Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web:

TUESDAY, JAN. 18, 2011

From our archives, 100 years ago

Three sledders were badly injured when they attempted to coast down one of the steepest hills in Spokane: Monroe Street at Sixth Avenue.

A large group of young people were sledding on the road, but only three of them had worked up the nerve to tackle the most treacherous part. The three of them were racing down the hill in their bobsled when the 19-year-old man in front swerved to avoid a streetcar. The sled then hit a raised streetcar rail, which caused the sled to carom wildly and hit another sled being hauled up the hill. The three occupants were thrown all the way across the street, into an apartment house entrance.

A 17-year-old girl suffered a compound fracture of the leg; a 21-year-old man broke his leg above the knee; and the 19-year-old driver suffered various bruises.

Police said they had warned sledders repeatedly about the dangers on this hill. Yet other young sledders continued to streak down the hill, even while medical crews were working on their companions.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1778: English navigator Captain James Cook reached the Hawaiian Islands, which he dubbed the “Sandwich Islands.” … 1949: Charles Ponzi, engineer of one of the most spectacular swindles in history, died destitute at age 66 in a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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