Bygones of Monroe:
RAN INTO AN OPEN SWITCH
(Monroe Democrat, Friday, Sept 14, 1906 Ft Page)
August Menzel, 305 Sixth street; motorman; internal injuries, double compound fracture of left leg; taken to Grace hospital, Detroit.
Floyd Davis conductor, Washington street; body bruises.
Edward Appel, corner Third and Wadsworth, lineman; head cut, taken to Toledo hospital
Miss Elnora Beck, 601 Third street; arm bruised.
William Largess, 343 Morrell street; sprained ankle; bruises and cuts; taken to Grace hospital.
C.C. French, scalp lacerated, hole in forehead, hands and face cut.
Mrs. W. E. Harrigan, 231 Leland avenue: teeth knocked out and face and mouth bruised; taken home in carriage.
Capt. Charles Frederick, 213 Illinois street; cut about head and face by flying glass; taken home on a car.
Martha George, Bronson Place; right leg fractured and bruised; taken to St Vincent's hospital.
Fred W. Flues, 203 Melrose avenue; head and face cut; taken to St. Vincent's hospital.
Mrs. A.D. Root, 313 Millard avenue; badly bruised about body; taken to St Vincent's hospital.
E.B. Ginzel, 352 Kenworth street; cut about face, head and hands by flying glass; taken home.
John Allemeier, contractor, 1020 Marion Ave; hand cut; went home.
Ray Vandenbroek, works in Detroit, home at 305 Segor avenue, slight bruises about body; St Charles Hotel.
George A. McGrath, Columbus; head and mouth bruised and cut; at Ningara hotel, Toledo.
Mrs. R.M. Jameson, Columbus; body bruised and spine injured; taken in carriage to home of friends in Toledo.
A.L. Stubbs, Indianapolis; bruises, head and body; taken to Toledo hospital.
John Long, Scranton, Pa; sprained ankle and arm, face cut; taken to Toledo hospital.
The above is the list of injured in the wreck on the Detroit, Mooroe & Toledo Short Line electric railway Tuesday evening at 7:30 o.clock, when car 517 at great speed ran into an open switch and crashed into a string of stone laden cars, about half a mile south of River Rouge.
Motorman August Menzel, of this city, had just time to throw on the air and jump, as the collision took place about 150 feet from the main track. He was then most dangerously injured of all and his condition is still serious and he may lose his leg, even if his life is spared.
William Largess, of Detroit, was a student motorman and was in the vestibule with Menzel, who was showing him how to operate the car. He stood to the left and jumped as soon as he saw danger ahead, which undoubtedly saved his life, for the portion of the vestibule where he had stood received the full impact of the collision and was completely crushed.
The scene among the thirty passengers was a horrible one. Nearly all were injured more or less, but many with light injuries lost no time in leaving the place and their names could not be learned. A peculiar fact is that of the half dozen children on the cars not one was hurt, although their elders about them all suffered more or less. Without a second of warning, amid a shower of broken glass, flying splinters and broken timbers, all were thrown with great force from their seats into the aisle. The lights went out, and as most of the passengers were bleeding, while many were pinned down by wreckage, panic seized everyone, some in fright at the flow of blood, others struggling vainly to emerge, and men and women battling fiercely to make their exit from the doomed car.
In this city but little was known of the wreck Tuesday night. The D.U.R. sollowed its usual course of secrecy and for several hours actually denied the occurrence of the wreck when passengers waiting hour after hour for a car from Detroit, inquired anxiously at the cause of their not appearing, George Beck, of Detroit, whose sister, Miss Elnora Beck, of this city, had taken that car for Monroe, telephoned for news after he had heard rumors of a wreck. The railway people denied that any thing had happened, but when Mr. Beck insisted on a statement, telling them that his sister was aboard the car, they reluctantly admitted that there had been a wreck, but said that nobody had been hurt.
On Wednesday morning it was also impossible to get information from the railway authorities and it was laughable how many motormen and conductors claimed that they "did not know" whether there is a light at switch, which shows whether the switch is thrown or not . There is a switchstand and light, but the light was not burning at the time. Possibly the working crew was careless and left it so. Possibly the it was thrown purposely by enemies of the line. Another theory is that as it us a spring switch, pieces of stone fell in and clogged the mechanism.
The wrecked car was brought to Monroe early Wednesday morning, but soon after it arrival strict orders were given to let nobody see it. It was badly battered. The vestibule was caved in, practically all the windows and glass was wrenched from it fastenings. The car is making a record as a hoodoo car. About a year ago it figured in a head-on collision with another passenger car near Newport, when one man was killed and several badly hurt. Several wrecks ago it was in a rear end collision, when a number of passengers received minor injuries. The superstitious are interpreting the run of accidents by the fact that the digits of the car number, when added up, total 13.
The injured passengers were given very prompt attention. On the car was Dr. A. D. Root, of Toledo, who did much to relieve them until Dr. A. M. Hutton, of Oakwood, arrived with an unlimited supply of bandages. Those who wished it were taken to Detroit the others were taken south, reaching Monroe at about 9:45, and Toledo an hour later.
Assistant Superintendent Murdock McAuley, who has been indisposed for the past week, was called out by the accident and went to Toledo with the injured. But his own illness, together with the shock that he experienced, compelled him to go to Toledo hospital and remain there during the next day.
(Monroe Democrat, Friday, Sept 14, 1906 Ft Pages)