NEW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES
NEW ZEALAND'S FIRST MOTOR VEHICLE FATALITY
SATURDAY 08 SEPTEMBER 1906

PRESS, VOLUME LXII, ISSUE 12594, 10 SEPTEMBER 1906
FATAL MOTOR-CAR ACCIDENT. A fatal motor-car accident happened at Timaru on Saturday afternoon. Mr and Mrs John MEIKLE were returning home from town in their car. Mrs Meikle, who was an expert driver, was as usual in charge of the vehicle. When descending a steep and narrow road on the side of a cutting, near the house, the car went over the bank and capsized. Mr Meikle was thrown out and had his right thigh broken. Mrs Meikle was pinned under the car, and suffocated by the weight on her chest. Some time elapsed before Mr Meikle could crawl within hearing of a maid servant at the house, and obtain assistance. Mrs Meikle was about 38 years of age. She leaves one child, a girl of four. Mr Meikle was widely known as a driver for Cobb and Company in the early days, and subsequently as the proprietor of the Grosvenor Hotel, Timaru.

PRESS, VOLUME LXII, ISSUE 12595, 11 SEPTEMBER 1906
At an inquest held in Timaru yesterday, touching the death of Mrs Meikle, who was killed on Saturday night as tho result of a motor-car accident, the jury returned a verdict of accidental death, due to the overturning of the car. Dr. Gabites, in his evidence, described the injuries and said that the symptoms all indicated that deceased died from suffocation. Mr Meikle had fractured his right thigh and was incapacitated from rendering any assistance. Mrs Meikle's death would ensue within from five to ten minutes from the time the car overturned.

MANAWATU TIMES, VOLUME XXVIII, ISSUE 845, 17 SEPTEMBER 1906
The accounts of the recent motor car accident near Timaru, in which Mrs John Meikle lost her life, disclose very distressing details. Mr and Mrs John Meikle usually drove to town in their motor car on Saturdays and on this occasion Mrs Meikle, who was considered expert and cool, was driving. They were returning to their home at Washdyke Valley, and were within the precincts of the farm when the accident happened. Between the public road and the house is a private road, part of which is a side cutting down a spur. This part of the road is both narrow and steep, and in going down the descent the car swerved towards the bank or upper side, and in correcting this Mrs Meikle turned the wheel a fraction too much, and they ran over the embankment. Along the foot of this runs a wire fence, and after scraping along the fence for some yards the car capsized over it into a ploughed paddock. Mr Meikle was thrown clear over the fence, but his wife fell under the motor and was pinned beneath the iron step. Mr Meikle heard her say, "Jack, I am dying," and nothing more. He was himself much bruised, and had his right thigh broken, and could do nothing to release his wife. He crawled along the road towards the house, calling for assistance, and the maid servant came to him. He sent her for a spade to try and dig under deceased to release her, but as she could not do any good he sent her for the ploughman, who pulled the car up with his horses. Three quarters of an hour must have elapsed by that time, and deceased on whose chest the step had pressed, causing suffocation, was quite dead when released.

Registration Number Family Name Given Name(s) Date of Birth/Age at Death
1906/5425 Meikle Janet 36Y

TIMARU HERALD, VOLUME LXIV, ISSUE 3312, 12 JULY 1900
MARRIAGE.
Meikle— Wright.— At Table Downs Farm, Levels, on July 10th, by the Rev J. M. Adcock, B.A., John MEIKLE to Janet WRIGHT.



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