Jersey City, NJ Fire Engine Wreck, May 1909


Engine Driver Pitched Off in Trying to Avoid a Trolley Car.

Joseph Wexell, driver of Fire Engine 1 of the Jersey City Department, was seriously injured last night when he was thrown from the engine at Jersey and Newark Avenues. he was trying to avoid a crash with a trolley car.

The engine was responding to a second alarm for a fire in a store at 370 First Street. Wexell was driving west in Newark Avenue, following the car, which came to a sudden stop at Jersey Avenue.

Seeing that there was not space enough to pass the car on the right, Wexell pulled the horses up on the sidewalk. The right rear wheel struck an iron trolley pole and the engine was turned sideways. The engine pole was snapped in two and Wexell was tossed from his seat to the pavement in front of the car. He received contusions of the back and several several cuts on the body. He was sent to St. Francis's Hospital, where it was said his condition was serious.

The engine was not damaged. Two firemen standing on the footboard were thrown on the sidewalk, but were not injured. The damage done by the fire was slight.

The New York Times, New York, NY 3 May 1909

Search for more information on this disaster and other train wrecks, fires, accidents, etc. in historical newspapers in the Newspaper Archive. You just might find your ancestors in old newspaper articles. Search for your ancestors among the billions of names at Find death records, census images, immigration lists and genealogy other databases for your surnames. Use this Free trial to search for your ancestors. Start Your Family Tree It's FREE and easy. Start with yourself, your parents, grandparents and you're on your way to building your family history! Get Started Now and build your family tree at It's Free!