Sunday, September 09, 2012
May 30, 1896
Depending on the source and circumstances, there are several claims to being the very first automobile accident in American history – this is one. While driving his Duryea Motor Wagon through Manhattan, Henry Wells hits a bicycle ridden by Evylyn Thomas sending the woman flying. Thomas spent the next few days in the hospital nursing a fractured leg. Wells spent the night in jail. It is unknown what happened to the bicycle or the Duryea Motor Wagon, but at that point it had to be clear to at least some, that this type of incident, although it maybe the first, would certainly not be the last. It is unknown if Mr. Wells made an insurance claim for the accident.
(Source: America at the Wheel: 100 Years of the Automobile in America by Automotive News, September 21, 1993)