New Haven Ladder Truck Wrecked
Following one of the most tragic mishaps in the history of the New Haven, Conn., Fire Department, Acting Captain James McHugh and three other members of Truck No. 4 narrowly escaped death on July 17, when the apparatus, enroute to an alarm of fire, from Box 615, crashed into a tree and overturned. Acting Captain McHugh is a patient at Grace Hospital, New Haven, suffering from a fractured skull and internal injuries.
Chief Lawrence E. Reif held a dislodged tiller-wheel pin as the key to cause of the spectacular accident the 75-foot aerial truck, which came after the heavy apparatus had careened wildly down the thoroughfare between Dickerman and Goffe Streets.
Ladderman Richard Jones was operating the tiller wheel and Ladderman Robert O’Brien was driving when the apparatus suddenly got out of control. They and two other members of the company were hurled through the air and thrown heavily to the ground as the apparatus, defying frantic efforts, slewed to the right, struck the tree and then turned over on its right side.
Chief Reif is of the opinion that it will be necessary to ask for an appropriation for a new ladder truck as the main ladder mechanism was badly damaged and its frame badly bent. New equipment will cost approximately $25,000.