L. F. Trout, 411 Chestnut street, and Charles Pepperdine, 3112 Bell street, were working in the light shaft of the Bank of Commerce building at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon, when their scaffold broke, precipitating them from the thirteenth to the second floor, a distance of eleven stores. The men landed on the heavy glass skylight just above the second floor.
Trout sustained a fracture of the right thigh and a large muscle in the thigh was severed near the knee. Three bones in his right foot were broken and a gash was cut in his scalp. Both of Trout's hands were burned almost to the bone where he held to a steel cable part of the way down. That fact, however, broke his fall and may be the cause of yet saving his life.
Pepperdine was more seriously injured and the attending physicians said they had little hope for his recovery. He has a compound fracture of the left knee and right ankle. His right elbow was burned to the bone by a small rope to which he attempted to hold. He was also internally injured.
In an attempt to lower the scaffold to another floor, it is said to have swerved and then broken. As the men grabbed for a safety line, which is always on the back of a scaffold, just about the hips, they found that it was not fast. That all took very little time, for they grabbed for the line as they fell, each uttering a cry that was heard all through the big building. Both were taken to the Wesley hospital, Eleventh and Harrison streets.
Pepperdine had a narrow escape from death at the same building just about the same time of day on the afternoon of May 6. He, with Paul Jacoby, was washing the building at the seventh story on the south side. In trying to pass the ladder was pushed out from the building. Both men fell from the ladder, but managed to catch the safety rope at the back of the scaffold. Hanging to that they managed to get their toes on the sill of the window below. Then they pulled their bodies up and climbed into the window. Both had received a ducking from a bucket of water which fell from the ladder with them. They went home, got into dry clothes, and went back to work. A large crowd of people on the street witnessed the narrow escape of Pepperdine and Jacoby, but there were few who saw the fall yesterday. The two men treated the accident lightly on May 6, joking each other while dangling in midair.