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One Dead and Many Injured

Pre-WWII Racing Topics:  Indianapolis 500

One Dead and Many Injured

Indianapolis News
May 30, 1911

Four Cars in Thrilling Crash in Front of Main Grandstand.

Wescott Mechanician Suffers Serious Hurts.




Case Car Breaks Steering Gear—Hearne’s Fiat, Case; Apperson Jack Rabbit and Wescott Clash—One Man, Crazed by Drive, Leaps From Car and Is Hurt

S. P. DICKSON, mechanician Amplex car No. 44.
ARTHUR GREINER, driver Amplex car No. 44, seriously.
DAVID LEWIS, mechanician Lozier car No. 34, bruised.
HARRY KNIGHT, driver Westcott car No. 7, severely.
JOHN GLOVER, mechanician, Westcott car No. 7, spine injured.
L. ANDERSON, mechanician car No. 8, run over; severely hurt.
ROBERT EVANS, mechanician Jackson car No. 25, severely.

Special to The Indianapolis News.

INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, May 30.—One man was killed and half a dozen more or less seriously injured during the five-hundred-mile race this afternoon. Death came early in the race, but the sensational accident of the day was at 1:30, when four cars were wrecked almost directly in front of the grand stand.

The only person who was seriously hurt was John Glover, mechanician for Westcott car No. 7, driven by Harry Knight who also was hurt.

The other cars that were wrecked were Eddie Hearne’s Fiat No. 18, Joe Jagersberger Case No. 8 and Lytle’s Apperson Jack Rabbit No. 35.

That several people were not killed was a mystery to the great crowd in the grand stands.

The Case No. 8, coming down the home stretch, carrying Jagersberger and his mechanician D. Anderson, broke a steering knuckle and crashed into the cement wall. The car rebounded to the center of the track with crushed wheels, and Anderson fell directly in the roadway.

Could Only Check Racers.
Starter Wagner made an effort to flag the racers that followed, but he could do little more than check their speed.

Harry Knight in his Westcott, who was the closest to No. 8, turned out toward the judge’s stand to avoid striking the prostrate mechanician, and his car skidded sideways at great speed.

At the pits near the south end were Lytle’s car and Eddie Hearne’s Fiat No. 18, which had stopped because of the tire trouble. Knight’s car crashed into them with such terrific force that both 18 and 35 were dragged along to the roadway opposite the gate.

Cars Turn Over.
The impact caused No. 7 to turn over, throwing Knight and his mechanician, John Glover, some distance. In the meantime Wagner was endangering his life in the center of the track checking the flyers. However, when it was seen that all the wrecked cars were free of the course he waved them ahead, and the men were tearing around like mad trying to make up for time lost.

Taken to Hospital.
At the hospital an examination showed that Knight was not as seriously injured as was first supposed and after being treated by some physicians he was sent to him home. Glover appeared to be the worse injured of the two and the physicians were unable to determine the exact nature of his injuries. When Anderson fell on the track he was not badly hurt and after lying there a few seconds he jumped up and limped to a place of safety.

The accident happened in the most crowded part of the course, and perhaps half of the estimated attendance of 100,000 saw it. As if by common impulse the thousands of people in the stands arose and a cry of horror was heard. At first it was thought a number of people about the crowded pits had been killed.

Death and serious injury was dealt, first in the thirtieth mile, and again when nearly 100 miles of the race had been run. The accident to the Amplex that resulted in the instant death of S. P. Dickson, mechanician, wrought up the crowd, and when Lozier car No. 34, driven by Teddy Tetzlaff, was seen to veer in front of another car the spectators gasped.

There was a crash, and the Lozier was overturned. Tetzlaff’s mechanician, David Lewis, suffered a broken leg, but Tetzlaff was only bruised. The car that crashed in from behind, Pope-Hartford, No. 5, was withdrawn with the Lozier. The Pope occupants were not hurt.

Had Narrow Escapes.
Louis Disbrow and Richard Uliarechib, in Pope, had a narrow escpae. The cars were coming down the home stretch when at a point just north of the bridge Tetzlaff’s car burst a rear tire. This caused his machine to swerve into Disbrow’s car, overturning the Lozier and causing the Pope-Hartford to spin around several times on the track until it stopped near the pole. The Lozier also stopped near the pole and the men dragged the cars out of the way of the other racers that were thundering down the course.

At the hospital where Lewis was taken an examination showed that his leg was broken. Tetzlaff was only shaken up.

S. P. Dickon, mechanician for Arthur Greiner, driver of Amplex car No. 44, was the first victim of the race. Shortly after the thirtieth mile, Greiner was sweeping around the back stretch when both rear tires exploded, wrecking the car. Dickson was instantly killed, Greiner was seriously injured.

Greiner is a millionaire driver from Chicago, who came here and volunteered his services to the Amplex people, following the wreck of the Amplex car No. 12 several days ago, in which Joe Horan was injured.

Taken to the Hospital.
The ambulance was sent across the field and Greiner and the body of Dickson were taken to the hospital. After an examination it was said that Greiner had a fracture of the skull and a broken arm.

The machine left the track and turned over, Dickson being crushed beneath it and Greiner being thrown a distance of about twenty-five feet. There had been more or less concern among the racing men for a week concerning the Amplex cars. One of them, No. 12, had several accidents and was withdrawn.

Dickson Lived in Chicago
Dickson’s body was badly lacerated. After Greiner had been examined in the hospital the physicians said he did not seem to be as badly injured as was first supposed. Dickson lived in Chicago and his father is Major Dickson, on the editorial staff of the Chicago Record Herald. He was twenty-four years old and unmarried. He was known as an experienced man in the racing game.

Many People Leave.
However, all jumped to places of safety when they saw Knight’s car coming them broadside. Not a few of the horror-stricken people in the grand stand evidentally had enough of the race, which was only half through, and left the grounds. As it was there was a tremendous feeling of relief when it became generally known there were no lives lost in this accident. So much excitement was caused in the judges’ and timers’ stands that the time for the 250 miles was overlooked.

Thrilling Escape From Injury.
The crowd again was brought to its feet by the thrilling escape from injury or death of Howard Fry, driving a Mercer, as a substitute for Bigelow. Fry’s car skidded and plunged toward the repair pits across from the grandstand.

He turned it back to the middle of the track, but the car was too wild for him to handle and swerved toward the pits again. Fry then kicked his brake and the car swung fully around before it stopped. Amid a storm of cheers from the crowd Fry resumed the race.

Bob Evans Injured.
Another accident that added one more to the list of injured, happened on the back stretch, about 2:30. Bob Evans, a relief driver in charge of Jackson No. 26, was sprinting along the stretch, when he attempted to turn out for another car.

His racer skidded and when the wheels slipped from the edge of the track, Evans was thrown out and an ankle was broken. With the aid of his mechanician he climbed back into the car, which had come to a standstill, and drove back to the pits on the home stretch, from where he was sent to the hospital.

Jack Tower, the regular driver, then took charge of the car and continued in the race.

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