Harry Holcomb - Mechanic Fatality

This is a tough photo but historically significant. It depicts the scene as officials and doctors carry the dead body of riding mechanic Harry Holcomb from the outside of the  Indianapolis Motor Speedway to the inside as race cars continued to storm around at speed. The image first appeared in the Indianapolis Star on August 20, 1909.
Holcomb was the riding mechanic for Knox Automobile Company driver William Bourque.  Their fatal accident during the first day of auto racing at the Speedway meant they became the first persons to lose their lives at the historic track. The men had scored a victory in the thrid race of the day, a five mile sprint.
A gruesome detail of the photo is the shadowy image of Holcomb's right arm as it dangles over the side of the stretcher as the attending men rush across the track. Note, too, the police officer with the unique top hat and billy club running alongside the stretcher.

Holcomb.jpg1.23 MB