Crash on Hampden Ponds Line

by Laurel | July 15th, 2009

July 15, 1907, page 5

Crash on Hampden Ponds Line.
Passengers Badly Shaken Up
And Many Receive Bruises — Passenger and Repair Cars Collide on Holyoke Street Railway.

The passengers on a car bound from Westfield to Holyoke on the Hampton ponds line of the Holyoke street railway were severely shaken up, and a number suffered bad bruises, as the result of a collision with a repair car near the so-called Murray switch in Holyoke about 4:15 yesterday afternoon. There were 15 passengers on the car, and at least eight of them suffered slight injuries. The motorman of the passenger car, Henry Wilson of Elmwood, was considerably hurt, and removed to his home.

According to the story of a passenger the passenger car was running at a high rate of speed, and passed on the Murray switch, where two cars bound toward Westfield were waiting, with but slightly checked momentum. The passenger saw the conductor of one of the waiting cars raise his arm and make some signal by holding up one finger. If the motorman saw this signal, he did not heed it, for the car went ahead at the same speed, and on going around a curve met the repair car. The passengers jumped to their feet, some planning to jump, but the crash came before anyone had done so. The passengers were severely bruised and shaken up by the force of the collision, and many of them were injured about the legs by contact with the seats.

The front of the repair car was stove [sic] in, the dashboard of the single-truck car which struck it was broken back, the fender was put out of commission, and the glass back of the motorman was broken. The street railway men do not admit that the car was going as fast as passengers state, and point to the fact that the cars were not derailed or very badly damages as evidence that the collision was not one of fast-running cars.

Among those injured were Mr. and Mrs. William E. Nash of Westfield, who suffered severe bruises, Mr. Nash’s injuries being very painful. Mr. and Mrs. Nash were preparing to hump when the crash came, and were thrown against the seats. As soon as the cars met there was much screaming and crying, and it was at first thought that a number had been seriously hurt. The cause of the accident had not been determined last night, but it is believed to have been due to the failure of the motorman to see a signal that the repair car was following the regular cars.

Excerpted from the Springfield Republican.

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