September 26, 1908
Pursuing a woman prisoner in Independence last night, Special Officer L. D. Masterson leaped from a rapidly moving street car and struck his head on the curbing, receiving a fracture of the skull, which the physicians believe will prove fatal. Masterson was attending the fair in Independence when Nell Hutchins began disturbing the peace. She was boisterous and refused to be quiet when Masterson requested her to. He placed her under arrest and started to the city on a street car with her.
The car was nearing the center of the city and had just reached a steep hill, down which the car started at a rate of thirty miles an hour. The woman prisoner was occupying a seat across the aisle from the officer and believed she could escape. She got up and ran down the aisle before Masterson realized what she intended to do, and by the time he reached the rear door Nell made a flying leap for freedom. She landed on her head, and, rolling over and over, came a cropper against a trolley pole. Without stopping to think about the speed of the car, the zealous officer followed the example of his prisoner and jumped from the car. He struck his head against the curbing. Persons who witnessed the accident ran to his side, and, seeing that he was seriously injured, called Drs. Joseph W. Green and B. F. O'Daniel. Masterson was taken to the police station in Independence, where the surgeons worked with him an an endeavor to save his life. They said that his skull had been fractured at the base, and that he was suffering from concussion of the brain. He was not expected to live at a late hour last night. Masterson had been foreman of the street department in Independence, and was appointed special policeman during the fair. He lives at 700 West Stone street. The woman prisoner was severely bruised about the face and body.