The death of Mounted Police-constable John YOUNG, No 192 H, or 192 E,1899

Liverpool Mercury, 19 May 1899

Serious accident to the hospital ambulance

Early yesterday morning as the horse ambulance was conveying a man who had been run over from Heyworth St to the Stanley Hospital, the animal attached to the vehicle bolted in St Domingo Rd and struck a lamppost with disastrous results to the occupants and the driver. The latter, Police-constable 192E sustained a fracture of the base of the skull, the police-constable in charge had a severe shaking and shock, and the patient was also injured. The doctor escaped unhurt. The unfortunate men were conveyed at once to the Royal Infirmary, where the man injured on the head lies in a serious condition.

Last night we were informed that the condition of the driver of the vehicle John Young who belongs to the Liverpool Mounted Police, was very grave, he has not recovered consciousness since the accident. The ambulance was smashed and the horse was injured.

Liverpool Mercury, May 24th 1899

The Liverpool Ambulance car accident

Death of a constable

As a result of injuries sustained on Thursday last, Police-constable 192 H, John YOUNG, died at the Royal Infirmary yesterday morning. The deceased was driving the police ambulance in which a man named QUINN who had been run over in Heyworth St, was being taken to the Stanley Hospital. The horse attached to the vehicle bolted and rushed into a lamp post in Domingo Rd. The patient QUINN and the driver were injured.

QUINN died on Friday, his funeral took place yesterday at St Anne's Church, Overbury St, Edgehill, the officiating priest was Rev Father DUGGAN, O.S.B, the principal mourners were Mrs BYRNE [sister] and Mr J. H. ALLAN, the deceased's employer

Liverpool Mercury, May 26th 1899

The Liverpool Ambulance car fatalities

Inquest and verdict

Mr T. E. SAMPSON coroner for Liverpool, yesterday conducted an inquiry at the Police Buildings, Dale St, into the circumstances attending the deaths of Michael QUINN, chemist's assistant, aged 45, of Grove St, and John YOUNG, a member of the Liverpool Mounted Police Force, aged 29. QUINN was being conveyed to hospital and YOUNG the driver of the ambulance to which an accident happened in St Domingo Rd on the morning of the 18th inst. Alderman H. H. HORNBY, Chairman of the Watch Committee, occupied a seat beside the coroner. Mr CRIPPS [prosecuting solicitor] and Mr E. SPERRIN [chief police clerk] watched the proceedings on behalf of the police. Mr KEOGH [barrister] instructed by Messers WEIGHTMAN, PEDDER and Co, appeared on behalf of the cabdriver named Frank Peters HOWARD, and Mr HOLME represented the relatives of the deceased man.

William John IRWIN, grocer's assistant, stated that at about 10am he was engaged in the window of the shop at which he is employed in Heyworth St, when he heard shouts and on looking into the street he saw a hansom cab, the owner of which was pulling up. QUINN who was in front of the horse, either fell or was knocked down, and before the driver could pull up one of the wheels of the cab passed over QUINN. The cab did not appear to be going fast, and only travelled 6 or 7yds past the injured man.

Frank Peters HOWARD, of Clarence St, the cab driver, stated, at the time in question he was driving along Heyworth St, on his proper side of the road at a rate of about 5 or 6 mph. There was a sharp bend in the road, and he did not see QUINN until within about 5yds of him. He was walking with his head bent to the ground. Witness shouted three or four times, but, witness appeared to take no notice, the horse's head knocked him down and the wheel went over him. Witness did his best to pull up and after the occurrence drove to Breck Rd, Police Station, reported the matter and brought a policeman back to Heyworth St. By Mr HOLME, He had only had two runaways before.

Dr HENDERSON deposed to receiving QUINN at the Stanley Hospital, he was suffering from concussion and was unconscious. There were external injuries on the back of the head, wrist and legs. He died the next morning. A post mortem examination showed that the skull was fractured and the cause of death was compression of the brain. He was of the opinion the skull was fractured in the cab accident by his head being dashed against the stones, and not in the ambulance accident.

Police constable Matthew M'DIARMID, 137 B, stated that on the morning of the 18th inst he proceeded from Breck Rd, Police Station to the assistance of QUINN, whom he found lying on the footpath unconscious. Witness rendered first aid and the ambulance from the Stanley Hospital arrived, the deceased YOUNG being the driver. Witness and Dr PADDOCK got QUINN into the ambulance. When approaching the top of Heyworth St the witness noticed that the ambulance was travelling at a rather rapid pace, and both he and Dr PADDOCK shouted for YOUNG to go slower. When going down St Domingo Rd witness came to the conclusion that the horse had bolted, and shortly afterwards the ambulance was turned over with a crash. Dr PADDOCK got out first, and witness, who was injured, got QUINN out. After that witness remembered nothing more, as he was stunned.

William SANT, 43 H, Police-sergeant in the mounted police, deposed that YOUNG had been in the force for about 18mths. He had always found him to be a steady and reliable man, who had a thorough knowledge of horses. YOUNG had been in the habit of driving the police van horses, and as the regular driver of the ambulance was away on leave, YOUNG took his place. He was a thoroughly experienced driver and the horse in the ambulance had been engaged in that work for several months, a steady animal and in fact inclined to be lazy. He had never seen it shy, or show any disposition to bolt or shy. It was blind in one eye and YOUNG knew that. Witness considered that the horse was quite fit for ambulance work.

Mr CRIPPS, "Had the loss of one eye made the horse nervous ?" Witness, "No Sir"

The Coroner," But a horse is more liable to shy if it only has one eye ?" Witness, "Yes Sir, If anything came suddenly in front of it"

A Juror, "Don't you think it is very dangerous to drive an ambulance through the streets of Liverpool at the rate of 12 mph ?" Witness, "I have never driven it."

"How far from the ground are you, are you 10 or 12 ft," "Yes, I should think so"

"That is very high, suppose a wheel came off, there is nothing to stop you falling into the street ?" "No"

"Would it not be better if you were lower down ?" "In my estimation it would"

"Would it not be better to have a strap round you in case the horse fell down suddenly ?" "I prefer to be without a strap"

The Coroner, "I gather then that you think the seat of the driver should be lower than it is now ?" "I think so, it would be more safe"

"That is judging from what has happened now ?" "Yes"

Constable Harry FRISK, 106 H, of the mounted police, deposed that he was the regular driver of the ambulance, he had been driving this particular horse for 7 mths. It was a good steady horse, and in fact, too slow. He had never known it show any disposition to shy or bolt, and he had, had, to ask for a whip for it.

The Coroner, "Do you think that a lower seat for the driver would be better ?" "Yes, from my own experience"

"Do you think it would give you better command of the horse if it bolted ?" "Yes, I think it would be better to be on a level with the horse"

"Your anxiety is always to get to the hospital as quickly as possible ?" "If it is a dangerous case we are told to get to the hospital as quickly as possible"

Mr CRIPPS, "You receive your instructions about speed from the Doctor ?" "Yes"

"Would you like to be strapped to the seat ? "No, I would sooner be loose"

Replying to further questions from the jury, witness said the ambulance could not be driven slower than he drove it.

A Juror, "My opinion is that these things are driven too fast."

The witness further stated that the horse had not recently lost an eye.

Charles MALLON, dock labourer, stated he saw the horse of the ambulance galloping down St Domingo Rd, and the animal seemed to have bolted. The vehicle was travelling for about 300 to 400 yds at an excessive pace, and suddenly swerved to the left, the wheels at one side got on to the footpath. Having proceeded about 40 yds like that, the vehicle collided with a lamp post and overturned. YOUNG the driver was shot right off the seat and fell heavily on his head in the street. Witness got hold of the horse's head.

The Coroner, "Had the driver a whip in his hand ?" "No Sir"

Michael BURNS a barman gave similar evidence.

John EDGE, of Bootle, deposed to seeing the ambulance pass a boy and a handcart which were nearly in the middle of the road.

The ambulance swerved to the right to pass the handcart, and then swerved to the left, the pace increasing. He noticed the driver lost control of the horse, which seemed to take fright, while passing the handcart. The driver was not using a whip or urging the horse on at all. The collision with the lamp post was a severe one.

Dr PADDOCK, recalled, detailed what he knew about the accident from the inside of the ambulance. When he noticed the speed increasing, he thought they were going to have an accident and called out to the driver. Witness thought that QUINN being nearer to the lamp post, was in the worst position, but he did not think it was in the ambulance accident that his skull was fractured. The driver was perfectly steady.

Dr ANDERSON, of the Royal Infirmary, stated that YOUNG was suffering from a fracture at the base of the skull. He was seized with convulsions and died on Tuesday morning from syncope, immediately after a fit of convulsions, death was due to the fracture.

Mr CRIPPS, said he did not think he could call any further evidence.

The Coroner remarked that the jury had raised the point that the seat was too high, this was a matter for consideration hereafter.

Mr CRIPPS added that the head-constable had asked him to express his sympathy with QUINN'S relatives and also with those of YOUNG who had met his death in the execution of his duty.

The Coroner in summing up said it was most important and essential that beneficial services of that kind should be conducted ably and with the best appliances. He was told that the ambulance had been constructed after very careful consideration by a well-known coach builder, who had studied the matter, and the vehicle up to the present had been pronounced of a high order. Whether it would be better to have the seat lower, as had been suggested, was a question that would receive serious consideration by the authorities. He took it that the Corporation in providing these ambulances, had no other object but perfect safety in every respect.

The jury found in each case a verdict of "Accidental death". The thought that at the time he was run over QUINN was not paying attention, and as to the ambulance accident they thought that a one-eyed horse was not a proper animal for ambulance work.

Mr CRIPPS, said he would bring the matter under the notice of the Head Constable.

Liverpool Mercury, May 27th 1899

The funeral of Constable YOUNG

Yesterday the remains of John YOUNG of the City Mounted Police, were removed from the Royal Infirmary and interred at Flaybrick Hill Cemetery, Birkenhead, of which town the deceased was a native. The coffin enveloped in the Union Jack, rested upon a horse-carriage, drawn by a pair of handsome chestnuts. On the coffin the deceased's sword and helmet were placed, in addition to many wreaths, symbols of esteem and regard from comrades and relatives.

20 members of the Mounted Police on foot immediately followed the coffin, wearing full dress uniform, and in the rear were Chief-superintendent RACE, Inspector GIBSON, and 40 constables of A. Division. The route to the Landing stage, via London Rd and Dale St were lined with people, and as the cortege passed the Central Police Office in Dale St, the blinds were drawn as a mark of respect to the deceased. The coffin was conveyed across the river by the Woodside luggage boat, and on arrival was placed in a hearse, which was preceded by 20 members of the Birkenhead Police Force, in charge of Inspector GUNNING, BOWLES and BRITTEN.

At the cemetery a large number of people were gathered, the service was conducted by Mr Charles THOMPSON, both in the church and at the graveside. The chief mourners were Mrs YOUNG [mother], Mr P. YOUNG, [brother], Mrs CLARK, Mrs ABLETT, Miss Lizzie YOUNG and Miss Minnie YOUNG [sisters] Mr Charles ABLETT and Mr Charles HULME [brothers-in-law]. Messers STEPHENS and HIGGINS carried out the funeral arrangements


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