Leo Bricker, Discharged Employee, Is Held By Police Pending Outcome of Further Inquiry Into Pleasure Park Accident
EVIDENCE IS ALL CIRCUMSTANTIAL
Inspection of Coaster Proves That No Mechanical Defect Was Responsible For Accident That Carried Four People To Death
With a chain of circumstantial evidence seemingly pointing to the possibility that Leo Bricker, a discharged employee of the Marathon Amusement company, operating under the general managership of J. M. Kaster; also general manager of the “Over the Top” concession at Summit Beach, may have placed on the track of the coaster ascent a block of wood that derailed the first car of a coaster train Sunday evening, thereby sending the train off the incline and down a 40 foot plunge and causing the death of four persons, police are today holding Bricker pending further investigation.
Bricker stoutly maintains his innocence and an ability to prove that subsequent to the accident he was at his post at “The Outburst,” a concession adjoining “Over the Top.”
Police authorities are not at all certain that their evidence against Bricker is sufficiently strong to hold him.
In the meantime Prosecutor Roetzel, city police and the officials of the concession are continuing their inquiry.
Persons connected with the affair assert that Coroner Metzger, who under the law is authorized to go to the very bottom of the accident, has not yet visited the scene.
Clyde Keen, 549 Bell street, one of the victims listed Monday as critically injured, died Tuesday morning at the City hospital from a fractured skull received when the coaster train took its fatal plunge.
Other developments in the case are:
Practical certainty that the coaster train was derailed by a block of wood placed on the left tracks of the first ascent of the coaster.
Strong evidence that the block of wood was placed on the track with a view of causing trouble, but with no intention of causing any such tragedy as resulted.
Proof positive that the accident was not caused by the breaking of a wheel on the first car, or any other mechanical defect.
Offer of a reward of $1,000 for the arrest and conviction of the party guilty of causing the disaster.
“Fourth Victim of Coaster Crash is Dead…,” Akron Beacon Journal, 9 July 1918, p. 1, col. 1.
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.