Mexborough & Swinton Times, April 4, 1928
Knocked Down By Bus at Goldthorpe
The death of Gladys Brettoner, aged six, daughter of Albert Brettoner, of 57, High Street, Goldthorpe, was investigated by Mr.W. H. Carlyle and a jury at the Horse and Groom Hotel, Goldthorpe, on Tuesday. The driver of the ‘bus which knocked the child down, Harry Mason, of Mexboro’, was represented by Mr. W. Lindsay Crawford.
The father, a cycle dealer, gave evidence of identification.
Robert Jackson; miner, of 127 High Street, Goldthorpe, said he was standing in High Street, directly opposite the scene about 640 p.m., and saw the child knocked down by the near side wheel of the ‘bus. She was pushed along and then run over. The horn was sounded. The driver swerved to the right in an attempt to avoid the child, and finished on the opposite causeway. When the accident happened the ‘bus was on the proper side.
The father said the ‘bus was on the tramlines when it hit the child.
Witness said the offside wheel might have been in the tram linesbut the near side wheel was on the left side of the road.
Harry Mason, of 1, Spencer Street, Mexboro’ the ‘bus driver, said he was employed by George Waddington, of Mexboro’. On The day of the accident he had been to Frickley, leaving there at 6-10 p.m. for Wath-on-Dearne. He had 12 passengers. He was travelling at about ten miles an hour when going down High Street, Goldthorpe. At the bottom he turned to the right to go round the corner, when he saw the child about a yard from the pavement. Witness had sounded the horn, and on seeing her three or fpur yards away sounded the horn again and applied the brakes. The girl was running towards witness, and he swerved the ‘bus to the right, but was unable to avoid her. He did not know that he had struck the girl until he got out of the ‘bus.
He did not think the ‘bus passed over the child. The ‘bus turned round at right angles, mounted the opposite pavement, and struck the wall.
The Coroner : If you were only going at 10 miles an hour and applied both brakes and swerved , how do you account for the fact that you went so far before you pulled up?
I should put it down to the smoothness of the road.
Witness further stated that he was in the tram lines at the time of the accident. He had been driving six years, and thin was his first accident.
Joseph Cummings, greengrocer, of 20, Moor Road, Wath, said he was a passenger in the ‘bus, seated to the right of the driver, When witness first saw the child the ‘bus was seven yards away and immediately the driver swerved. The ‘bus was on the tram and travelling at not more than ten miles an hour. In the opinion of witness the driver was not to blame, he did all he could to avoid the child.
Jackson, recalled, said he picked the child from under the ‘bus. She was face downwards. He thought the wheel must have passed over her.
The father:- If the brakes were in good order the ‘bus should have been able to pull up dead.
George Robosn, miner, of 43, Poplar Grove, Wath-on-Dearne, another passenger in the ‘bus, said he was sitting immediately behind the driver. He saw the child step off the kerb and the driver slowed down.
The child dashed off again and when the driver swerved the child ran on and attempted to cross in front of the bus. Before slowing down the bus was travelling at 10 miles an hour
Witness thought the driver did everything he could to avoid the child.
Questioned further by the Coroner as to the distance at which he first saw the chid, witness admitted it was a guess.
The father suggested that this witness was the only one describing the child’s direction accurately.
P.c. Fletcher said he examined the ‘bus and formed the opinion that the child was pushed a little distance by the steering rod and was then run over.
A doctor saw the child, and found a fracture at the base of the skull. The road was 36ft. wide. The ‘bus apparently travelled ten yards after the brakes were applied, according to the skid marks. From the spot where the brakes were first applied to where the child was knocked down would he about three yards.
The Coroner said from the evidence it would appear that the child was caught a glancing blow by the mudguard, and that the driver did all he could to avoid the accident. He did not think the ‘bus went over the child, The driver was going at a moderate speed, and there appeared to be no question of attaching blame to the driver.
The Aury returned a verdict of “Accidental death, and exonerated the driver from blame. They expressed their sympathy with Mr. and Mrs. Brettoner, and the coroner and Mr. George Waddington, the owner of the bus identify themselves with the expression.