Lionel Magee (aka Maniac) lost his parents when they died in a traffic accident in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania. The trolley they were on ran into the Schulkill River. Everyone on board drowned. He was three years old when he became an orphan, and he lives for the next eight years with his Aunt Dot and Uncle Dan, who hate each other. Their constant bickering led Lionel/Maniac to run away. This caused him to be not only an orphan, but homeless too. He begins a quest to find a place where he feels at home, where he can be happy and loved.
In the book "Maniac Magee" by Jerry Spinelli, Maniac is a young boy who is orphaned after the death of his parents. His parents had left him with a babysitter. They went on a journey on the P&W high speed trolley. They were going into the city. After they had been in the city and upon their return on the trolley, the P&W, crashed. The motorman had been drinking and had taken the wrong trestle over the Schuylkill River. He had been going too fast. The trestle dove into the river and they were both killed.
Chapter 1 page 1
Jeffery Lionel Maggee AkA Maniac was an orphan this is how it happend his parents were on the p&w trestle when it had its famous crash (into the schuylkill river).
they died in a trolley accindent from the drnk and careless driver