Bourque's Final Drive

This is a tough photo but historically significant. It depicts the scene as officials gathered around driver William Bourque after his fatal accident during the first day of auto racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The image first appeared in the Indianapolis News on August 20, 1909. Another photo of the same scene from a different angle was published in the same day's Indianapolis Star.
Bourque and his riding mechanic, Harry Holcomb, who also perished in the accident went down in history as the first fatalities at the storied Speedway. The car was a Knox Automobile Company entry. Bourque had scored a victory in the third race of the day, a five-mile sprint.
The original cutline of this photo read:
"At the left of the picture the physicians are seen bending over the body of Holcomb and in the rear Bourque (note alternative spelling of the name) is being taken to an ambulance on a stretcher."

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