Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Collision with a Southbound Train -- New Year's Eve, 1948

A Ford sedan, circa 1946 model, is demolished in a collision with an ICRR train on the evening of Dec. 31, 1948.  The car has Phone 65 painted on the driver's door. It is believed that the car was a taxicab.  John H. Williams, owner of Art Studio, was employed by the railroad to document accidents involving its trains in downtown Brookhaven, MS.
A look up the tracks northward.  Mr. Williams was standing approximately in a line where the car came to rest.
A view south, toward the overhead bridge.  A crowd is gathered around the wrecked automobile.  On the right in the distance is the Dixie Theater.  The Marquee is advertising the showing of a B Movie "Angel in Exile."

This darker picture above, if enlarged, shows the fully lit neon sign of the old Travis Cafe (on the same level as the light colored skirt almost directly in the center of the photo.) Note the absence of street lights.  
Surveying the damage. Mr. Williams, the photographer, is facing north, northwest.

No further information was available as to whether this accident proved fatal to the driver or any passengers. This accident occurred before gates were installed at the major crossings downtown.  The only admonition was "Mississippi Law: Stop - 2 Tracks."  

It appears to me that the accident occurred at twilight.  It's easy to speculate that the driver, traveling east on Cherokee, simply failed to see the train in the dimming light of day, or, after one train passed northbound, he (or she) did not see or hear a southbound barreling down in the opposite direction.

As always, if anyone out there has additional information or corrections of my scant details on this accident, I would sincerely appreciate hearing from you. 

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