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New York, NY Morris Park Auto Wreck, Jul 1905


Automobile in Collision on the Road to Morris Park.

Automobiles were responsible for a chapter of accidents both in and near the Morris Park race track, just above West Farms, yesterday. Mrs. De Lancey Kane cut about the face and bruised in a collision between C. Oliver S. Dale, President of the Rubber Goods Manufacturing Company.

The accident occurred on the William's Bridge Road, not far from the track. Mrs. Kane was taken in another automobile to the Woodmansten Inn, where she was attended by a physician, and then left for home.

The news of this accident was received by the clubhouse guests at Morris Park toward the close of an exceptionally stirring race day, in which three racing machines were badly damaged and a boy injured. In addition, three well-known chauffeurs escaped fatal injuries almost by a miracle.

The first trouble came when Dan Wurgis, driving the thirty-two-horse-power Reo Bird, a machine that has earned a reputation for fast work, ran completely off the banked side of the track. In making the lower turn in a practice run before the races were called, the rear wheels skidded, and to prevent himself from twisting completely around the track Wurgis steered his car further up the bank. At the speed he was going, it carried him to the edge and in a twinkling he dashed over the low rail, ripping away over twenty feet of boards.

Seeing that he was going over, Wurgis jumped and landed on his back on the soft turf, about ten feet below. The car, after performing a spectacular leap in the air, landed on its wheels, smashing them all and breaking one entirely off.

The next accident occurred in the heavyweight championship race. Four cars were in this event, Paul Sartori driving Alfred G. Vanderbilt's ninety-horse-power Fiat.

In making the upper turn on the first lap, he swerved, ran into the fence on the outside, ripped away several feet of boards and twenty feet of the iron piping which supplies water for the track. A crowd of boys, who had evaded the small force of police, were peering between the rails.

Bits of splintered boards and iron struck sixteen-year-old Joseph Holahan of William's Bridge. He was unconscious when picked up, and it was feared his skull was fractured. A call was sent for an ambulance, and the boy was carried to the clubhouse, in one of the official's machines. He was removed to Fordham Hospital.

Mr. Roberts, who was driving the 60 horse power Thomas car that is entered for the Vanderbilt Cup race, had an accident on the last lap, as he was making the treacherous lower turn. The rear right wheel was ripped clean off. The car settled and swerved so badly that it was in imminent danger of toppling over. Roberts was hurled against the wheel and although painfully injured, he succeeded in guiding the car beyond the curve and brought it up by the side of the fence, running 100 yards or more on.

The car in which Mrs. De Laney Kane and another woman were being driven to the clubhouse, was driven by C. Oliver Iselin's chauffer[sic]. Mr. Dale's car was driven by his chauffeur, and in it were Mrs. Dale's sister, Miss Hutchinson, and another young woman. It was on its way to meet Mr. Dale and take him to his country home in Larchmont. The car was uninjured, although the occupants were slightly bruised, and continued on its way to Larchmont. The Iselin car was laid up for repairs.

The New York Times, New York, NY 4 Jul 1905

article | by Dr. Radut