Watts, Frank

Watts, Frank         1919 April 25th

Fatal Street Accident

One Salisbury Man Killed and Another Injured

A brewers’ horse while drawing a lorry along Brown Street on Wednesday afternoon of last week, suddenly ran away. Two men on the lorry attempted to get off when the horse was beyond their control, and one was so seriously injured that he died the same day, while the other is still under treatment at the Infirmary.

Mr A M Wilson, City Coroner, held an inquest at the Infirmary on Thursday evening, without a jury, at which the first witness was the wife of the man who had died, Frank Leonard Watts. She said she lived at 102, Love Lane, and her husband was employed as a stableman by Messrs Lovibond and Sons, brewers. He was 60 years of age. She last saw him alive on Wednesday, April 16th, when he came home for a cup of tea. He only stayed a few minutes and was in his usual health. At about 4.30 she was told he had met with an accident and had been taken to the Infirmary. She accordingly went to the Infirmary, but as he was being attended to by the doctor she could not see him. When she went again at about 2.30 he was still unconscious, so she did not see him then.

John Plank, a coachman, living at 25, Trinity Street, said he was driving a landau in Trinity Street when he noticed a horse drawing a trolley turn into Brown Street. A man named Fowler was driving it, and Watts was standing up in the trolley. When witness turned into Brown Street he was behind them. Just as the horse reached Dr Ward’s house it began to shake its head, and swerved near Mr Main’s house almost on the pavement. Suddenly in broke into a gallop, got out of control, and dashed across St Ann Street into the Friary, quicker than he had ever seen a horse go before. Fowler got off the driver’s seat, and fell in trying to get to the back of the trolley. Watts also tried to get off and fell near the back door of Mrs Wordsworth’s house. The horse eventually dashed into a wall and stopped. It had not collided with anything till then. He could not render any assistance because he had his own horse to look after and there were people in the landau. He saw nothing that might have frightened the horse. He thought Watts fell on his head.

PC Toogood deposed to being informed of the accident, and to finding Watts lying on his back, unconscious, at Friary house, whither he had been taken. Dr Saunders, who had been sent for, ordered his removal to the Infirmary. Witness obtained an ambulance and took him there.

Dr Dorothy I. Dobbin, assistant house surgeon at the Infirmary, stated that Watts was admitted at about 5.30pm in a comatose condition, suffering from fracture of the skull. The coma deepened and he died at 10.45 the same night. In her opinion death was due to coma from the injuries the man had received. She added that Fowler could not give evidence yet, as he had no memory of the accident whatever. He might be well enough in a week.

The inquest was adjourned till Fowler is able to attend.

(There is no further report of this case, but I think one may assume “Accidental Death.”)

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