Runaway Team

We hear of all kinds of traffic accidents these days, but such things are hardly new.  This close call was reported in the July 28, 1899 Skidmore Standard:

An Exciting Runaway
Dray Team Frightened by a Falling Chicken Coop
Narrow Escape of the Driver

The most exciting runaway that ever occurred in Skidmore was witnessed, Tuesday afternoon, when M. A. Lyle’s dray team went galloping down Elm street hitched to a wagon loaded with chickens, while the driver was down between the frightened animals hanging on to the checks.  The run was short and the whole thing was over before you could say Jack Robison, but M. A. Lyle was, in that brief time, in greater danger of being sent to his final resting place than an American soldier in the Philippines who is exposed for a whole day to the aim of one of Aguinaldo’s followers.

It was shortly after 1 o’clock and Mr. Lyle had started to the depot with a load of chickens.  At the crossing near the Standard office a coop was jarred off and fell between the horses and wagon, precipitating the driver to the tongue between the horses.  The animals immediately began to run and Mr. Lyle, with horseman’s instinct, caught the checks and held on tenaciously until he guided the team into the elevated side walk in front of Kellogg’s store, where he was dragged from his perilous position under a lunging, frightened horse.  His injuries were very slight.  One arm was cut and bruised, and one leg bruised by the falling coop.  So lightly did he regard his wounds that he didn’t think it necessary to have them dressed, and proceeded at once to gather up and reload the scattered chicken coops that had been lost in the run.

Just how Mr. Lyle escaped with his life is a miracle.  It was a hair-breadth escape, if there ever was one, for as the team dashed toward the store with Lyles head on a level with the walk it seemed that his skull must be inevitably crushed, but when the crash came one of the horses sprang upon the walk and elevated the tongue sufficiently to allow the man’s body to pass above the walk.

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