broken, in addition to serious internal injuries and contusions of the head and body in each case. MRS. MICHAELS was internally injured and suffered from severe shock. MICHAELS escaped unhurt.
The motorman and the conductor of the car were arrested and locked up in the Sheepshead Bay Station, charged with homicide. HANSEN told the police that he tried to stop the car, but was unable to do so, owing to the slipperiness of the rails, due to the rain.

The New York Times New York 1905-06-13