On this day in 1929: Only a day old, the State Highway Patrol suffers its first fatality: G.I. Thompson, stationed in Marion, dies when his motorcycle collides with a truck. The patrol will begin switching to cars in 1935.
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One thought on “Fatal accident stuns fledgling motorcycle patrol”
In reading old newspaper articles about the Mecklenburg County police last year, I was struck by the number of serious accidents and fatalities involving those early police motorcycles and their side cars. Autos weren’t immune either and did things like stalling out on the streetcar tracks in the path of oncoming trains.
If newspaper accounts can be believed, it wasn’t unknown for officers in pursuit to clock 50 or 60 mph on city streets or through neighborhoods like Plaza-Midwood, which makes me think that modern concerns about bystander safety must pale in comparison to what our grandparents experienced.