September 30, 1908
RUNNING AT 40 MILES HOUR.
LAUGHS AT HIS VICTIMS.
No more heartless indifference to suffering and death has been exhibited in Kansas City than occurred last night, when a furiously driven big red touring automobile crashed into a light spring wagon on Broadway, near Hunter avenue, killing a girl of 14 years and badly injuring five other people, two women, two girls and a boy.
The impact of the collision was heard a block away.
When the motor car struck the wagon, tearing it to pieces, women and children, screaming with fright and pain, were hurled high into the air and fell in a heap on the hard curbing, with bits of splintered wood falling all about them. It is said the men in the motor car -- there were two -- looked at the death and suffering they had caused, laughed, turned on more speed and glided away into the enveloping darkness.
The accident occurred at 8:45 o'clock. Besides little Pearl, who was instantly killed, the other four occupants were seriously injured and at least one fatally so. In the spring wagon were Mrs. Jennie A. Bucher, her daughter Florence and Mrs. Frank Gochenour and and two children, Robert and Pearl.
Mrs. Bucher was driving the horse when the accident occurred. The two families are neighbors and often go driving together in the evening. Last night they started to go to Levanthal's bakery, 1819 Grand avenue. The horse was being driven north on Broadway and in order to avoid speeding automobiles Mr. Bucher was driving close into the curbing.
They had passed Hunter avenue and were proceeding at a slow trot when suddenly the front wheels of the wagon were struck by an automobile, and without any warning the women and children were thrown out. The wagon crashed the front part of the wagon against the curbing, leaving it in splinter. Mrs. Bucher and Mrs. Cochenour and Robert Gochenour were thrown up onto the parkway, falling on top of each other. Miss Florence Bucher fell beneath the rear wheel. Little Pearl Gochenour, who had been sitting on her mother's lap, fell beneath the seat of the wagon and the horse was knocked over on top of her, crushing her.
Frank Gochenour, the father of the dead child, is a stonemason and resides on Forty-seventh street between Holly and Mercer streets. Mrs. Bucher conducts a grocery store at 825 West Forty-seventh street and her husband, Henry Bucher, is a bartender at the Valerious cafe. Mrs. Bucher is 42 years old, Florence Bucher is 14, Mrs. Alice Gochenour is 37, Robert 14 and the little girl was only 10 years of age. Rober Bucher, 14 years old, had been visiting with Robert Wilson, Thirty-fourth street and Broadway, and was on his way home when he heard the noise the collision made and ran to where the crowd was quickly gathering. He was much affected when he learned that his mother and sister were injured.
As soon as Mr. Bucher heard of the accident, he hurried to the emergency hospital, but his wife was unconscious.
A few minutes after he arrived his two daughters who had stayed at home arrived. They said they had gone to Mr. Gochenour's house and told him of the accident. He was alone in the house with his 3-year-old baby girl and could not leave to go to the hospital. The Bucher girls said that Mr. Gochenour did not seem to realize that his little girl was dead.
J. D. Skinner, 3508 Baltimore avenue, did not see the accident, but did hear the crash and saw the disappearing automobile. He was on Hunter avenue at the time and running to the corner could see two men in the machine. He said it was running at a rate of forty-five miles an hour when it passed over Hunter avenue and possibly faster after the accident. Many women living in the vicinity came out of their houses in time to see the automobile flying down the road. Some of them said they heard the two men in the machine laugh.
When the police were searching the street around the spot where the wagon was demolished they found part of an automobile lamp and broken parts of glass of the light reflector. Sergeant James A. Jadwin of No. 5 police station telephoned a description of the auto and the men to eleven police stations, and the men in several districts were given the descriptions. Kansas City, Kas., police were also notified.