32 People Have Died on This West Side Highway Curve
There’s a murderous curve on the West Side Highway at Little W. 12th St., that has claimed the lives of 32 motorists since the drive was finished in 1930.
Three have died in crashes on this sharp-angled turn in the last three days, two Saturday night, another last night. Two others are in critical condition in hospitals. Police who patrol the section say it is the wickedest spot for an automobile driver in or around New York. A rule-straight stretch approaches it and it looms up without warning. Maybe the latest death toll will spur city authorities to some action toward eliminating the danger, either by banking or rounding off the vicious twist.
Joseph J. Donovan, 51. Brooklyn, was last night’s victim. He was a passenger in a car driven by Cornelius Murphy, 38. Missing the turn, the machine smashed into the concrete island, hit a pole and ended up against the retaining wall. Donovan was killed instantly. Murphy is in St. Vincent’s hospital under a charge of motor-vehicle homicide. He has a possible skull fracture.
Of three men in a car, which took an almost identical course to disaster Saturday night, two were killed and a third is in a hospital. Little hope is held for his recovery. PM, October 14, 1941, Vol. 2, No. 85, p. 15
Three middle-aged men were on their way home after visiting friends early Saturday morning. The machine in which they were riding failed to make the turn. It climbed the concrete island curbing, tore across the roadway and smashed with terrific force into the retaining wall. the metal body was literally ripped from the frame and the whole machine was reduced to this crumpled mass. Carlo Marino, is in St. Vincent’s Hospital with a fractured skull and multiple lacerations. He may die. When police and ambulances arrived Dominico Palnizzo, 50, and Dominick Caspaglione, 50, were dead, killed instantly in the crash. The sharpness of the turn is indicated by the white broken lines. PM Photo by Weegee. PM, October 14, 1941, Vol. 2, No. 85, p. 15,
“The West Side Elevated Highway at Little West 12 Street. [At present moment, that’s slightly north west of the Whitney Museum of American Art and slightly north east of the New York City Department of Sanitation.]
The West Side Elevated Highway looking south. The highway was built between 1929 and 1937 (Canal to West 72nd Street), with southern extensions (Canal to the Battery) added from the mid-1930s onward. The section of the highway between Gansevoort and Little West 12th – which included the “murderous curve” – collapsed in 1973. The West Side Elevated Highway should not be confused with the West Side Line (see 02). The buildings in the background are part of the Gansevoort Market, originally bounded by Little West 12th, Gansevoort, West, and Washington, but eventually expanding north to West 16th Street and east to Ninth Avenue. Weegee’s Guide to New York, p. 152.
The whole JPEG was reduced to this pix-elated mass.
(This is an attempt to reduce the JPEG to a “crumpled mass” and an attempt at Photoshop and Lightroom humor and experimentation. In Lightroom the JPEG was exported at 90% quality, then 80%, etc. until 0%, then, in Photoshop, the 0% quality JPEG was re-saved and re-saved and re-saved at 0% quality… 0% quality! Who knew this post would take an autobiographical turn, this reads like my performance evaluations…)
Weegee Wednesday is an occasional series exploring, or just enjoying, the life and work of Weegee.