Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lightning hits interurban car during storm

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Friday, July 18, 1919.

Poor old D. J. & C, car No. 7297, the hoodoo of this division, lived up to her reputation for getting into mix-ups when after dodging lightning flashes and the heavy rainstorm Monday afternoon she finally ran squarely underneath one of the most severe flashes and came to a halt, her front vestibule all afire and her crw and passengers scrambling for the exits.

Poor old 7292 struck her last nemesis, or rather was struck by it, just after she had rounded the Trowbridge curve shortly before 4 o’clock Monday afternoon. And to think that after she had buffeted the cloudburst for several miles that she should finally have to succumb to such a simple thing as a lightning flash.

Fortunately for her sponsors, the damage was confined to the motorman’s vestibule where after burning everything I sight that could be burned, the car remained peacefully at rest until Motorman Stephen pulled up from the rear and escorted the crippled 7297 to a berth in the Ypsilanti barns.

Crews who are ill fated enough to have the handle Old 7297 are hoping that Monday’s disaster to the fastest car on the line will prove the old saying of “three times and out” for this is the third time in the past two years that she has figured in events of entirely her own doing.

A broken axle at Inkster sent her on a hurried call nearly into a neighboring house. That happened about two years ago. About three weeks ago Old 7297 suffered another broken axle at Dearborn and Monday’s freak event happened just after she had been discharged from the hospital and was feeling more like her old self again.

One thing about Old 7297, however, no matter what kind of escapade she undertakes, she never forgets the safety of her passengers as in all three accidents in which she has figured no one has been more seriously injured than receiving a good scare.

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