|Agency||Springfield Fire Department|
|Type of Firefighter||Career|
|Age Range||41 to 45|
|Date of Birth||0/0/0|
|Date of Death||1/10/1905|
|Cause of Death||Vehicle collision|
|Nature of Death||Trauma|
|Attribute of Death||[not applicable]|
|Type of Duty||Responding to/returning from incident|
On January 10, 1905, Chief G.F.W. Schevers of the Springfield Fire Department died in the line of duty when his fire wagon collided with a train while responding to a fire alarm.
The accident occurred around 9:30PM, as Schevers was driving the wagon with two passengers at the intersection of Seventh and Madison Streets. Due to the darkness and heavy snow, he did not see the train until moments before the collision. Already traveling at considerable speed, Schevers tried to turn the horse to run parallel to the train, but the wagon skidded and smashed into the side of the train engine. As the wagon came apart, one firefighter was thrown clear, and another was able to grab onto the train engine’s handrail, but Schevers was caught under the train and was dragged for several hundred feet until the train could be stopped. Incidentally, Schevers had been hit and dragged by a streetcar a few weeks earlier, and he had been thrown from his fire wagon in a different traffic accident the day before the collision with the train.
Schevers was unconscious when the other firefighters reached him, and he was immediately rushed to St. John’s Hospital. Doctors tried to revive him, but he succumbed to his severe injuries one hour later. He was survived by his widow, three sons (one a firefighter riding in the fire wagon at the time of the accident), and one daughter.
“Chief Schevers dies in race to duty’s call” Illinois State Journal, January 11, 1905.