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|Cambria Freeman, 11 Oct 1907, Contributed by Patty Millich|
|Ball Player Now a Corpse|
Thomas Bertram of Altoona Fatally Injured in Foot Ball Game at Portage Sunday
Thomas Bertram, a member of the A. A. A. Football team of Altoona, died at the Brant House in that city Sunday evening of injuries received in a game of football at Portage Sunday afternoon.
At first it was not believed that the injuries of Bertram were of a serious nature and after he had received medical treatment at Portage he was placed in a stretcher and accompanied his teammates to Altoona. Midway between Portage and Altoona, however, he was taken violently ill on the train and died a few minutes after he had been taken from the railroad station to the Brant House.
It was in a hot scrimmage in the game between the A. A. A. and the Portage Eleven just outside of Portage Sunday afternoon that Bertram, who was carrying the ball, was in the midst of the scramble. Bertram fell and his head struck a stone just as the entire mass of players piled upon him. One knee struck Bertram over the stomach as he went own. When the mass of humanity was untangled it was found that Bertram was unconscious. A physician was at the ground and he at once administered to the injured man, who regained consciousness and expressed a desire to be taken home. When No. 10 came along the injured man was placed on board and the journey to Altoona was begun. After passing through the Gallitzin tunnel the injured man became very ill and the pallor of death hung over his countenance.
At Altoona a physician was speedily summoned but Bertram breathed his last about the time that the physician arrived at his bedside. Death is believed to have been due to the blow in the stomach and concussion of the brain.
Coroner Blackburn of Blair county was at once notified and he got into communication with Coroner Prothero of Johnstown with the result that a thorough investigation will be made. This investigation is prompted by the fact that Bertram was injured in a Sunday game and those in the game may be held responsible for the young man's death. The investigation may result in the elimination of all Sunday sports of this nature in Cambria county.
Bertram was 21 yeas of age and quite popular in Altoona. He was employed by the PRR in that city.
This is said to have been the first fatally of the football season, at least in the eastern part of the United States.