July 11, 1908


Above, a mangled mystery — a wrecked car on San Fernando Road, stripped of anything that might identify the owner. But to no avail, for the truth will out.
1908_0711_page Dropcap_f_gump ive people riding in an auto are badly hurt when the driver tries to pass a wagon on San Fernando Road and hits a utility pole.

"Although the victims were all seriously injured, not one was taken to a hospital for treatment through fear that names would become known," The Times said.

It was soon learned that chauffeur C.L. French went off on a joy ride in the car of his employer, insurance executive George Ira Cochran, after taking the Cochran family to the theater, and he was racing back when the accident occurred.

Vaudeville actress Minnie Grace was pinned beneath the car in the crash; D.H. Christie suffered a fractured pelvis and his sister, Alma, was badly bruised on the head. Frank Dolan and another couple in the car were also injured, The Times said.

Cochran fired French and was weighing whether to take legal action, The Times said.

Apparently the Armour car repair shops, where the crash occurred, were so well known that The Times didn’t need to say where they were. Today, unfortunately, the location is a bit more obscure.

Bonus fact: George Ira Cochran died in 1949 at the age of 86. He was a University of California regent from 1919 to 1946.

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About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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