herman frey

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FAST TRAIN CRASHES NTO A FIRE TRUCK MICHAEL CORLISS KILLED, AND J. F. FITZGIBBON HURT. ' ACCIDENT AT STATE AVENUE A speeding - Pennsylvania mail train. i west bound,', struck fire truck No. 4. stationed in East Washington street, at the State - avenue crossing iof tha Pennsylvania road shortly after S o'clock last night, demolishing the , truck and Injuring Lieutenant Michael Corliss and fireman John F. Fltrglbbon. Corliss died at tSt. Vincent's hospital, early .this morning. J Fitzgibbon Is 'lying In the same hospital with a fractured shoulder and other. Injuries. He will recover. . No recent aci - ident has a longer o$eriee of "ifs" attached "to it than this one. There seams' to have been a decree of fate in every incident of it The fire truck was sent from the house on a still alarm at 8:13 o'clock, going' to the plant of the Rockwood Manufacturing Company, in Kngl'sh avenue, where spontaneous combustion had started a blaze among some xubblshunder - the floor. The fire was of no consequence.. And . the "if of the tragedy is made more pathetic beta use of Its inconsequence. Train Running Late. - '' rThe Pennsylvania train, , running from New York to St. Louis, wat fifteen minutes late; If It had been delayed ten ot onds more or - ten seconds less the' accident would not have occurred. The,' train lost time gradually on its long "run. trom New York here.' fate seeming; to 'have timed its losses of schedule to create a tragedy. - , - . - ' , It the horses attached to the truck had had time to make two more plunges they would have cleared the track with the truck. If the nightwatchman at the Rockwood Manufacturing Company had been a few seconds later in making up his mind aa to whether there waa a fire under the floor the . accident would not .have happened. If he had gone to the fire alarm box first. Instead of after telephoning a still alarm, the truck and the hose wagon would have left .the Hrehouse at the same time i and tha accldnnt wmiiH fiave been avoided. Aa It waa he tl - phoned a "still" and the truck waa sent ahead. The wagon followed on the alarm a few seconds later and the men were horrified when they reached State avenue and heard that the tire truck, weighing 5.91W pounds, had been carried a block on the pilot of a locomotive. . . If it had not been the "day off" of Capt Herman Frey, Lieutenant Corliss would not have been on tha front seat. If the regular driver of the truck, John Doyle, had not been succeeded by Eugene Meager, a substitute, only 1 thirteen minutes before the alarm came in. Corliss would not have been on the front seat, because Frey would have been there. As it waa he was the driver, and clung to hla horses in the face of, almost certain death. Did Not 'Give Alarm. ' If a man standing with a lantern near the Pennsylvania tracks had signaled Corllaa be could have stopped In ; time. The man waa a switchman and supposed that Corliss saw the train. Witnesses say there waa no flagman at the crossing and that there were freight cars backed up flush with the east aide of the State - avenue cross. The train waa running between long strings of cara. In a. atatement made to - day fireman Fitzgibbon. who waa on the front seat with Lieutenant Corliss, said that when they approached the crossing the horses were running at full speed. They aaw the man. - with the lantern and expected him to signal if they were to, atop. "I guess It's all right. There's & man with a lantern," said Corliss, and he let the horse out. Just as the truck waa squarely across the track there was the flash of a headlight, a. sound of applied air brakes, flashes of fire from, the wheels and a crash. The big Are truck wa raised from the track and carried to Summit street, a full block to the west. There it waa hurled to the side of the track. Aa the engine struck the truck Corliss and Fitzgibbon were thrown forward, Corliss clinging to the lines. ! Fitzgibbon hardly remembers where he' was thrown. He waa picked up by railroad yard men. Corliss was found lying beside the track unconscious. He had fallen on hla head and the weight of his body. Corliss weighing about 220 pounds, caused a fracture of the akulL Several bones were also broken.

Clipped from
  1. The Indianapolis News,
  2. 04 Feb 1909, Thu,
  3. Page 13

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