This article, from the San Francisco Call, Sunday, December 12, 1897,
describes an accident between a Fillmore Street electric car and a Sutter Street cable car.
The headline and image from an article in the 12-December-1897 San Francisco Call.
From the San Francisco Call /
Sunday, December 12, 1897. Page 7.
Beyond the Control of the Motorman
on a Slippery Grade.
MANY PASSENGERS ARE INJURED.
A Sutter Street Trailer Demolished
by a Fillmore Street Car.
MET ON A DANGEROUS CROSSING.
Blame For the Accident Laid to the
Employes of Both Railways.
An electric car on the Fillmore-street line crashed into a car on the Sutter-street
cable line at the crossing of Sutter and Fillmore streets early last night and several
people, passengers on the cars, were injured. The officials of each road claim
that the employes of the other were responsible for the accident.
The Fillmore-street car was southbound, and it was coming down the steep grade
on the approach to Sutter street at a rapid speed. It was about half-way up the
block when a car on the Sutter-street line eastward-bound started to cross the street.
Under ordinary circumstances there would have been no danger, as the Fillmore-street car
could have been easily controlled, but last night the tracks were
slippery, and the motorman was unable to lessen the speed of his car, much less
stop it. Before the Sutter-street car could get across the tracks of the crossing line
the electric-car crashed into it.
Theodore Peters, the conductor of the Sutter-street car, was standing on the
platform of his car when the crash came, and he was thrown off into the street
and car as it left the tracks under the force of the collision crushed him against
the pavement causing serious injuries to him. His left side was badly bruised and
it is feared that he sustained internal injuries. He was taken to his home at 2910
Miss Johanna Dillon, who resides at 2826 California street was a passenger on the
cable-car. She was thrown from her seat in the car and dashed to the floor. She
was taken to a neighboring residence where medical aid was summoned for her.
Her left shoulder was dislocated and she was bruised considerably about the body.
She went to the residence of her brother at 363 1/2 Eleventh street.
I. Gilbert of 2112 Sutter street was also a passenger on the cable-car. He, too, was
throuwn about in the car and considerably bruised. He suffered most from injuries
to his right leg. The passengers on the dummy jumped when they saw that a
collision was inevitable and they escaped injury.
There were a number of passengers on the electric-car, but they all escaped receiving
serious damage. They, howecver, were considerably shaken up and received
some slight bruises. The windows of the car were broken but fortunately the
passengers escaped the flying pieces of glass.
The Sutter-street car was in charge of Conductor Peters and Gripman Albert
Eckman. The gripman says he did not think there was any danger when he
started his car across the tracks of the electric line. The Fillmore-street car was
well up the block, but coming toward the car at a rapid rate. He believed the
motorman would slacken the speed of his car, as is usual in such cases, but the car
seemed to be beyond the control of the man at the brakes and the collision was
F. Reed was the motorman of the electric-car. He blamed the gripman of the
cable-car for the accident, but would not give any reasons for his opinion. M. J.
Merrifield, the conductor of the car, also blamed the cable-car for the accident.
Hugh Long, who winessed the accident from the street said the electric-car
was coming down the street, and when near the crossing there was a report from
beneath the car like the crack of a pistol, accompanied by a flash of light, and from
the efforts of the motorman he received the impression that the motor of the car
had been reversed, but it along with the brakes was not sufficient to check
the speed of the car on the slippery rails. Both of the cars were thrown from the
tracks and damaged considerably.
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