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Oakland Tribune / December 24, 1897


George Smith, a Rancher, Meets Tragic Death This Morning

He Had Come to Spend the Holidays With His Brother’s Family

George Smith, a brother of Fred Smith of East Berkeley, was struck by the Berkeley local at the E street station this morning. He died in the patrol wagon on the way to the morgue shortly afterward.

Smith had been employed on the ranch of H. J. Pereau, a conductor on the Berkeley local. The Pereau ranch is at Vacaville, California, and Smith had the management of it. He was returning to Berkeley to spend the holidays, having come from Vacaville on the 10:12 o’clock train from Sacramento.

Smith was walking toward his brother’s house in East Berkeley and when just the other side of the E street station, stepped from behind a culvert in front of the Berkeley local. He was not thirty feet from the train when he stepped upon the track, and although the conductor saw him and made every effort to stop the train, he was unsuccessful.

The body was not mangled, and the man evidently died from internal injuries. He was picked up and taken aboard the train which had struck him. At Sixteenth street station, he was placed in the patrol wagon, but the unfortunate man died before the hospital was reached.

When he was struck, Smith was carrying a box containing four guinea pigs. In his pocket was a letter from Pereau, $1.50 in change and some neckties and Christmas cards.

Smith’s hearing was not impaired, and it is singular that he did not hear the approaching train. An inquest will be held to-night.



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