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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk



The New York Times
April 17, 1914

12-Year-Old Runs in Path of Electric Wagon While Playing Ball.

Frances McCann, the 12-year-old daughter of Alfred W. McCann, a special writer for The Evening Globe, was playing ball with three girl companions on the sidewalk before her home, the St. Cecilia Apartments, 49 St. Nicholas Terrace, at the corner of West 139th Street, early yesterday evening.  She missed a catch and the ball bounded into the street.  She ran after it into the path of a southbound electric delivery wagon owned by Bonwit, Teller & Co., 417 Fifth Avenue.

William Lasher of 126 West 143d Street, the chauffeur, tooted his horn.  Miss McCann ran to the west and McCann steered east.  She became confused and then ran east.  The right front wheel of the wagon struck her, knocked her down, and passed over her chest before Lasher could stop the truck.  She died in a nearby drug store a few minutes later, before the arrival of Dr. Peterson in a Knickerbocker Hospital ambulance.

Her father was walking to his home from an elevated railroad station when he noticed a crowd before the drug store.  He pressed his way through the crowd to investigate and nearly collapsed when he saw his own daughter was the victim.  He said she was the eldest of three children, and left a brother and sister.  She was a pupil at Convent of the Sacred Heart School on Convent Avenue.  The police let Lasher go, holding that the accident was unavoidable.

Mr. McCann went to the scene of the accident later with Coroner Healy, and the Coroner inspected the street.  Mr. McCann pointed out spots of blood nearer the curb than where Lasher said he had struck the girl.  The Coroner expressed doubt whether Lasher was completely blameless, and ordered him to be arrested and held in $2,500 bail for examination to-day.  The police went to Lasher's home late last night, arrested him, and locked him up i nthe West 152d Street Station.

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