Tuesday 31 August 2010

La Crosse's first auto-pedestrian accident dates to 1907

What likely was the first serious automobile/pedestrian accident in La Crosse occurred Aug. 15, 1907, at Fourth and Main streets.

Timothy Lewis, 76, a Civil War veteran who ran a popcorn and cigar stand at the corner of Fourth and Main streets, had just gotten off the streetcar on Main Street and was walking toward his stand when he was struck by a Cadillac driven by Henry Sharp. The impact of the collision sent Lewis flying into a cart belonging to a street sweeper.

Witnesses estimated Sharp's Cadillac was traveling at the "breathless speed" of 15 mph, more than double the speed limit of 6 mph set by city ordinance in 1902.