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The Rushden Echo, 30th May 1913, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Alarming Accident Near Rushden
Two Rushden Gentlemen Badly Hurt
Knotting Lady Injured
Motor and Cycle Collide
A strange motor smash occurred on Sunday afternoon about 2.45. Mr. Joseph Knight, boot manufacturer, Rushden, was, with his cousin, Mr. Ernest Knight, driving his car, a “Humberette,” along the Court Estate, off the Bedford-road, when the steering gear in some strange manner is said to have become unmanageable. A “Rushden Echo” representative was informed officially, however, that the cause of the accident is still a mystery and that the steering gear is quite intact. But whatever the cause, the car was beyond Mr. Knight’s control, and it swerved about in an alarming manner. A lady cyclist, Miss Pittam, who is 19 years of age, of Knotting, was riding along the road in the opposite direction, and, seeing the unusual behaviour of the motor naturally became very nervous and was unable to pass the vehicle. The two collided in a fearful smash and all three were hurled with great force to the ground and rendered unconscious. That they escaped with their lives is marvellous.

The only eye-witness of the accident with the exception of those in it was Mr. Percy Knight, of Wellingborough, who states that the motor was going at a comparatively slow pace. Such was the impact of the car and cycle, however, that the car was completely overturned and the bicycle was practically smashed. Mr. Joseph Knight and his cousin were pinned underneath the car on the grass at the side of the road, while Miss Pittam was flung into the roadway. A number of people soon arrived and rendered temporary assistance until a doctor could get on the scene. Water, etc., was procured from the residence of Mr. R. Knight, Sunnyside, Bedford-road, and eventually Dr. Baker and P.C. Pollard arrived, having been fetched by Mr. D. Nicholson, of Rushden. Further assistance was rendered by the doctor and the two gentlemen were conveyed by Dr. Baker, in his motor, to their home on the Irchester-road, while a motor cyclist kindly took Miss Pittam home in his side car. Mr. Pittam, the lady’s father and keeper at Knotting Fox, cycled back for Dr. Greenfield, who attended to her injuries. It was found that she was badly bruised but that no bones were broken, and apart from the bruises and a severe shock there was nothing to cause any apprehension as to her condition. The occupants of the car, however, were more seriously injured. Mr. Joseph Knight, who did not regain consciousness for over an hour, was severely cut about his lips and had a nasty abrasion of the eye-brow, besides injuries to his chest, which were probably caused by the steering wheel. Mr. Ernest Knight was in a still worse condition. A piece of flesh was torn completely out of his leg, leaving a gaping wound, and he was much shaken and bruised. Mr. Fletcher, of Irchester-road, kindly assisted the doctor when the injured gentlemen reached their destination.

In the meantime Mr. T. Denton, of the Lightstrung Cycle Co., motored to the scene and conveyed the damaged bicycle to the home of Miss Pittam; and Mr. R. Knight and Mr. D. Nicholson took charge of Mr. Joseph Knight’s motor, which was removed to Mr. R. Knight’s grounds and on Wednesday was towed to Rushden. It is in a sorry condition. The bonnet and mudguards, etc., were broken almost completely off, though the body and the engine are far from being ruined. How the occupants escaped being gashed in a fearful manner by the glass wind screen is extraordinary, for it was smashed into hundreds of fragments. Miss Pittam’s bicycle was almost doubled up and is hopelessly bent, battered, and broken.

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