Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Tragic Accident - Fire Truck Kills Girl

We tend to think of traffic accidents as an affliction of the automotive age, but many people were killed by runaway horses, kicked or dragged by horses, or crushed by wagons. Imagine driving a truck that had a mind of its own.

As a side note, they were not shy about describing accidents back in the day.

Boston Daily Globe March 7, 1880

Fatal Accident.

A Little Girl Run Over at Jamaica Plain by a Hook and Ladder Truck.

A lamentable accident occurred at Jamaica Plain last evening, which resulted in the loss of one life and injuries to two others by a city employee. At 6 o'clock an alarm of fire was sounded for Canterbury to a house owned by Patrick Meehan, and the firemen promptly responded. Hook and latter truck No. 10, horses in charge of Michael Cook, was passing at a furious rate along the highway, and when at the corner of Keyes [McBride] and South streets, the driver was turning the team to enter Keyes street when the horse shied, drawing the wagon on the sidewalk, the wheel of the wagon being only eighteen inches from the fence-bounded private land. There were a number of persons on the sidewalk, among others being a ten-year-old girl named Helen Lally, who was in the act of carrying milk for delivery when the wagon struck her, throwing her down, the wheels passing over her body, mangling it and causing death in a few minutes. John Eagan, residing on Call street, and an unknown man, were seriously injured upon the legs. The driver of the truck sped on his way to the call of duty without stopping. Of course there was much excitement at the scene of the accident, and several persons relate instances of hair-breadth escape. The body of the unfortunate victim was taken to her parents' home by undertaker J.D. Fallon and others, and the grief-stricken mother fainted several times at the sight of her little girl's body. Medical examiner Draper viewed the remains and certified the cause of death was a broken spine by reason of passage of wheels over it. Those who witnessed the disaster aver that there was great carelessness on the part of the driver, that he drove wildly, having no proper restraint upon his horses, and that it is a miracle that more people were not injured. On behalf of the driver, it is said that one of the horses is balky, and that he had notified the authorities that the animal was unsafe to use, but the commissioners had taken no notice of the complaint. The fire was of no importance.


  1. It really sad man!

  2. This is Amazing and spooky because i grew up on south st, as a younge girl I have witnessed a death of a little girl who was to hit by a car while standing at a bus stop,and another situation was my friend got hit by a car while coming from the store with her dad and not to mention she was "holding milk"... and alot of other people were hit by cars but they were ok... so my mom and other parents in the neighbourhood had to fight for a stop light...and we won and to this day we press that light...before crossing the street.