Oct 12 2016

An Accident on the Motor Parkway in Garden City on July 8, 1931- Updated: 10/17/16

This is a never-before-published photo of an accident which occurred on the Long Island Motor Parkway in Garden City on July, 8, 1931.

According to the photo caption, there were eight people in the automobile when it overturned, six adults and two children. One woman and a child were taken to Nassau Hospital in Mineola. The fate of the hospitalized person in "serious condition" is unknown.


Howard Kroplick

Photo caption

The border concrete posts and wire for the Long Island Motor Parkway.

The Garden City section of the Motor Parkway as seen on October 7, 1938.

1923 Cadillac Type 61 7-Passenger Touring Car

This may be the model of the above automobile as suggested by Walt Gosden and Mark Schaier (see below Comments).


Oct 12 2016 Mark 10:42 PM

Be curious to know exactly where that is on the MP and what direction the direction the pic was taken…

From Howard Kroplick:

I was wondering the very same thing- difficult to determine. There seems to be a road in the background, Meadow Brook Polo Field or the Old Westbury Golf Club.

Oct 13 2016 frank femenias 7:00 AM

Russell Rd or Roosevelt Airfield in the back. All four men appear to be clowning around.

Oct 13 2016 Michael LaBarbera 9:50 AM

Seeing the big field in the background and maybe some airplane hanger rooftops, I’m curious as to the orientation of the car, which direction it was traveling and could it have had something to do with the curve south of Roosevelt Field that made the car turn over ? A circle and arrow overlaying the aerial photo would be awesome.  The lack of shadows indicates a midday photo which makes placing the location a mystery to me. Also an in a slightly unrelated tidbit of interest the lobby at Winthrop Hospital (formerly Nassau Hospital) has 2 marble plaques on the wall reading “Nassau Hospital Erected 1900” with all the donors names from that time, reads like a who’s who of the early days of the people involved with the Motor Parkway and Roosevelt Field. Again, great stuff (except for the victims of the crash).

Oct 15 2016 Bruce Adams 11:30 PM

Has anyone ID’d the crash car?  The engine appears to be a V8.

Oct 16 2016 S. Berliner, III 9:29 AM

C’mon, Howard; this isn’t like you.  The photo didn’t appear from thin air.  Provenance, please.  Sam, III

From Howard Kroplick I

Purchased last week from one of my favorite photo pickers. Original source was Acme Newspictures, Inc of New York City.

Oct 16 2016 Walt Gosden 9:35 AM

The car is a Cadillac, and at least 6 or more years old at the time the photo was taken judging by the shape of the radiator shell. Noting how many people were in the car when the accident happened, they either squeezed in a 5 passenger phaeton or most likely it was a 7 passenger tourer. Hard to determine this from the mashed metal . Only two people could fit comfortably in the front seat (and that depended upon the girth of the occupants) as the bodies on the cars were narrow - I own a Packard touring car from 1930 and can state that as fact! The narrow tires and primitive breaking system of the Cadillac of that era would all contribute to the accident along with the total weight of the passengers. If the road surface was even a little damp and the car was going to fast and driver not paying attention it could have all contributed to the situation.

Oct 16 2016 Robert Hoffmann 4:49 PM

Are the police Nassau County, Garden City or Roosevelt Field police ?

Oct 17 2016 mark schaier 9:24 AM

I agree with Walt that the car in that crash is a Cadillac listed in my standard catalog of American Cars that it to be from 1922-23? period, base on the photo of the wreck, the right fender lines, the headlights, though the horn was to be under the hood? It’s listed as a 4dr Touring 7p.

Oct 17 2016 mark schaier 7:49 PM

I had gone on Google search for 1923 Cadillac for photos, which came up with lots of photos of the car. Something new for me, great stuff Google.

Oct 23 2016 Tom 9:10 PM

If you look at the radiator shell on the wrecked car it’s different than the one on the ‘23 Cadillac.  Wonder what the joke was that got them laughing?

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