August 17, 1896
Croydon, Surrey, England
Bridget Driscoll becomes the world’s first motor vehicle casualty
Driscoll (44) was walking with two companions — her teenage daughter and a friend — when driver Arthur James Edsall drove towards the group at “a reckless pace, in fact, like a fire engine”. (According to a mechanic, the car’s top speed was 4.5 miles per hour, and Edsall claimed to be going 4 mph when he hit Driscoll.) As he approached, Edsall rang his car’s bell and shouted “stand back” at the group of women, two of whom moved quickly out of the way. Driscoll, however, “seemed bewildered” by the sudden appearance of the vehicle and hesitated. The auto-car knocked her down and rolled over her head, killing her. A jury ruled the death as accidental.
Western Times. August 19, 1896