Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rig smashed by car; three women injured

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Wednesday, July 21, 1909.

Miraculously escaping the grim reaper, Death, by a hair’s breath, three young women Tuesday evening were thrown several yards when a rig in which they were riding, was struck by a Detroit, Jackson &Chicago interurban United States Express car at Harris’ crossing.

They are:

Miss Ruth Baushke, Ypsilanti, assistant in the Normal (EMU) gymnasium bead and shoulder badly bruised. Unable to be moved from the Reed farm on account of shock.

Miss Ethel Childs, 21, Ypsilanti, drawing teacher at Normal college, head and shoulder badly bruised. Taken to home on East Forest avenue.

Miss Leta Rains, 21, Detroit, guest of Miss Childs, foot wrenched and shoulder hurt. Taken to Miss Childs home.

The three girls were driving through the country and approached the tracks at about 7:15 p.m.

Miss Childs, who was driving the surrey, noticed the approach of the car when it was but 300 feet distant. She hit the horse with the whip, and the animal instead of jumping forward, stopped and the girls sat in the rig and watched the car bearing down upon them.

Miss Childs recovering quickly from her fright of the moment, again struck the horse and as he bounded across the tracks, the car struck the rear end of the surrey, smashing the rig into splinters and throwing the girls a distance of several yards.

That they were not killed instantly is considered miraculous.

The motorman stopped the car within fifty feet of where the rig had been struck.

It is said that Miss Childs was struck by the hoof of the horse which was making frantic efforts to free itself from the wreckage.

The three young ladies were removed to the Reed farm and a physician dressed the wounds of the party.

Miss Childs said this morning: “As I started across the tracks I noticed the car bearing down upon us and struck the horse with the whip, thinking that he would leap across the space. Instead he stopped short, and there we were, watching the car coming straight for us. One of the other girls screamed and I brought the whip down across the horses back The animal plunged forward as the ship cut him, but it was too late as the car struck the rear of the rig and tipped us all over in the ditch. I cannot realize that we were so near death.”

The similarity of the accident Tuesday evening with the Culver accident near Detroit last Thursday was spoken of by many.

An X-ray examination was made by doctors at the University hospital in Ann Arbor Tuesday relative to Mr. Culver’s injuries and it was found that his right jaw-bone was spilt from the last tooth or near the ear clear down to the center of the chin. He has been able to partake of nothing but liquid nourishment since the accident , and it is possible that he will never be able to eat solid food again, on account of the peculiar way in which the jaw was injured.

Mrs. Culver arose from bed Tuesday for the first time since she was taken to her home the day of the accident.

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