Four Cars Being Drawn Up First Incline of “Over the Top” Leave Tracks and Plunge 50 Feet Down Carrying 15 Passengers With Them
THOROUGH PROBE PROMISED
Police and Fireman Aid In Rescue Work and Send Injured to Both Hospitals, Where Three More Victims Are Reported In Critical Condition
Investigation of the cause of the accident on the Summit Beach roller coaster, “Over the Top,” which caused the death of three persons Sunday evening and may result in three more fatalities, is likely to center around the responsibility for the placing of a block of wood on the left track of the incline about 10 feet from its beginning. This piece of wood about 4x6x8 inches in size was run over by the front truck of the train, derailing the wheels, which then ran on the ties and running board of the incline up to the point where the train finally crashed over the side to the ground 40 feet below carrying its human freight to death and injury below. This piece of wood was found this morning, and bore marks of the wheel flanges.
That the accident will be probed from several directions is indicated today.
Prosecutor Roetzel said Monday morning that he would look in the criminal responsibility of the accident.
Inspectors of the city building department made a thorough inspection of the coaster today and their findings are not out of accord with the theory that the block of wood may have been the cause.
Directors of the operating company are in session this afternoon and will issue a statement later as to their investigation.
The casualty list of the accident follows:
Mrs. Floyd W. Van Sickle, 27 years, 70 Cherry st.; taken from wreckage alive, but died on way to City hospital.
General Bailey, Tarriff, W. Va., who had been visiting his sister, Mrs. D. C. Casto, 1205 Grace av,
Frank King, 373 Pearl st.
Clyde Keen, address unknown; City hospital.
Dennis Glassford, 25, Lockport, N. Y.; Peoples hospital.
Harvey Higgins, 19, 814 Yale st.; City hospital.
Otis Smith, 20 Bartges st.; City hospital.
Mark Sos, 269 Melville st.; City hospital.
Joseph Mackey, 403 S. Second st., Barberton; City hospital.
Mrs. Dorothy Roach, Zanesfille; City hospital.
Mrs. John Yuhas, 503 First st., Barberton; Peoples hospital.
Mrs. Agnes Kurth, 70 Cherry st.; broken leg and arm; Peoples hospital.
Mrs. Helen Puhala, 481 S. Main st.; Peoples hospital.
Francis Cook, 20, 1249 Fifth av.; taken home.
Lester Hardy, official of Goodyear police department; leg broken.
(To Be Continued)
“Roller Coaster Accident At Summit Beach Sends Three to Death, With Others Doomed,” Akron Beacon Journal, 8 July 1918, p. 1, col. 7.
A very special “thank you” is in order for the Special Collections Department of the Akron-Summit County Public Library. I emailed my request for more information regarding the roller coaster accident on Saturday and received the results in less than 24 hours. Since I received several days worth of information, I will be breaking the story down into smaller chunks for the rest of this week.