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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


The New York Times
April 13, 1914

Easter Ride Ends When Automobile Crashes Into a Lamppost and Upsets.


Chauffeur, Thrown Out with Friend, Escapes Injury—Broken Steering Knuckle the Cause.

Edmund Tunstall of 109 West 101st Street, a taxicab chauffeur, and his friend, Henry Schuber of 536 West 126th Street were standing at Tunstall's cab stand, Sixtieth Street and West End Avenue, yesterday afternoon when six school girls varying in ages from 6 to 16, all dressed in new Easter fashions and in high spirits, came up to them.

"Let's take the kiddies for a ride," said Schuber.  "It's Easter, old man.  Be a good fellow."

Tunstall told the girls to "pile in."  They accepted the invitation with shouts of anticipation—it was the first time some of them had ever ridden in a real automobile—and all crowded into the taxicab.  Schuber got on the driver's seat beside Tunstall and the gay party started off.

Tunstall drove down Ninth Avenue to Forty-second Street, crossed that thoroughfare and started up Eleventh Avenue, the girls all the time laughing and shouting.  At Fifty-third Street and Eleventh Avenue their pleasure terminated in what was almost a tragedy.  Just as the taxicab was passing the corner the right steering knuckle of the machinery fell out and Tunstall lost complete control of his car.  He put on the brakes, but it was too late.

The taxicab swerved violently to the right, crashed into a lamppost on the northeast corner and turned completely over, shutting in the six girls.  Schuber and Tunstall were thrown several feet to the sidewalk, Schuber receiving multiple lacerations and a fracture of the right leg.  Tunstall was unhurt and jumped to his feet at once.

The screams of the girls attracted men from all corners, who succeeded, with Tunstall, in righting the taxicab and liberating the girls.  They were all cut and bruised, and one of them, Marion Neiff, 14 years old, of 200 West Sixty-second Street, had fainted.  The most seriously injured of them was Lillian Innis, 16 years old, of 253 West Sixtieth Street.  She suffered a long gash across her forehead that will leave a permanent scar.

The other girls, whose injuries were minor contusions, lacerations, and shock, were Frances Neich, 10 years old, 28 Amsterdam Avenue; Celia Neiff, 6, sister of Marion; Katherine Innis, 12, sister of Lillian, and Florence King, 14, of 24 West End Avenue.

Schuber and all of the girls, except Katherine Innis, were taken to Polyclynic Hospital in an automobile.  After having their injuries dressed, the girls were taken home.  Schuber remained at the hospital.

The lamppost was broken off a few feet above the ground and a fire-alarm box on it was put out of commission.

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