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Bicyclist collides with carriage in early Phoenix

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Do ghosts return to the scene of an accident which cause their death? It is a question paranormal investigators often ponder as they do research on various locations where tragedy has struck the city streets.

On a Sunday afternoon in April 1900 a fifteen year old boy, Juan Bermudez, was peddling his bicycle near the intersection of Washington Street and California Avenue. (Street is now listed as “9th Street”). It is near the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church dedicated in 1928.

Joseph C. Day was operating a horse drawn carriage, and turning the corner. Neither saw each the other until they were actually heading for a collision. Both the driver and the bicyclist turned to allow each other to pass. But, they both turned in the same direction. Bermudez was riding at a fast speed and was unable to stop on short notice.

The young man was seriously hurt. A doctor, W. H. Battin, was summoned and an examination showed two ribs broken and perhaps internal injuries were received. It was not thought his injuries would be fatal, but an inflammation set in a few days later and he died.

The Mohn & Easterling undertaking parlors took care of the funeral arrangements and the Juan was buried in the Looseley Cemetery---what is now known as Pioneer and Military Memorial Park.

You can walk near Juan Bermudez’s unmarked burial plot among other early Phoenix pioneers at the next Historic Walk in Phoenix’s Early Cemeteries on March 22, 2014. Watch for details coming soon!

Pioneers’ Cemetery Association

Arizona Haunted Sites Examiner: Debe Branning


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