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York Drivers Pretty Bad in the Past

While researching in the 1934 York newspapers, particularly the back page of the Dispatch where they used to gather all the York lead stories, I’ve noticed that drivers were just as careless then as they are now. A few samples, all from the same page on June 20, 1934 are below.

“Wrecks Two Autos While Trying to Save Spectacles

An effort on the part of F. M. Thompson, 458 West King Street, to save a pair of spectacles from breaking, resulted this morning in the wrecking of two automobiles in front of L. J. Shenk’s Welding works at 363 West King Street.
Thompson was driving his son-in-law’s Whippet sedan west on King Street when he noticed that a pair of glasses, which had been hung on top of the mirror of the car, were about to fall off. He reached for the glasses and as he did so his car ran into an Auburn sedan parked by Clarence R. Hess, 590 Company Street, its owner, in front of Shenk’s shop.
Thompson’s car mounted the running board and fender of the Auburn machine, crushing them, and upset in the street. Thompson escaped injury but both cars were damaged.”


Man Hurled from Running Board When Sideswiped by Another Auto–Driver Arrested.

Martin J. Conway…, Coatesville, was injured this morning about 6:30 when his car, parked in front of 361 East Market Street, was sideswiped by an automobile operated by Batista Barralle…., St. Louis Mo. The accident was investigated for the police by Patrolman V. R. Emig, Jr.
Conway’s car was parked on the south side of the street and he was standing upon the left running board, with the door of the car open. Barralle’s car came along, traveling east, and sideswiped Conway’s car, damaging the left side of it and throwing Conway to the street. Conway was taken to the office of Dr. R. L. Ellis on East Market Street and was treated for bruised legs and a sprained back.
Conway went before Alderman J. Ralph Gove and made information against Barralle charging assault and battery. The warrant was served upon Baralle at police headquarters.”


Operator of One Injured as Passenger Car and Truck Collide at Intersection.

Two motor vehicles were damaged and the operator of one of them was injured in a collision which occurred at 11 o’clock this morning at the intersection of Pine and King Streets. The injured man is John Givens, Red Lion, who received body bruises and an injured right leg when he was thrown from a Chevrolet coach he was driving as it collided with a Chevrolet truck owned by Clair Hursh, 541 Prospect Street, and operated by Loyal Strickler, 971 East King Street.
The two operators were escorted to police headquarters by Patrolmen Hollinger and Hose and there made a report of the accident.
Givens was driving his car on Pine Street. Strickler, operating the truck, was traveling west on King Street. He said he looked at the signal lamps a short distance from the crossing and saw tht they were green, and he proceeded. When he arrived in the intersection, however, the lights had changed to red and Givens’ car was also in the intersection. Strickler said his view of the intersection was obstructed by a U.S. mail truck which was parked on the cross walk.
The right rear wheel of Givens’ car was torn off and it was otherwise badly damaged.”
Sadly, there were also a lot of drunken driving stories in 1934, but as you can see above, distractions and carelessness played their parts. And these people didn’t even have cell phones.
To top off the year–there was the incident in December, 1934 where a probably stolen Pierce Arrow occupied by 14 people collided with a police car at Pershing and College Avenues.