N E W S F E E D S >>>
 Rochdale Accident Index Miller Index  

  Family History


Donald Miller
Rochdale Accident




A party of 28 Rochdale people, consisting of members of the choir of the Trinity Presbyterian Church and a few friends, had an alarming experience just after eleven o’clock on Saturday night as they were returning from their annual choir outing.

The party had been for a char-a-banc excursion to Chester and New Brighton, and were returning through Manchester.  As they were approaching Middleton, along the wall of Heaton Park they came into a collision with a taxi-cab traveling towards Manchester.  The accounts of the accident given to the “Observer” by passengers declares that the taxi swerved across the road on to the wrong side, mounted the pavement, caught the wall, and turned nose first into the near side of the char-a-banc, which was traveling quite close to the kerb on its proper side of the road.

The taxi was entirely wrecked by the collision and the wind-screen, footboard, and some of the doors of the char-a-banc were broken.  The most serious injuries were sustained by Mr. Donald, Angus Miller (aged 45) of 37 Merefield Street, Rochdale, the manager for Mr. J. J. Smithies, iron and steel mechant, Livsey Street.  Mr. Miller was sitting on the front seat of the char-a-banc at the opposite end to the driver, and he was pinned by the roof of the taxi and the framework of the wrecked wind-screen.  Some of the wreckage had to be broken away before he could be extricated.  He was found to be unconscious, and has not yet recovered consciousness.

Happily, the party included two fully qualified ambulance men, Mr. Robert Schofield and Mr. George Holmes, and they rendered yeoman service, after the accident.  Mr. Miller was carried into the Three Arrows Hotel, in Middleton Road, which stands close to the point at which the accident occurred.  A telephone message was sent to the nearest hospital, the Manchester Jewish Memorial Hospital, Cheetham Hill, and they at once sent an ambulance carriage.  In this Mr. Miller was conveyed to the hospital, where he still lies.

Sitting behind Mr. Miller, on the second seat were his son, Mr. Alexander Miller (aged 20) and Miss Isabella Niven, of 16 Finsbury Street, Rochdale.  Both of them were also injured.  Mr. Alexander Miller was bruised about the shoulders, but insisted on accompanying his father to the hospital in the ambulance carriage and remained there all night.  He was able to return home on Sunday and is, happily, not much the sores, through naturally greatly upset and anxious at his father’s grave condition.

Miss Niven was badly cut about the face and neck and is suffering from shock.  She was taken to the Three Arrows Hotel and a telephone message was sent to the family doctor, Dr. G. W. Mackichan, who immediately drove over and after dressing Miss Niven’s injuries brought her home in his car.  On enquiry at her home yesterday we were informed that she is progressing favourably, though still confined to bed.

Miss Niven’s brother was sitting on the front seat, next to Mr. Donald Miller, and escaped unhurt by great good fortune.  No other members of the party were injured, but naturally all were greatly upset and suffering from shock.  Another char-a-banc was procured from Middleton, and in this the party returned to Rochdale.  In consequence of the accident there was a very small choir at the Presbyterian Church on Sunday.


The driver of the char-a-banc, Wilfred Trippear, who is employed by Charas (Rochdale) Limited, states that he was traveling at about ten miles per hour when the accident occurred.  He saw the taxi-cab coming towards him and it swerved across the road to the wrong side and crashed into his rear side.  The char-a-banc was traveling on its proper side of the road, and there was ample room for the taxi to pass on its right side.

A graphic story of the collision was given to the “Observer” by Mr. Alexander Miller, who as stated above, was sitting on the second seat of the char-a-banc.  “Not the slightest blame attaches to our driver,” he said.  “I don’t think he ever exceeded 15 miles per hour at any time during the day, and no one could have driven more carefully.  Just at the time of the accident we were traveling on our proper side of the road quite close to the kerb.  I saw the headlights of the taxi coming straight for us as though it was going to hit us end on.  Then he swerved over to his proper side and then back again right in front of us .  He seemed to mount the pavement between us and the wall, and either struck the wall or else turned sharply to the left to avoid doing so, and crashed into us on the near side.  Our driver could not possibly have avoided the collision.  The wheels of the char-a-banc cannot have been more than 18 inches from the edge of the pavement, on our proper side of the road”

Of the four occupants of the taxi, who were Manchester people, two were cut about the head and face, but only was so seriously injured as to be detained at the hospital.  This woman, Mary Sullivan (23), a waitress, of upper Moss Lane, Manchester, was sufficiently recovered to be discharged from hospital yesterday.

On telephoning to the Jewish hospital late last night we were informed that there was no change in the condition of Mr. Donald Miller, who is suffering from a fracture, at the base of the skull.  He is still unconscious and his condition is serious