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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Trucking Topics:  William Crockett


The New York Times
December 17, 1922

Peddler's Plea to Withdraw Charge Against Truck Driver Refused.

Crippled for life by a reckless chauffeur, Samuel Stiglitz, 50, of 1,475 Washington Avenue, a peddler, surprised the Justices of Special Sessions yesterday by requesting permission to withdraw his complaint against William Crockett of 145 West Forty-eighth Street.

"Why do you want to withdraw the charge?" asked Justice Edwards.  Stiglitz, who recently had come out of a hospital and had come into court on crutches, replied: "Well, I don't want to send anybody to prison."  Justices Herrman, Edwards and McInerney ordered the trial to proceed.

Policeman Zipp and Hawkins testified that Crockett was driving a motor truck at high speed on May 22 at 113th Street and Park Avenue, and that he ignored their warnings to slow down.  Both policemen said they ran to the centre of the street with raised hands, but the chauffeur swerved the truck to one side and drove it into a group of pushcart peddlers.  Stiglitz was knocked down and run over by the forward wheels of the truck and was dragged about 200 feet.  Both of his hips were fractured.  Crockett, who also was charged with driving without a license, told the court that another man was driving the truck and teaching him.

"It's nothing new to drive without a license," Crockett told the court.  "Two-thirds of the taxi drivers of the city have no licenses and they get away with it."

"If you are able to prove that assertion it may have some bearing on your sentence," said Justice McInerney.  The court found Crockett guilty of assault.  He was remanded to the Tombs until Dec. 22 for investigation and sentence.

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