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Archive for Sunday, February 16, 2014

100 years ago: KU student killed in sledding accident

February 16, 2014

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Feb. 16, 1914:

"The lure of the long coast down the slope of Mount Oread last Saturday night claimed the life of another Kansas University boy -- Cecil M. Beardsley of Russell, Kansas. The crash came at the corner of Tennessee and Adams [14th] street shortly before 12 o'clock at night. A cab crossed the path of the speeding bob-sled, the compact almost instantly blotted out the life of the young man steering the frail and fleeting sled. At such great speed was the sled descending the hill that the members of the coasting party barely had time to realize their position when the coaster crashed squarely into the rear wheel of the cab. Beardsley was in front, he caught the full shock of the collision, wedged between the cab wheel and his mates on the bob behind him. As quick as possible after the spill the others of the party rushed to the aid of their steersman but he was past assistance, lifeless they carried his body to Lee's College Inn and summoned medical aid in the hope of reviving him. But that was too late, Mount Oread had claimed its toll. Young Beardsley was severely mangled, his side was crushed in, his arms and legs scratched and several bones broken.... The others in the coasting party were more fortunate. When the collision came there was a general spilling of coasters but only a few sustained even painful injuries.... The bob was one of the big model coasters that is the favorite of the students. It carried a dozen passengers and when loaded with such a number attained a speed sufficient to satisfy the desires of the most reckless of the coasters. It was traveling at such a speed when the cab, going south on Tennessee street, drove in front of it.... The cab is practically a wreck. The speeding bob caught squarely on one of the wheels and cab, horses and bob continued the slide down the hill. Perhaps for at least twenty feet the entire outfit -- cab, horses, bob-sled and coasters rolled and tumbled down Adams street. Fortunately the cab was empty, and in some almost miraculous manner the driver escaped uninjured, although severely shocked. The cab was one of a party of a dozen or more coming from the barns down town to answer calls from the Phi Delta Theta house at 1409 Tennessee street. The annual "Matinee Mess' given by that fraternity was just closing and the cabs were coming to take the dancers home."

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