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Mountain Line


Cuyahoga Falls News Press
Thursday June 7th, 1962
By Linda Breen

Reviews Accident of Falls Trolley

It was early evening, June 11, 1918, around dinner time, when the Mountain Line Trolley Car made its usual run around the sharp Water Street curve and across Glen Bridge toward Front Street. But it never crossed the bridge.  It plunged instead 98 feet to the river below, killing four of its six occupants.

It is believed that the fatal flaw which caused this tragedy was an accumulation of cinders in the tracks.

For three hours after the accident, a gang of men including the Falls Fire Department worked frantically to get to the bottom of the pile of wreckage, seeking for more victims of the disaster.

The car had apparently turned end on end as it fell and landed nearly upside down.  The roof and sides were crushed by the impact like a eggshell by a hammer.  In fact, the woodwork was so demolished that a small boy could have lifted the remains with ease.

Three large holes were cut into the upturned floor of the car to extricate the victims.

The four dead were identified as Every Pryor, a Cuyahoga Falls business man; C. C. Haye, a Cuyahoga Falls res.; O. D. Gilmore, trolley conductor; and Luzzi Pellegione, a young Akron resident.

The injured were motorman Leroy Bessemer, with a scalp wound and a broken leg; and Henry Van Loosen, a falls machinist, with a possible skull fracture.

The whole town was aghast with horror. Even now, if you look especially hard, when the water is low, you can see the remains of the wreckage below the bridge lodged between the rocks in the river.

This happened June 11, 1918, yet some senior citizens still remember the accident well, and could describe it in detail as though it happened only yesterday.


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