Take heed! Britain’s first fatal car accident, Harrow, 1899

Take heed! Britain's first fatal car accident, Harrow, 1899

En route to the boozer before Saturday’s Championship play off final at Wembley, I passed this plaque on a wall in Grove Hill, Harrow on the Hill.

The roadside plaque (unveiled on 25 February 1969) records the site of Britain’s first fatal road accident, on 25 February 1899.

The dead driver was 31-year-old engineer Edwin Sewell, whose 6HP Daimler crashed into a wall after a rear wheel collapsed following a rim breakage.

Sewell died instantaneously, while his passenger, Major Richer, was thrown from the vehicle and suffered such serious injuries that he died three days later in hospital.

Take heed, indeed.

4 Comments on “Take heed! Britain’s first fatal car accident, Harrow, 1899”

  1. This may be the 1st driver fatality but:
    There was little more than a handful of petrol cars in Britain when labourer’s wife Bridget Driscoll, 44, took a trip to the Crystal Palace, south-east London, on 17 August 1896.

    So she could be forgiven for being bewildered by Arthur Edsall’s imported Roger-Benz which was part of a motoring exhibition taking place as she attended a Catholic League of the Cross fete with her 16-year-old daughter, May, and a friend.

    But as the Times recalled 70 years later, when giving mention to a memorial service for Mrs Driscoll at her local church, hers was the misfortune of becoming the UK’s first traffic fatality

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