February 7, 1923 - LODD
Lieutenant James Griffin
Engine 285 - detailed to Ladder 142
FDNY. Queens, New York
An electric train of the Long Island Railroad, running at an estimated speed of sixty to seventy miles an hour, struck Ladder 142 from the Woodhaven station at the Rockaway Boulevard crossing, just below the Union Course station. Fireman John Dunne of 9144 111th Street, Richmond Hill, who was thirty-six years old and had been a fireman for seventeen years, was decapitated by the wheels of the flying train. His body was found under the wheels of the third car. Fireman Michael H. Hanley, of 8418 104th Street, Richmond Hill who was the chauffeur of the truck, died in the ambulance that was taking him to St. Mary’s Hospital. Lieutenant James Griffin, of 357 Grant Avenue, Brooklyn was hurled from the truck and fell across the live third rail. He was severely shocked and burned. His clothing caught fire and after he was taken from the third rail he was placed in an ambulance and taken to St. Mary’s Hospital and died the next day. Ladder 142 was responding to a call at Blake Avenue and Crescent Street. The hose wagon had crossed the track without seeing the train. The express train rounded the curve when the ladder truck was in the middle of the crossing. Upon seeing the ladder truck, the train engineer applied the brakes, collided with the ladder truck and dragged it for two blocks before stopping. A heavy snow was falling at the time and the rails were wet. A special policeman and gate-man for the railroad were arrested for negligence. It was the gate-man’s first day on the job.
RIP. Never forget.