Cars were rare things in 1904 Santa Rosa, and collisions were unheard of -- this was the first mention I've found in the Press Democrat. Note that although the "Chaeffeur" was driving too fast to stop in time, the newspaper doesn't chide the driver for recklessness, as it did a horse rider a few months earlier. Also: why that reference to a "noiseless machine?"

Enough was enough, however, and on Dec. 7, the City Council took up "the speed at which autos are run through the streets of the city and around corners," and set the speed limit at 6MPH within city limits, despite the protest of auto drivers who said it was too slow.

Noiseless Machine Bumps Into Wagon on Fourth Street Yesterday

Mrs. B.S. Kennedy of Sebastopol was thrown from her wagon yesterday morning in front of Seibel's store on Fourth street by reason of an automobile colliding with her rig, and the mules she was driving scaring at the automobile. She escaped with a sprained tendon and slight nervous shock.

The accident occurred while Mrs. Kennedy was about to turn her team around. The street was completely blocked by teams when Chaeffeur [sic] Shirley Burris came around the corner in his automobile. The mules becoming frightened, stopped and began to back and before young Burris could bring his machine to a stop it collided with the wagon. The sudden cramping of the wagon threw Mrs. Kennedy out. She was picked up and taken in the auto to Dr. McLeod's office, where an examination was made and the bruises she had sustained were treated.

Mrs. Kennedy's team ran around on Hinton avenue and were stopped by F. Marion Cooper. The only injury to the vehicles was the breaking of the auto's lamps.

- Press Democrat, September 28, 1904


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