Story behind the photograph – 1935 car and tram accident

State Library of Queensland has a wonderful collection of images from Brisbane’s old Sunday Sun / Truth newspaper, some of which have been digitised and can be viewed online.

Motorist squashed between two early electric trams, Brisbane, 1935. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 62053

Motorist squashed between two early electric trams, Brisbane, 1935. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 62053

This image showing a car crushed between two trams was published in the Truth on 9 June 1935. The accident occurred at the intersection of McLachlan and Brunswick streets in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. Surprisingly the driver Mr A.P. Wynne and his passenger E.Rockett survived the ordeal.

In an interview with the Truth, Wynne described how the accident occurred.

“I thought I was a certainty to be killed. It was all a matter of seconds. As I came out of McLachlan Street I suddenly saw the tram coming from New Farm, and swung to the right so that I’d be going with it and not against it when we struck. Then I found myself running straight for the other tram. The car was right in its way. I jerked the wheel again to the left, and stepped on the gas, intending to shoot across the street between the trams. It was a pretty slim chance, the only thing to do. I said to Rockett, “Now for a real smash.” Then we got it. I don’t remember. But I found myself still whole, and sitting in the car, with Rockett still alongside”.

The full article from the Truth is available on Trove Newspapers.

You can view over five hundred images from the Sunday Sun collection on our One Search catalogue.

Myles Sinnamon – Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland