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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Emergency Services Vehicles


The New York Times
December 4, 1922

Blinded Driver Hits Tree—Cripple Run Down by Taxicab in Broadway.

Two men were killed and fifteen persons were injured in automobile accidents in and near New York City yesterday.  The dead are: Eugene Nihland, 125 Glen Ridge Avenue, Montclair, N. J., and Felix McKendry of 337 East 138th Street, the Bronx.

Nihland was the victim of an accident in Paterson, N. J., and the police in both Paterson and Montclair have been investigating the circumstances.  Nihland, with Thomas Prout of 125 Glen Ridge Avenue, Montclair, and Charles Borkland of 123 Charles Street, Bloomfield, N. J., was driving north on Marshall Street in Paterson, when a large automobile crashed into their smaller machine.

Nihland and his friends were hurled to the roadside, while their automobile was tossed to the sidewalk.  The motor was picked up thirty feet away from the point of collision.  The larger car went on, according to spectators, and no one present was able to get the license number.  An ambulance took the three men to St. Joseph's Hospital where Nihland died.  Borkland and Prout are said to be in a serious condition.

Find Damaged Car.

The police of Paterson got in touch with Montclair police, who visited the garage of Emil Schweitzer, 5 Willowdale Place, Montclair, where they found his machine with headlights smashed and traces if what appeared to be blood on the fenders.  Schweitzer agreed to go to Paterson today to be examined by the authorities there.

The death of McKendry was due to the fact that the driver of the car he was in became blinded by the headlights of an approaching machine.  McKendry was in a machine with three other men, including Joseph Sullivan of 490 East 141st Street, who owned and operated the automobile.  Sullivan with the lights in his eyes crashed into a tree.  All four men were thrown out, McKendry landing on his head.  He died at Fordham Hospital.  The other three were attended at the hospital for bruises and lacerations.

Edward Rode, a cripple, living at the Hotel Bretton Hall, at Eighty-sixth Street and Broadway, was crossing Broadway in front of the hotel last night when he was knocked down by a taxicab driven by Thomas Hanley, 305 West 147th Street.  Hanley and Patrolman Tiernan of the West 100th Street Station placed Rode in the cab and rushed  him to St. Luke's Hospital, where his injuries were said to be serious.  Hanley was locked up charged with assault in connection with the incident.

Woman Has Motorist Arrested.

Cut off by a surface car which swung west into Eighty-fifth Street from Madison Avenue, Nicholas Leonatti of 208 East 122d Street, according to the police, was forced to drive his automobile up on the sidewalk at Eighty-fifth Street and Madison Avenue last night, knocking down Daniel O'Connell and his wife. O'Connell lives in the reservoir house in Central Park.  Mrs. O'Connell went to the police station and made a charge of assault against Leonatti, who was arrested by Patrolman O'Leary.  Crossing Sixtieth Street at Amsterdam Avenue last night, Dennis Sullivan, of 461 West Nineteenth Street, was struck by a taxicab driven by David Goldberg, of 202 West End Avenue.  He was taken to Roosevelt Hospital in the taxicab and attended by Dr. Evans.

While driving in Central Park Harry M. Elzang of 231 St. Nicholas Avenue, chauffeur for Martin B. Phillips, a lawyer, of 11 East Fifty-seventh Street, with offices at 230 Broadway, brought the car to a stop and turned it around to return northward along the west drive near Ninety-sixth Street.  Another automobile proceeding south and driven by A. Bertram Samuels of 601 West 115th Street, did not observe the turn being made by the other car in time to avoid a collision.  Mr. Phillips was cut about the face, but there were no arrests.

A taxi owned by Patrick Hyland of 349 Ninth Avenue and driven by John Collins, 22, of 220 Ninth Avenue, collided with another taxi driven by John Geraghty of 743 Third Avenue, at Ninth Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street yesterday.  There were two passengers in Geraghty's taxi, William Shannon of 246 East Eighty-ninth Street, and John Victor of 649 First Avenue.  Collins's taxi was wrecked, and he was thrown to the street, receiving contusions to his head and left leg, requiring his removal to Bellevue Hospital.  Geraghty and his passengers escaped without injury.

Quick Arrest for Theft of Taxicab.

When Fred Fetzka, a chauffeur of 926 Trinity Avenue, the Bronx, emerged from a lunch room at Forty-second Street and Third Avenue, early yesterday, his taxicab was missing from the curb.  He went to the East Thirty-fifth Street Station to report his loss, and while relating the matter to the desk lieutenant, Patrolman Soffers and Detective Levine entered with two chauffeurs as prisoners.

The men had been riding in a taxicab which had collided with an auto truck driven by Joseph Brogan, who was obliged to go to Bellevue Hospital.  The taxi was wrecked and the description fitted that given by Fetzka of his stolen cab.  According to the police, Cooney and Zinber admitted they had taken the cab from in front of the restaurant, giving as a reason they wanted to do some private hacking and "get some change."  A charge of grand larceny was made against both men.  Magistrate Earl Smith in the Yorkville Court held both men in $5,000 bail for General Sessions.

Michael Centrella, 15, of 3,651 Holland Avenue, and Donald Capetta, 14, of 712 East 214th Street, were arrested by Patrolman Van Halle of the Wakefield Station yesterday after a car, which they were alleged to have stolen, turned over at 214th Street and Willett Avenue.  The machine belonged to Frank Lungara of 625 East 220th Street and he had left it in front of Moose Hall, a block north of the place where the machine upset with the boys.  Neither of the boys was seriously injured.

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