New York, NY Street Car-Firetruck Wreck Apr 1904

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Fireman Thrown 15 Feet.

Engine Strikes Elevated Pillar-Captain Blames Motorman.

While responding to an alarm for a fire in a one-story addition to H. Bauermeister’s piano factory, at 560 Eleventh Avenue, yesterday afternoon, Engine No. 23, stationed in Fifty-eighth Street, near Broadway, collided with an elevated railroad pillar at Fifty-eighth Street and Ninth Avenue, and Capt. Benjamin C. Curran was thrown fifteen feet and painfully injured. According to Capt. Curran and Driver John Maddigan, the accident was due to the failure of a motorman of a south-bound Ninth Avenue surface car to stop on the north crossing at Fifty-eighth Street, the car being pushed by another car.

All cars are supposed to come to a full stop at the north or south sided of Fifty-eighth Street to avoid a possible collision with the Roosevelt Hospital ambulances, which go to and from the accident ward at that point.

Maddigan knew of this full stop, and when he saw the cars at the north crossing he thought they would stop. The cars did not stop, and, fearing a collision, the driver turned his horses sharply and tried to get the engine north of the pillars. He had gone too far, however, and the left front wheel struck the pillar. Engineer Biggars jumped just before it struck, but Capt. Curran was thrown, striking against the curbstone on his breast and right shoulder.

The tire of the colliding wheel was torn off, and the three horses were thrown to the ground. The engine was in such a condition that it could not be taken to the fire.

Capt. Curran was examined at the Roosevelt Hospital, but as he had only a severe bruise on his chest he did not remain.

“I was ringing the bell myself,” said Capt. Curran, “and the whistle was being blown as hard as it ever was. The motorman disregarded his rules.”

The New York Times, New York, NY 4 Apr 1904