February 25, 1899 – First death of an automobile driver in Britain

Edwin Sewell just wanted to sell Major James Richer a new Daimler automobile when they went for a demonstration drive in west London on this day in 1899. Instead, he ended up killing himself and ultimately his passenger after losing control of the vehicle while descending Grove Hill. One wheel collapsed causing both driver and passenger to be thrown from the auto. Sewell died instantly, earning a spot in history as the first recorded death of an automobile driver in Britain as the result of a road accident. Major Richer was taken to a hospital but died four days later due to a fractured skull. Today a plaque marks the location of the incident.
An 1899 12 hp Daimler, perhaps similar to the vehicle involved in the incident.

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