Brooklyn, NY Elevated Train Wreck, Jul 1919


Canarsie and Lexington Avenue Trains Collide in Brooklyn - Two May Die.


Walk Ties in Dark to Nearest Stations - Many Cut by Broken Glass.

Forty persons were injured, two of them seriously, in a rear-end collision between Gates Avenue and Haines Street, on the Broadway elevated line in Brooklyn, at 11:30 o'clock last night.

A two - car, Canarsie - bound, train crashed into a Lexington Avenue train of three cars. The impact was so great that the Lexington Avenue train, which was stalled while the motorman was trying to put out a small fire on the track ahead of it, was pushed ahead over the ties a distance of fifty feet.

The motorman is William Kessler, 32 years old, of 102 Fountain Street, Brooklyn. His skull was fractured. Both he and an unidentified negro passenger were taken to the Bushwick Hospital, where it was said they probably would not recover.

Both trains were crowded, and a panic followed among the passengers who were thrown violently about the cars. Every window pane in the trains was shattered, and the passengers were showered with splintered glass.

A call was sent for ambulances to the St. Mary's, St. John's, Williamsborough, Brooklyn, and Bushwick hospitals. Police reserves from the Ralph Avenue Station and a hook and ladder company were called upon.

Passengers whom injuries were not serious made their way on foot to either the Gates Avenue or the Halsey Street station. Many of the women and children were carried along the tracks to safety. The injured received temporary treatment from the ambulance surgeons, who climbed to the tracks by ladders.

A number of soldiers aboard the Lexington Avenue train aided in taking care of the passengers. The motorman of the second train was among the injured. He was badly crushed.

The rear end of the Lexington Avenue train, which was built of wood, was badly damaged, but the steel cars of the Canarsie train did not suffer so severely.

Several thousand persons collected about the scene of the accident, many of them believing friends or relatives had been in the accident.

John William of 163 Stevens Street, motorman of the Canarsie train, was placed under arrest, charged with felonious assault.

The New York Times, New York, NY 24 Jul 1919