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June 2, 1914: Distracted driver just couldn't put his pipe down

Posted by: Ben Welter under Minnesota History, Transportation Updated: June 2, 2014 - 11:56 PM
 
I've pored over thousands of feet of Minneapolis Tribune microfilm since 2005. I believe this might be the earliest example of distracted driving -- and of the dangers of smoking.
 

A Pipe Smoker Loses His Life

 
Auto Truck Driver Crushed to Death as He Lights His Tobacco.
 
Balthasar Tschida, driving an auto truck Saturday afternoon, found his pipe had gone out just as he approached the Como avenue bridge on Western avenue in St. Paul. He turned the steering wheel over to an assistant, and the truck hit a bridge pier. Tschida was crushed against the bridge as the truck slewed. He died yesterday from his injuries. Tschida was 40 years old. He leaves a wife and seven children.

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