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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

The three-member crew of a Great Northern ditcher (like a steam shovel) was attempting to clear a large landslide that had covered the tracks near the Pend Oreille River bridge near Newport.

The operator had grabbed a load of dirt and was attempting to swing it clear of the tracks when the huge machine became unbalanced. The ditcher and the flat car on which it was perched both tipped over, trapping the three men in the cab.

They were unable to move when the steam pipes broke “and poured a cloud of scalding steam onto the bodies.” All three died instantly.

Two of the men were from Spokane and the other from Hillyard.

From the funeral beat: A taxicab carrying five mourners, including the reverend, was departing from a funeral at Fairmount Cemetery. 

The taxi hit a chuck-hole at considerable speed, causing one of the wheels to crumple and the taxi to overturn. One of the passengers was pitched out and the taxi rolled onto him. The other four were tumbled together at the bottom of the car. The taxi driver was uninjured and was able to get the four passengers out of the cab and to lift the car off the other man. 

All five passengers were injured but none seriously.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1836: The Republic of Texas formally declared its independence from Mexico.

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