1919 - SEVEN HURT IN COLLISION. HEAVY FIRE TRUCKS SMASH TOGETHER RACING TO FIRE. WRECK UNAVOIDABLE. WORST ACCIDENT OF ITS KIND IN DENVER IN MANY YEARS.
Denver, Colo. 11. - One young woman was probably fatally injured, six firemen were hurt, one seriously, and scores of bystanders had their lives endangered when two automobile fire trucks, traveling at a high rate of speed, met in a collision at the intersection of Seventeenth and Blake Streets in this city.
Six firemen were taken to the county hospital and MISS NEVA HOLMES, a student at the University of Colorado, lies at the point of death at the same place, suffering from injuries sustained when she was borne down by the three-ton city hall pumper truck and carried twenty feet over a sidewalk and through the double doors of a store building.
A fire alarm at the Fairbanks-Morse building, 1733 Wazee Street, was being responded to by engine company No. 6 at the city hall and by engine company No. 4, located at Twentieth and Curtis Streets.
The firemen, realizing that the utmost in speed was demanded when such a large building was in danger, raced their machines through the downtown streets.
Truck No. 4 was heading down Seventeenth Street and truck No. 6 was coming up Blake Street, both traveling at a terrific rate. Neither Driver GEORGE LUCOCK of truck 4 nor C. J. VAN SLACK of truck 6 realized the nearness of each other and the two machines arrived at the intersection to the second.
Realizing that a collision was imminent, both drivers veered their trucks in opposite directions, an act which probably saved many lives, but even after swerving, the two machines sideswiped each other with terrific force, causing truck 4 to turn over, while truck 6 continued a head-long advance over the curbstone and into the doors of a cigar store owned by M. Perlman.
Driver VAN SLACK, who remained at his wheel until the last, was catapulted from the seat to the floor of the store. Firemen MICHAEL TANEY and JOSEPH CARR were swept from their positions on the side of truck 6 as it struck the building. All three of these firemen were unconscious when help arrived.
Bystanders, with the aid of several members of the Marine corps, started rescue work at once and MISS HOLMES, who was pinned beneath the wreckage of Truck 6, was carried out with Fireman VAN SLACK. All six firemen were taken to the county hospital in the police ambulance and Fire Chief John Healy took the girl to the same place.
Casa Grande Dispatch
October 17, 1919
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