Crime History, Dec. 19, 1935: Blind U.S. senator fatally struck by car on BW Parkway

Thomas Schall

Thomas Schall

On this day, Dec. 19, 1935, Sentator Thomas Schall was fatally struck by a speeding car as he was walking across the Baltimore–Washington Parkway in Prince George’s County.

Schall, a Republican from  Minnesota, lost his sight in 1907 as the result of an electric shock from a cigar lighter, but continued his law practice. He was elected first as a U.S. Representative in 1914, and then the U.S. Senate in 1925.

While walking in the arms of a friend across the Baltimore-Washington Parkway near his home in Berwyn Heights, Schall was struck by an automobile. The driver, Lester G. Humphries, of Hyattsville, had a history of speeding and was charged with manslaughter.

Schall died in Washington three days later at age 58, becoming one of few United States senators or congressmen to die in a road accident while in office.


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