Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
On August 17, 1896, in London, Bridget Driscoll, age 44 or 45, became the world's first person to be killed in a car accident. As she and her teenage daughter, May, (and possibly one other person) crossed the grounds of the Crystal Palace, an automobile belonging to the Anglo-French Motor Car Company and being used to give demonstration rides struck her at "tremendous speed" - according to witnesses some 4 MPH (6,4 km/h).
The driver was Arthur James Edsall of Upper Norwood. His passenger, Alice Standing of Forest Hill, alleged he modified the engine to allow the car to go faster although another cabbie analyzed the car and said it was incapable of passing 4.5 MPH because of a low-speed belt.
The jury returned a verdict of "accidental death" after an inquest lasting some six hours. The coroner Percy Morrison (Croydon div. of Surrey) said: "This must never happen again". No prosecution was made.
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