Saturday, November 06, 2010

The First Traffic Accident

The first recorded traffic collision in the US occurred in May 1896 when Henry Wells, driving a Duryea motor wagon, struck and injured a cyclist. The cyclist wound up with a broken leg and Mr. Wells spent the night in jail.

The New-York Daily Tribune reported:

the wagon [automobile] operated by Henry Wells, of Springfield, Mass., wobbled furiously, going in a zig-zag fashion, until it seemed that the driver had lost control of it. Evylyn Thomas, of No. 459 West Ninetieth-st., was approaching on her bicycle, when suddenly the wheel and horseless carriage met, and there was a crash. A crowd gathered, and the woman was picked up unconscious, her leg fractured. An ambulance took her to the Manhattan Hospital, where last night it was reported that she would recover soon. Wells was taken to the West One-hundred-and-twenty-fifth-st. station, and held pending the result of the injuries to Miss Thomas. The wagon went on in charge of another operator.

I wrote this vilainelle about the occurence:

The wagon wobbled furious
Zig-zagging, no control
As Henry drove delirious.

The horseless carriage was mysterious
Thought Thomas on her bicycle –
The wagon wobbled furious.

A Duryea hit her leg most serious
Fracturing a part or whole
As Henry drove delirious.

Crowds gathered, they were curious
To see such mess without patrol–
The wagon wobbled furious.

Some picked her up with weariness
Wishing that the pain they might annul
As Henry drove delirious.

The smells became quite odious
Evylyn Thomas they could not consul;
The wagon wobbled furious
As Henry drove delirious.

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