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Henry Bliss

Henry Bliss (1831? to September 13, 1899) is the first person killed by an automobile in the Western Hemisphere. He was disembarking from a streetcar at West 74th Street and Central Park West in New York, when an electric-powered taxicab (Automobile No. 43) struck him and crushed his head and chest. He died from these injuries the next morning.

The driver of the taxicab was arrested and charged with manslaughter but was acquitted on the grounds that it was unintentional.

A plaque was dedicated at the site on September 13, 1999, to commemorate this event, it reads:

Here at West 74th Street and Central Park West, Henry H. Bliss dismounted from a streetcar and was struck and knocked unconscious by an automobile on the evening of September 13, 1899. When Mr. Bliss, A New York real estate man, died the next morning from his injuries, he became the first recorded motor vehicle fatality in the Western Hemisphere. This sign was erected to remember Mr. Bliss on the centential of his untimely death and to promote safety on our streets and highways.

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